18. He joined the Scientologists in the ’70s
Despite his fairly conventional Catholic upbringing, Travolta eventually became devoted to a religion more on the fringes – Scientology. He began to follow the Church of Scientology’s teachings as early as 1975, in fact, while on the set of The Devil’s Rain in Mexico, and after trawling through a copy of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
17. Welcome Back, Kotter welcomed him to the big time
While Travolta landed minor parts in television programs and stage shows in the early 1970s, it wasn’t until 1975 that he shot to real prominence by scooping a starring role in the ABC sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. Playing the dumb but devastatingly good-looking Vinnie Barbarino, the fun-loving actor certainly got the ladies’ attention during the show’s four-year run. However, even bigger things were on the horizon…
16. He comes from a supportive family
Travolta’s sister, Ellen, had a small part on Welcome Back, Kotter, too, but she wasn’t the only member of his family to have also taken up a showbiz career. His mother, Helen, for one, was a dancer and actress in her own right and was one of the main influences in Travolta’s decision to pursue an acting career. In fact, she was the one who enrolled Travolta in his first drama class. Furthermore, both Helen and Ellen enjoyed minor roles in Saturday Night Fever and Grease.