John Travolta is one of the most versatile stars in Hollywood.
The actor has carved out an impressive career, proving himself adept at comedies, action flicks, thrillers and pretty much everything else in both movies and television.
The actor’s birthday is Feb. 18, 1954, and at 66, he shows no signs of slowing down. To celebrate Travolta, walk down memory lane with this look at some of the most iconic roles of his career.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
While Travolta caught his big break with a recurring role on the show “Welcome Back, Kotter,” his turn as Tony Manera in 1977’s “Saturday Night Fever” catapulted him to superstardom and an Academy Award nomination. The film, a Bee Gees-soundtracked ode to disco and 1970s Brooklyn, was met with fanfare and made Travolta into an icon.
Hot off the heels of the dance-heavy “Saturday Night Fever,” Travolta got to flex his vocal cords in “Grease,” a big-screen adaptation of the 1971 musical of the same name. Travolta starred as Danny Zuko, a bad-boy greaser who taps into his more sensitive side when he is smitten by fellow Rydell High School Sandy Olsson, played by Olivia Newton-John.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Quentin Tarantino has a knack for creating characters that pop off the screen. John Travolta unexpectedly shined in the director's 1994 classic as Vincent Vega, regalvanizing his career as the drug-addicted hitman who gets the job done during official hits, philosophical diner-booth chats, and sometimes both at once.
Close your eyes and imagine Travolta’s roles, and it’s hard to unsee him as the goateed bad guy in 2001’s “Swordfish.” Travolta is perfect as Gabriel Shear, starring alongside Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman in this very early-aughts cyber crime thriller.
Because every legacy star needs an Eddie Murphy bit-character moment. What better opportunity than in “Hairspray,” where Travolta took on the genre-bending role of Edna Turnblad, who is inspired to feel comfortable in her body after seeing her young overweight daughter shine on popular local program “The Corny Collins Show.”
American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson (2016)
Travolta’s TV comeback was a controversial project, the first season of “American Crime Story,” a fearless retelling of the O.J. Simpson murder case. Travolta starred as member of Simpson defense team Robert Shapiro, alongside other film and TV vets who resurfaced with provocative performances, including Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. and "Friends" star David Schwimmer as Simpson’s friend Robert Kardashian.