Long-term success in Hollywood is all about reinvention, and over the course of nearly 50 years, John Travolta has proven he's got staying power aplenty. Travolta's resume is packed with iconic performances, establishing him as one of the industry's most versatile stars. But while the actor has spent decades perfecting his craft, he has also suffered tragic losses in his personal life. That's why the movies only tell one part of Travolta's story — and chances are you've never seen the star quite like this.
The man beneath the hair
We're not just talking about how the now proudly bald Travolta used to be almost as well known for his long, luscious locks as he was for his acting ability. No, because even back when his hair was the envy-inducing centerpiece of every man on the planet, Travolta was nothing like the man we know today.
Talent runs in the family
Born in Englewood, New Jersey, as the youngest of six children, John Joseph Travolta had acting in his blood. His mother, Helen, was an actress, singer, and high-school drama teacher. So she naturally inspired all six of her children to pursue careers in entertainment. But while they all enjoyed health careers, it was John who really caught the public's attention.
Following in their footsteps
Travolta himself joined the family business in 1971 when, at age 17, he dropped out of Dwight Morrow High School during his junior year to pursue acting. He moved across the Hudson to New York City, where his first major gig proved to be a foreshadowing of things to come. You might even recognize the name of the musical...
On to bigger things
Yup, that gig just happened to be a role in a touring company production of the musical Grease. He then went on to appear in the Broadway production of the Sherman Brothers' Over Here! But it wasn't long before Travolta decided to trade the stage for the studio sets of Hollywood — and things started happening for him quickly.