In 1939, Joan Crawford became the legal adoptive mother of Christina Crawford due to her inability to conceive children. However, Christina Crawford later disclosed that her life with Joan was not as pleasant as it seemed after her mother’s passing. This article explores Christina’s early life and the parenting regulations imposed by Joan Crawford, assessing whether they were truly as unfavorable as claimed.
Couldn’t Have Children
Joan had a strong desire to start a family; however, her first marriage to Douglas Fairbanks Jr. from 1929 to 1933 did not fulfill this wish, leading to their divorce. Despite marrying Franchot Tone in 1935, Joan was once again unable to have children.
Following the termination of her second marriage in 1939, she realized that conceiving children was unlikely. As a result, she chose adoption as the most suitable alternative and welcomed a 10-day-old daughter into her life.
The First Adopted Child
Upon realizing her inability to conceive during her second marriage, Joan Crawford opted to adopt a child, thus beginning a series of five adoptions over the years. One of these adoptions was the baby girl Christina, whom she obtained from a young, unmarried mother residing in Los Angeles, California.
As per Christina, her father was a married man in the navy, and her mother was a teenager when she was born. Joan Crawford adopted her from Nevada through a baby broker as her adoption request was rejected in California by the social services.
Determined to Have a Child
Despite being initially declined for adoption, Joan Crawford persevered in her pursuit of starting a family and instead applied for adoption in a different state where she was ultimately successful.
Thanks for your request. Here’s a possible paraphrase:
Joan’s strong will enabled her to adopt Christina soon after she got remarried. Although she was hesitant about what name to give the new arrival at first, Joan ultimately chose Christina. Finally, Joan had found the child she had been longing for.
The Next Child
Approximately 18 months after adopting her daughter and being in her third marriage, she decided to grow her family by adopting another child. They chose a boy, but an unforeseen event occurred.
Joan and her husband, Phillip Terry, were surprised when the biological mother of the boy decided she wanted her baby back and was given custody.
Following the regrettable event, the couple made the decision to adopt a new child and opted for a male child. They named this new baby boy after his adoptive father, Phillip. The intention of adopting this new baby was to fill the void created by Christopher, the boy whom they were obligated to return to his birth mother.
Regrettably, the union between her and Phillip was short-lived as they parted ways through a divorce. Despite the separation, Joan kept custody of both children, whom she dedicated her life to. Following the divorce, Joan Crawford decided to alter her son’s name to Christopher.
Adoption of the Twins
Following her divorce from Phillip Terry in 1946, Joan decided to pursue adoption through an agency in 1947 as a single parent. Choosing to expand her family further, she discovered twin sisters and promptly adopted them, naming them Cindy and Cathy.
Despite being aware of the agency’s illegal practices of providing children to celebrities, she proceeded with the adoption of the twins as it was her long-standing desire to have a sizeable family to take care of.
Joan Was Quite Strict
As per Christina’s book that was released in 1978, Joan was a firm parent with her kids. Whenever they broke any of her regulations, she would not refrain from correcting them. Christina also mentioned that her mother would utilize whatever objects were in her vicinity to reprimand them.
Additionally, she recalled that whenever she or her siblings acted out, their mother would resort to disciplining them with wooden coat hangers. However, in today’s society that preaches acceptance and self-control, this particular approach to parenting would not be well-received.
Image of an Idyllic Home
Joan was a prominent figure, and as such, she had to maintain the appearance of being an ideal mother, which was what people perceived. Yet there was additional information that was beyond their assumptions.
Christina had a different perspective than everyone else who saw a perfect home with cheerful children. She revealed that Joan was actually extremely rigid and punished them severely for even the slightest of mistakes.
Joan Was No Stranger to Spanking
She would act as a affectionate and compassionate mother when surrounded by other individuals, but when alone with her children, Joan was prone to using a hairbrush as a form of punishment for misbehaving. On a particular instance, she even shattered the handle of the brush.
Christina claimed that Joan would administer these forms of punishment in privacy, without anyone witnessing them. Furthermore, she alleged that Joan was not selective with the tools or objects she used to discipline her offspring.
She Locked Them Up
If her children misbehaved or did something she didn’t like, Joan would resort to locking them up in a storage closet as a way of disciplining them, as suggested by Christina.
According to Christina, Joan would confine them to a small room in their opulent Beverly Hills residence as a form of discipline, even for minor transgressions.
Joan Cut Christina’s Favorite Dress
On a different instance, Joan used scissors to cut Christina’s beloved yellow dress into fragments. This occurred because Joan inadvertently ripped the wallpaper while tracing patterns with her finger while drifting off to sleep. When Joan learned about Christina’s actions, she became furious.
