The sad and slow decline of John Travolta’s career


John Travolta’s movie career has seen incredible highs and, more recently, hugely embarrassing flops, including laughable science fiction films, mocked mobster movies and ridiculed dad comedies. The latest example is “Trading Paint,” a poorly received drama in theaters Friday, in which the 65-year-old actor plays a race car driver who comes out of retirement. Here we look back at the actor’s more than 40 shaky years in Hollywood.

After his breakout success on TV’s “Welcome Back, Kotter,” Travolta was stayin’ alive throughout the ’70s. At age 24, he received his first Oscar nomination for his role as disco-dancing Tony Manero in this classic NYC drama.

After a career lull in the ’80s, Travolta hopped aboard the Quentin Tarantino bandwagon and snagged his second Oscar nod for playing gangster Vincent Vega. Here, Travolta memorably danced once again, this time with Uma Thurman.

Then things went south. A Scientologist since 1975, Travolta co-produced and starred in this flick based on a book by church founder L. Ron Hubbard. The sci-fi flick was so bad that, in 2010, writer J.D. Shapiro apologized for penning the screenplay.

Once a smoldering dancer, Travolta segued into a sad-sack dad. In this poorly received lowbrow comedy, he played a Cincinnati lawyer who hops on a motorcycle with Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence and takes to the open road.