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John 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." 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," 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. Travolta also won the prestigious Alan J. Pakula Award from the US Broadcast Critics Association for his performance in "A Civil Action," based on the best-selling book and directed by Steve Zailian. He was nominated again for a Golden Globe for his performance in "Primary Colors," directed by Mike Nichols and co-starring Emma Thompson and Billy Bob Thornton, and in 2008, he received his fourth Golden Globe nomination for his role as Edna Turnblad in the big-screen, box-office hit "Hairspray." 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.
He previously starred in a number of monumental films, earning his first Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his role in the blockbuster "Saturday Night Fever," which launched the disco phenomenon in the 1970s. He went on to star in the big-screen version of the long-running musical "Grease" and the wildly successful "Urban Cowboy," which also influenced trends in popular culture. Additional film credits include the Brian DePalma thrillers "Carrie" and "Blowout," as well as Amy Heckerling's hit comedy "Look Who's Talking" and Nora Ephron's comic hit "Michael." Travolta starred in "Phenomenon" and took an equally distinctive turn as an action star in John Woo's top-grossing "Broken Arrow." He also starred in the classic "Face/Off" opposite Nicolas Cage, and "The General's Daughter," co-starring Madeline Stowe. Recently, Travolta reprised the role of ultra cool Chili Palmer in the "Get Shorty" sequel "Be Cool." In addition, he starred opposite Scarlett Johansson in the critically acclaimed independent feature film "A Love Song for Bobby Long," which was screened at the Venice Film Festival, where both Travolta and the films won rave reviews.
Other recent feature film credits include box-office hit-comedy "Wild Hogs," the action-thriller "Ladder 49," the movie version of the successful comic book "The Punisher," the drama "Basic," the psychological thriller "Domestic Disturbance," the hit action picture "Swordfish," the successful sci-fi movie "Battlefield Earth," based upon the best-selling novel by L. Ron Hubbard, and "Lonely Hearts." In addition, Travolta starred opposite Denzel Washington in director Tony Scott's remake of "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," and he provided the voice of the lead character in Walt Disney Pictures' animated hit "Bolt."
Most recently Travolta starred in Walt Disney Pictures' film "Old Dogs," along with Robin Williams, Kelly Preston and Ella Bleu Travolta, followed by the action thriller "From Paris with Love," starring opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
John has received 2 prestigious aviation awards: in 2003 the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Award for Excellence for his efforts to promote commercial flying, and in 2007 The Living Legends Ambassador of Aviation award.
John currently holds 10 jet licenses: 747, 707, Gulfstream II, Lear 24, Hawker 1251A, Eclipse Jet, Vampire Jet, Canadair CL-141 Jet, Soko Jet and Citation ISP. The 707 aircraft is painted in the original Qantas V-Jet livery and bears the name Jett Clipper Ella in honor of his children. Travolta is the Qantas Airways Global Goodwill "Ambassador-at-Large" and piloted the original Qantas 707 during "Spirit of Friendship" global tour in July/August 2002. One of John's other aviation associations is with the Breitling Watch Company, where he advertises aviation watches as a professional aviator, and his advertisements can be seen worldwide.
He flew the 707 to New Orleans after the 2005 hurricane disaster bringing food and medical supplies, and in 2010, again flew the 707, this time to Haiti after the earthquake, carrying supplies, doctors and volunteers.
**Photographed by Patricia von Ah for BREITLING at the Reno Air Races, Nevada