Joan was displeased about it and decided to discipline the girl for ripping the wallpaper using a particular approach. Christina stated that her mother was aware that it was her preferred attire.
She Was Scared of Her Mother
Christina’s fear of her mother’s parenting practices was evident in several incidents, including the one when she tore the wallpaper. Despite her attempts to restore it and even using saliva to adhere it to the wall.
This implies that she preferred to keep things concealed from her mother instead of dealing with her anger. The most distressing aspect was that, even though Joan had ruined Christina’s dress, she obliged her to wear the damaged clothing for a week, even when it became soiled.
Call Me Mommy Dearest
According to Christina’s memoirs, Joan imposed the nickname “Mommy Dearest” on her children instead of just allowing them to call her “Mommy,” which went beyond the typical expressions of affection between parents and children.
If Christina failed to address her by the given name, she would get very angry. However, the children were not using the name out of affection or admiration, but because they were made to do so.
She Was Stricter With Christina
Christina recalls in her book that Joan was notably more demanding with her than with the younger children, particularly when she violated one of her mother’s numerous regulations. If this occurred, Christina notes that her mother would penalize her severely.
She recollects that Joan was particularly stringent with her and would frequently punish her more than the other kids. While it’s certainly difficult for a mother to raise five children on her own, it’s possible that she might have been excessively strict.
Different Types of Punishment
To maintain discipline among the kids when they misbehaved, Joan varied her methods of punishment. Once, when Christine violated a rule, Joan barred her from going to a friend’s birthday celebration.
During the party, Joan’s friend June Allison observed Christina being forced to remain seated without making any movements during the entire event. June Allison felt that the punishment was too severe, and noted that Joan was typically very rigid with Christina.
Tie the Children Up
Christopher was found tied to the bed by his friend during another visit to the Crawford home. This occurrence appeared to be a frequent practice in the household. The reason for the restraints was explained by the family, stating that Christopher was secured to a sleep-safe apparatus.
The young boy who came to visit them was Helen Hayes’ son who was also famous. However, Helen Hayes forbade him from visiting them again. Christina mentioned that she too was sometimes bound to the bed overnight as punishment for misbehaving.
Woke Them Up at Night
It appears that Joan had a habit of waking up her children in the middle of the night and making them clean up any mess they had made. This was a regular practice for Joan and one of her parenting strategies.
Christina remembered a time when she was eight years old and Joan woke her up in the middle of the night to clean up the mess they had made during the day.
They Stayed Up All Night
The strategy of having nightly raids made the kids stay up late to clean the mess they had made during the day, thereby instilling in them the lesson to avoid creating a mess during the day. This was a widely popular method to help children understand the consequences of their actions.
All of the Crawford children, including the youngest, were made to wake up and clean according to Christine’s memory. This was a practice that could be done to any of them.
A Parade for the Kids
At times, Joan would bring her boyfriends and girlfriends to her house and introduce them to the children. She would bring them over in the evenings and make sure to introduce them to the children before heading upstairs with them.
At times, she would anticipate Christina to prepare their alcoholic drinks. The kids were directed to refer to these guests, whom her mother brought along, as their uncles. She did not make any effort to conceal her interactions with these visitors from the children.
Take Their Presents Back
Christina claimed that Joan’s actions were quite dreadful, especially when she would present the children with Christmas gifts in front of the photographers and then snatch away those presents later. Joan wasn’t the type to indulge her children during the festive seasons, as revealed in Christina’s memoirs.
The presents were removed and then covered with new wrapping paper in order to present them to their friends during their birthdays. Each child was permitted to keep only one gift during these events.
The Green-Eyed Monster
At times, Joan claimed that Christina attempted to flirt with her spouse, Alfred Steele, and lead him astray. This indicated that Joan had some insecurities and possessiveness, which she attributed to her eldest offspring.
The jealous and envious creature.
According to the information available, it is widely understood that Joan felt envious towards her fellow professional Bette Davis. Regrettably, this intense jealousy seemed to have had a negative impact on her relationship with Christina, causing a rift between them. As a result, Joan’s perception of her daughter was not very favourable.
Mother and Daughter Outfits
Joan’s favorite activity during the Christmas season was to dress herself and her daughter Christina in matching outfits for photo sessions. She had been doing this since Christina was a child, and the cameras were always rolling.
According to Christina’s recollection, these sessions were not intended for her enjoyment, but rather for Joan to present and maintain a certain image. Although the sessions appeared to be appealing and attractive, Christina did not particularly enjoy them.
Joan Called the Police
It might seem that Christina was a difficult child, but to call the authorities on her was really a scare tactic. According to Christina, a juvenile officer came to their home and gave her a stern warning.
This included the threat that she would be taken away to the juvenile hall. This left Christina quite shaken and made her feel that she would never be welcome; it made her feel hopeless. Was this a good parenting method?
