From Pulp Fiction to Grease to his latest roles on shows like The People v. O.J. Simpson, John Travolta has always shined in roles that audiences love.
A true movie star, Travolta has starred in everything from musicals to action films, science fiction and even horror. But there’s no doubt his most famous role is the unforgettable Danny Zuko from Grease.
You might remember every word from that movie, but you would have to be a truly obsessive Travolta fan to know these 11 facts about the star.
1. He reunited with Olivia Newton John for a good cause
In 2012 the pair made a special Christmas called This Christmas. They both donated their profits to charities they support. John gave his money to his late son’s charity for special needs children, while Olivia gave hers to her own breast cancer charity.
2. He trained for 9 months to film his iconic dance scene
Travolta would dance for three hours every day, and lost 20 pounds by the time the movie was finished. He actually threatened to quit the movie unless they kept in as many wide shots as possible, so everyone could see his dancing in full.
3. Travolta is a world-class pilot
The actor owns 5 planes and uses them often. His home even has its own runway. He even survived a near-miss in 1992 when his plane’s electrical system malfunctioned.
4. He made a big mistake at the 2014 Oscars
While introducing Idina Menzel, the famous singer and Broadway star, he accidentally called her “Adele Nazeem.” Travolta blames this slip up on the way her name was spelled on the card, plus he was starstruck over seeing Goldie Hawn backstage.
5. He helped make Richard Gere famous
Travolta turned down three movies that went on to be huge hits for Richard Gere, American Gigolo, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Chicago.
6. He has a very weird hobby
When he appeared on Ellen, Travolta explained that he collects samples of hot cocoa from around the world. ”It represents winter wonderlands, it represents Christmas,” he said. “I’ve collected various types of cocoa from around the world.”
7. Princess Diana shared a dance with him
At a White House dinner in 1985 Princess Diana and the young actor cut a rug. She later said it was the highlight of her trip, while he says it was a highlight of his life. The dress she wore at the event later sold for more than half a million dollars.
8. He learned from the best
When Travolta was younger his dance instructor was Fred Kelly, brother of movie star Gene Kelly. Fred actually taught his famous brother to dance, and he even gave Queen Elizabeth a few lessons, so let’s just say Travolta was in good hands.
9. Remember his big hit?
Travolta has starred in his share of musicals, but he also had a hit of his own in 1976 with “Let Her In.” The song reached number 10 on the Billboard charts.
10. And Olivia wasn’t his only duet partner
In the animated movie Bolt, Travolta played a dog while Miley Cyrus played his owner. They both recorded this touching duet, which was featured in the movie.
11. He was never a teenage rebel
Travolta’s biggest role was as the high school heartthrob Danny Zuko, but the actor never finished high school himself. He dropped out at age 17 to dance full time. We’d say this was a bad idea, but just look how well things turned out!