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. His siblings, Joey, Ellen, Ann, Margaret, and Sam, are also actors. A picture of John’s father can be seen here. A picture of both of John’s parents can be seen here.

John is married to actress and model Kelly Preston. The couple has had three children.

John has sometimes played an Italian-American character, 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 also from Palermo, Sicily, Italy. 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, to a father from England and a mother from Wales, both of Irish descent. John’s great-grandfather James was the son of Thomas Murphy and Margaret Dillon. John’s great-grandmother Ellen was the daughter of Patrick Sheehan and Ellen Sullivan.

Sources: Genealogy of John Travolta –

Genealogy of John’s father –

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

Genealogy of John’s mother –

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


Curious about ethnicity

24 Responses

  1. neiltennant says:

    i am so sad TRAVOLTA is not 100 percent italian ?

    that means gelato and calzone boycott for 1 week !

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