John Travolta

Travolta in 2011, s_bukley /

Birth Name: John Joseph Travolta

Place of Birth: Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 18, 1954

*50% Italian/Sicilian
*50% Irish

John Travolta is an American actor, producer, dancer, and singer.

John is the son of Helen Travolta (born Helen Cecilia Burke) and Salvatore/Samuel J. Travolta. His parents were both born in New Jersey. His father was of Italian/Sicilian descent. His mother, an actress and singer, was of Irish ancestry. He grew up in an Irish-American neighborhood and once stated that his upbringing was predominantly Irish in culture. A picture of John’s father can be seen here. A picture of both of John’s parents can be seen here.

John was married to actress and model Kelly Preston, until her death. The couple has had three children, including actress Ella Bleu Travolta.

His siblings, Joey, Ellen, Ann, Margaret, and Sam, are also actors. His sister Ellen Travolta was married to actor Jack Bannon, until his death. His nephew, Ellen’s son, is actor Tom Fridley.

John has sometimes played an Italian-American character, especially earlier in his career, for example, Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever and James Ubriacco in Look Who’s Talking.

John’s paternal grandfather was Salvatore/Samuel Travolta (the son of Francisco Travolta and Rosa Marsala). Salvatore was from Palermo, Sicily, Italy.

John’s paternal grandmother was Giuseppina/Josephine Marsala (the daughter of Giovanni Marsala and Vincenza Cerniglia). Giuseppina was from Palermo. Giovanni was the son of Giovanni Marsala.

John’s maternal grandfather was Charles Frederick Burke (the son of James A. Burke and Cecilia/Celia Hines/Hynes). Charles was born in Massachusetts. James was born in Massachusetts, the son of Richard A. Burke, from Limerick, Ireland, and of Mary Clancy, from Cork, Ireland. Cecilia was born in Cheshire, Lancashire, England, to Irish parents, Michael Hines and Ann Kelley, who was from County Mayo.

John’s maternal grandmother was Mary Ellen Murphy (the daughter of James J. Murphy and Ellen S. Sheehan). John’s grandmother Mary Ellen was born in Massachusetts. John’s great-grandfather James was born in England, the son of Irish parents, Thomas Murphy and Margaret Dillon. John’s great-grandmother Ellen was born in Wales, the daughter of Irish parents, Patrick Sheehan and Ellen Sullivan.

Sources: Genealogy of John Travolta –

John’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

John’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Marriage records of John’s maternal grandparents, James A. Burke and Cecilia/Celia Hines/Hynes –


Curious about ethnicity

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