John Travolta has been honored twice with Academy Award nominations, the latest for his riveting portrayal of a philosophical hit-man in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” He also received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for this highly acclaimed role and was named Best Actor by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, among other distinguished awards.
Travolta garnered further praise as a Mafioso-turned-movie producer in the comedy sensation “Get Shorty,” winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. In 1998, Travolta was honored by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts with the Britannia Award: and in that same year he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chicago Film Festival. Travolta also won the prestigious Alan J. Pakula Award from the US Broadcast Critics Association for his performance in “A Civil Action,” based on the best-selling book and directed by Steve Zailian. He was nominated again for a Golden Globe for his performance in “Primary Colors,” directed by Mike Nichols and co-starring Emma Thompson and Billy Bob Thornton, and in 2008, he received his sixth Golden Globe nomination for his role as Edna Turnblad in the big-screen, box-office hit “Hairspray.” As a result of this performance, the Chicago Film Critics and the Santa Barbara Film Festival decided to recognize Travolta with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his role.
He previously starred in a number of monumental films, earning his first Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his role in the blockbuster “Saturday Night Fever,” which launched the disco phenomenon in the 1970s. He went on to star in the big-screen version of the long-running musical “Grease” and the wildly successful “Urban Cowboy,” which also influenced trends in popular culture. Additional film credits include the Brian DePalma thrillers “Carrie” and “Blowout,” as well as Amy Heckerling’s hit comedy “Look Who’s Talking” and Nora Ephron’s comic hit “Michael.” Travolta starred in “Phenomenon” and took an equally distinctive turn as an action star in John Woo’s top-grossing “Broken Arrow.” He also starred in the classic “Face/Off” opposite Nicolas Cage, and “The General’s Daughter,” co-starring Madeline Stowe. In 2005, Travolta reprised the role of ultra-cool Chili Palmer in the “Get Shorty” sequel “Be Cool.” In addition, he starred opposite Scarlett Johansson in the critically acclaimed independent feature film “A Love Song for Bobby Long,” which was screened at the Venice Film Festival, where both Travolta and the films won rave reviews. In February 2011, John was honored by Europe’s leading weekly program magazine HORZU, with the prestigious Golden Camera Award for “Best Actor International” in Berlin, Germany. In April 2014, John received global recognition when he was presented with the award for Outstanding Contribution to International Cinema by the International Indian Film Academy at the 2014 IIFA Film Awards.
Other recent feature film credits include box-office hit-comedy “Wild Hogs,” the action-thriller “Ladder 49,” the movie version of the successful comic book “The Punisher,” the drama “Basic,” the psychological thriller “Domestic Disturbance,” the hit action picture “Swordfish,” the successful sci-fi movie “Battlefield Earth,” based upon the best-selling novel by L. Ron Hubbard, and “Lonely Hearts.” In addition, Travolta starred opposite Denzel Washington in director Tony Scott’s remake of “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” and he provided the voice of the lead character in Walt Disney Pictures’ animated hit “Bolt.” Bolt was nominated for a 2009 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, in addition to Best Song for John and Miley Cyrus’ duet titled, “I Thought I Lost You.”
Next, Travolta starred in Walt Disney Pictures’ 2009 film “Old Dogs,” along with Robin Williams, Kelly Preston and Ella Bleu Travolta, followed by the action thriller “From Paris with Love,” starring opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
In 2012, John starred alongside Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch and Demian Bichir in the Oliver Stone directed movie, “Savages”. The film was based on Don Winslow’s best-selling crime novel that was named one of The New York Times’ Top 10 Books of 2010.
John next starred opposite Robert De Niro in the 2013 action thriller “Killing Season”, which screened at the Deauville Film Festival, where John was also honored with a Career Tribute.
John then joined Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer and Critics Choice nominee Tye Sheridan in “The Forger”. The Forger made its premiere at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival in September 2014.
In 2015, John starred in “Criminal Activities”, a crime thriller directed by Jackie Earle Haley and co-starring Michael Pitt. That same year, John received a Career Achievement Tribute at the Napa Valley Film Festival, where his film “Life On The Line”, an action/drama co-starring Kate Bosworth and directed by David Hackl, also premiered.
John made his return to television in the F/X miniseries “The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story”, produced by Ryan Murphy and Nina Jacobson. John garnered rave reviews for his portrayal of O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro in the drama, which is aired in early 2016.
John can currently be seen in “I Am Wrath”, an action/thriller directed by Chuck Russell, and co-starring Chris Meloni.
Future releases include the revenge-driven Western, “In A Valley of Violence”, co-starring Ethan Hawke and directed by Ti West, which made its premiere at last month’s South by Southwest Festival.
John has received 2 prestigious aviation awards: in 2003 the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Award for Excellence for his efforts to promote commercial flying, and in 2007 The Living Legends Ambassador of Aviation award.
John currently holds the following jet licenses and type ratings: Boeing 747 (Australian cert), Boeing 707, Boeing 720, Cessna 500, Challenger 600, Eclipse 500, Gulfstream II, Hawker 125, Lear Jet and Soko Galeb. He is also qualified to fly the de Havilland Vampire and Canadair CL-41 Tutor/Tebaun.
Travolta is the Qantas Airways Global Goodwill “Ambassador-at-Large” and piloted the original Qantas 707 during “Spirit of Friendship” global tour in July/August 2002.
John is also a business aircraft brand ambassador for Learjet, Challenger and Global jets for the world’s leading business aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier.
John’s other aviation association is with the Breitling Watch Company, for whom he advertises the luxury aviation watches as a professional aviator, and his advertisements can be seen worldwide.
John flew the 707 to New Orleans after the 2005 hurricane disaster bringing food and medical supplies, and in 2010, again flew the 707, this time to Haiti after the earthquake, carrying supplies, doctors and volunteers.
John, along with his wife, actress Kelly Preston, are also very involved in their charity, The Jett Travolta Foundation, which raises money for children with educational needs.