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John Joseph Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey, one of six children of Helen Travolta (née Helen Cecilia Burke) and Salvatore/Samuel J. His father was of Italian descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry.His father owned a tire repair shop called Travolta Tires in Hillsdale, NJ.After ten months in "Over Here", he decided to try Hollywood once again.Once back in Hollywood, he had little trouble getting roles in numerous television shows. (1972) and Medical Center (1969) and also made a movie, The Devil's Rain (1975), which was shot in New Mexico.Other recent feature film credits include box-office hit-comedy "Wild Hogs," the action-thriller Ladder 49 (2004), the movie version of the successful comic book The Punisher (2004), the drama Basic (2003), the psychological thriller Domestic Disturbance (2001), the hit action picture Swordfish (2001), the infamous sci-fi movie Battlefield Earth (2000), based upon the best-selling novel by L. 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 (1994).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 (1995), 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 Britanna Award: and in that same year he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chicago Film Festival. Pakula Award from the US Broadcast Critics Association for his performance in A Civil Action (1998), based on the best-selling book and directed by Steven Zaillian.
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.
He also starred in the classic Face/Off (1997) opposite Nicolas Cage, and The General's Daughter (1999), co-starring Madeleine Stowe.
In 2005, Travolta reprised the role of ultra cool Chili Palmer in the Get Shorty (1995) sequel Be Cool (2005).
He was nominated again for a Golden Globe for his performance in Primary Colors (1998), 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 (2007).
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.