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10+ Interesting Facts About John Travolta Fans Didn't Know

John Travolta has been electrifying our chills for decades.

It started with Grease in 1978 and has since continued on in Saturday Night Fever, Hairspray, and Pulp Fiction.

We'll also never forget him hilariously butchering Idina Menzel's name at the Oscars.

Curious to learn more about this stud? Here are 10+ interesting facts about the actor.

1. He met his late wife, Kelly Preston, on the set of the 1989 film, *The Experts*:

Instagram | @johntravolta

At the time, Preston was married to actor Kevin Gage. But that didn't stop their love as they got together after her divorce.

They ended up getting engaged in 1991 in Switzerland and welcomed three children.

Kelly sadly passed away in 2020 after a private battle with breast cancer.

Instagram | @johntravolta

"It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many," Travolta shared on Instagram.

2. He's still super close to his *Grease* co-star, Olivia Newton-John:

Paramount Pictures

The pair first met on the 1978 musical film.

"We were together not that long ago, about three months ago, and we text each other all the time," he told Us Weekly in 2019.

3. When Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer, he praised her for her strength:

Instagram | @therealonj

"She's doing great," John told Us Weekly at the premiere of The Fanatic.

"And she looks fantastic! I'm so proud of her ... she's pulling it off like I've never seen anybody [do]."

4. He turned down the starring role in *Forrest Gump*:

Tom Hanks went on to win his second Oscar for the role. Even so, John doesn't regret turning it down.

"If I didn't do something Tom Hanks did, then I did something else that was equally interesting or fun," he told MTV in 2007.

5. He was once in a Pitbull music video:

If Saturday Night Fever taught us anything, it's that Travolta never shies away from a dance floor.

He appeared in the music video for "3 To Tango." You don't realize that it's him until the end thanks to the bald head.

6. He had the "most despicable moment" in his acting career on *The People v O.J. Simpson*:


He told Parade that it was the scene where his character blackmailed Robert Kardashian.

"I can’t believe that the character actually leverages him to try to settle, to convince the team to settle. It was such a strange day to play that and I want to see how that came out."

7. Starring in a Western film was on his bucket list:

He managed to tick that off when he starred in In the Valley of Violence.

"I think you have to do at least one Western, and it’s harder to do genre pieces today," he told Slash Film.

"Urban Cowboy was sort of a modern Western, but an old-fashioned one was what I really wanted to try," he continued.

Instagram | @johntravolta

"And I so preferred what I was given to do in that—this legless, crotchity old marshall—it was so much more fun."

8. He's a licensed pilot:

Instagram | @johntravolta

He owns several planes and often flies his family around.

But he once had a terrifying near-death accident when his plane experienced a total electrical failure. Thankfully, he was able to make an emergency landing.

9. His favorite movie role was on *A Civil Action*:

Touchstone Pictures

The reason why? “I really get a kick out of good writing,” he told The Consequence of Sound.

He said that as soon as he saw the script for one of the scenes in the film, he “couldn’t wait to do this.”

10. He's had some wild fan encounters:

Paramount Pictures

Unfortunately, some of these mirror the obsessed fan he plays in The Fanatic.

One time, a stranger entered his home. “We were having our Sunday afternoon and you’re like, ‘Who is this?’”

11. He's the one who picked Olivia for the role of Sandy in *Grease*:

This is something that he takes immense pride in.

“She’s got a huge soul,” he told Extra. “She is an eternal love for me and will always be… and I picked her. I take the pride of having picked Olivia Newton-John for ‘Grease.’”

12. He felt terrible for butchering Idina Menzel's name at the Oscars:

Sooo many memes were created that day, but Travolta wasn't laughing.

"I've been beating myself up all day," he said in a statement to E! News. Thankfully, he had some words of wisdom from Idina Adele Dazeem.

"Then I thought...What would Idina Menzel say? She'd say, 'Let it go, let it go!'" he said.

"Idina is incredibly talented and I am so happy Frozen took home two Oscars Sunday night!"

Thankfully, Idina laughed the incident off and even got her revenge.

13. He sang a duet alongside Miley Cyrus:

We never thought we'd see these two in a sentence together, much less a song, but here we are!

The duo sang "I Thought I Lost You" on the 2009 soundtrack for the animated movie, Bolt.

14. Pitbull inspired him to shave his head:

Instagram | @johntravolta

If you're wondering why he's been rocking a bald head for years now, this is it:

"I did a movie called From Paris, With Love where I shaved it. So I got used to it, some people got used to it," he said on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

"It wasn’t a total shock," he continued.

Instagram | @johntravolta

"I became friends with Pitbull, and I loved how it [looked.] All us guys gotta stick together that do this."

He suits the look so more power to him!

15. He and Olivia once recreated their signature *Grease* looks:

Instagram | @johntravolta

It's been 40 years since Grease came out but who can tell from looking at this picture?

They had dressed up as their characters for special screenings of the film.

16. He never officially finished school.

Instagram | @johntravolta

"Not too many of my friends identified with what I was doing," he told The Phoenix. "I participated in football and basketball, and did what they were doing, but not many kids understood my going to acting studios at night."

17. He didn't use a stunt double for *Urban Cowboy*

He had his own mechanical bull installed in his house before they filmed the movie that way he could get used to the feeling.

By the time it came to film, he didn't need a double!

18. He regrets turning down *Chicago*

It's one of the bigger losses of his professional life.

"Probably the one I didn’t explore enough is Chicago. (Studio executive) Harvey Weinstein offered it to me three times," he said to Entertainment Tonight.

"I never met with the director because I thought the play was about a bunch of women who hated men, and I like women who like men."

Even Hugh Jackman was offered the role, but ultimately the role went to Richard Gere.

19. Marlon Brando and Travolta had a close relationship!

Travolta revealed to Us Weekly that Marlon Brando told him he'd laughed a lot when Travolta imitated him on Saturday Night Live in 1994.

Brando also gave him advice in the past.

"The best piece of advice I ever received was from Brando. He said, 'Don’t expect things from people that they can’t give you,'" Travolta wrote.

Instagram | @johntravolta

Which to be fair, is amazing advice.

Hopefully, Travolta took it to heart as much as possible.

20. He's not the best cook but he can make a mean cup of coffee.

"I don’t often cook, but if I do, I’d consider myself a decent cook. I wouldn’t embarrass you, and I’d make it flavorful." he admitted in Us Weekly.

"I wake up and have the strongest cup of coffee you could imagine using half a pound of Starbucks Sumatra blend. It’s epic."

21. He also told *Us Weekly* where his favorite places to visit are:

Instagram | @johntravolta

"My top five places to fly are Sydney, Australia, because it’s so inviting; Shannon, Ireland, because it’s beautiful; Hong Kong, China, because it’s exotic; São Paulo, Brazil, because the approach is between the high-rises; and Paris, because of the Eiffel Tower."

22. Princess Diana wore an iconic dress that was later named after him.

Getty Images | Tim Graham

She once wore an iconic gown to the White House and it was there that she danced with John Travolta.

The dance was so famous, and the dress so beautiful, and their relationship so wonderful, that the dress soon got the nickname: "Travolta dress".

22. One of his greatest celebrity experiences was not with Mariah Carey.

Instagram | @johntravolta

Although it certainly makes for a fantastic picture!

He admitted to Us Weekly, "I’ll never forget flying with Muhammad Ali from Los Angeles to Las Vegas."

That must have been one heck of a conversation.

Do you know any more interesting and cool facts about John Travolta?

Or were you pleasantly surprised by all of the facts we presented you with on this list?

Either way, let us know down below in the comments! We would love to hear from you!