Composite photo of John Travolta
Source: Mega

John Travolta's Favorite Roles — From 'Grease' to 'Saturday Night Fever' and More!

Jul. 9 2024, Published 5:11 p.m. ET

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Legendary star John Travolta admits that growing up as one of his parents’ six kids in Englewood, N.J., he “never needed to do a lot to get attention — so my performing came out of joy.” As an actor, he did a lot to get the spotlight!

Here are Travolta’s ten favorite roles and what the star, who turned 70 on February 18, said they mean to him.

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Welcome Back, Kotter (1975)

john travolta favorite roles
Source: Mega

"I remember feeling like I had a whole new career. I was comfortable. My mother was less comfortable with it. She didn’t think I’d become famous on a New York accent, playing a dumb New York character!” he said.

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

john travolta favorite roles
Source: Mega

"It defined my style of acting. Acting is believing. I started dancing in August of ’76, and I didn’t start putting it on film until March of ’77. It was seven months of dancing almost every day."

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Grease (1978)

john travolta roles
Source: Mega

Linda Ronstadt and Marie Osmond were considered to be his costar, but Travolta was hopelessly devoted to just one: “Every guy in the world wanted Olivia Newton-John as their girlfriend. I felt the same way.”

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Urban Cowboy (1980)

john travolta roles
Source: Mega

"Urban Cowboy was three dimensional. You could watch it, and then you could go experience it. You could buy a cowboy hat, get on a mechanical bull, go country dancing. You could live this movie," he said.

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Look Who's Talking (1989)

john travolta roles
Source: Mega

This hit came amid a string of career missteps. "I think you learn by your mistakes. But you don’t take them to heart. As soon as you do, it takes the spirit out of you. You die a little bit," he shared.

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Pulp Fiction (1994)

john travolta roles
Source: Mega

Director Quentin Tarantino “means a ton to me. He gave me a whole new career and second chapter of my life. It was the biggest gift another artist could have given another artist," Travolta said.

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Get Shorty (1995)

john travolta favorite roles
Source: Mega

"I said no to Get Shorty. Not once, but twice. Sean Connery called me and said, ‘I gotta tell you, boy. That was one of my favorite performances ever,’” he noted.

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Primary Colors (1998)

john travolta favorite roles
Source: Mega

Director Mike Nichols “wanted us not to admit” it was a thinly veiled take on Bill Clinton. “I looked like Clinton, I’m speaking like him, I’m behaving like him. I’m playing him, man, so let me play him," he revealed.

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Hairspray (2007)

john travolta favorite roles
Source: Mega

Playing Edna Turnblad “took a lot of cashing in of male ego. I’m almost less comfortable playing something closer to myself, only because I get a little bored with that," he confessed.

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American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (2016)

john travolta favorite roles
Source: Mega

On playing attorney Robert Shapiro: “You have points in your career when you are associated with high quality, with depth, communication, and things that matter on a social level. You feel a different kind of pride. It’s the pride of integrity.”

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