Obsessive Name Changing
Right from the first adoption of her children, Joan changed their names a few times before she was satisfied. It started with her first adoptive daughter, who was first named Joan, and then she changed her name and settled on Christina.
The second child, which was the second boy, was named after his father, Phillip, but she changed his name to Christopher after the divorce. This name change happened when he was around three years old; no wonder he had some issues growing up!
Joan Withheld Food
As punishment, Joan didn’t allow Christina any food for a time because she complained about dinner at some point. Christina complained that the steak she was served was a bit raw to her taste and refused to eat her food.
Because of that incident, Christina was denied food for more than a day before she was allowed to eat again. She also said that this was part of Joan’s nature to control them, and it certainly showed in her parenting methods.
Christina Felt Unloved
When Christina reached her teenage years, she felt that her mother didn’t really love her or even care for her. This, Christina claimed, was because of the physical mistreatment she received from her mother when growing up. Being slammed and grabbed by her mother didn’t help build a good relationship.
While Christina claimed that her mother became violent when they were alone, many didn’t believe that accusation about Joan. But Christina says that’s only because she let people see what she wanted them to, nothing more.
What’s That About Wire Hangers?
Joan apparently had a hatred for wire hangers and forbade her children from using them when hanging their clothes. She was, on one occasion, furious when she found a single wire hanger in Christina’s closet.
She dragged Christina out of bed in the middle of the night and spanked her with the hanger. For unknown reasons, wire hangers had quite an effect on Joan, and she would lose her temper when they were found in her home.
Off to Boarding School
At the age of 10, Christina was sent to boarding school, and this put some distance between her mother and her childhood. It was here that she found that Joan’s parenting methods were far from normal and somewhat odd. But this didn’t help her to build a life of independence.
Christina understood that the rules she grew up with weren’t the norm and that other children didn’t go through the same punishment. This may have been the reason why she had some issues later on in her life.
A Sad Time
When Christina was 15, and in boarding school, her mental health wasn’t what it should be, even for a teenager. According to Christina’s memoirs, she claimed that Joan’s treatment caused her to feel negative about herself and her future.
During this time, Joan totally ignored her daughter. At this point, Christina tried to take too much medication, and Joan didn’t even contact her during this episode. Joan left her alone to cope with her problems, which made them even worse.
Grabbing Her by the Throat
Joan had grabbed Christina by her throat in a fit of rage, her hands around her neck, trying to harm her. This specific incident happened when Christina was a teenager, and it was a very bad physical fight that impacted the child.
She remembered that her mother had a look of animal rage in her eyes and that she fell to the floor when she lost her footing. This was also the last time they were involved in a physical fight.
Even her son had to go through some extreme punishment, like the time when he played with a box of matches. Joan had him hold his hand in the fireplace to teach him not to play with matches again. This happened when he was only seven years old.
This punishment caused him to have blisters on his hand, and he recalls that it was the first time he ran away from home and away from Joan. This incident proves that Christina wasn’t exaggerating about being mistreated by her mother.
A Damaged Relationship
All these things and many more mentioned in the book Christina published caused Christina never to trust her mother again. This may have been the reason why they didn’t speak with each other for many years and why Joan disowned her eldest daughter and son.
The extreme and uncontroversial parenting methods of Joan Crawford caused irreparable damage to her adopted children. This was also the reason why Christina tried to end her life, and Christopher ran away from home many times. What a sad story.
Known for his hit movies and his controversial personal life, actor John Travolta has had a truly remarkable life. Join us as we take a look at John Travolta’s relationships, his career highs and lows, and his long history with the Church of Scientology.
The Travolta Tire Exchange
John Travolta started off with humble beginnings in Englewood, New Jersey. The star was the youngest sibling of six children, and his father ran Travolta Tire Exchange. Before that, Travolta’s father, second-generation Sicilian Salvatore Travolta, was a semi-professional American football player. As for John Travolta’s mom, well, she was also a performer.
It Runs in the Family
Since John Travolta was just a child, he watched his mom act, sing, and dance. Adorably, Helen Travolta went on to appear in one of her son’s huge hits. She plays the lady in the paint store in Saturday Night Fever (pictured).
Plus, Helen’s love of the performing arts definitely had a huge influence on her children. As well as youngest child John, Joey, Ellen, Ann, Margaret, and Sam Travolta were all inspired by their mom to become actors. Ellen also appears in Grease!
An Early Convert
Since John Travolta was raised by an Irish-American mom and an Italian-American dad, his home was Roman Catholic. In fact, the entire neighborhood was Irish-American, and the actor has said that his home was mainly Irish in culture.
However, in 1975, someone gave John Travolta a copy of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and that year he converted to the controversial Church of Scientology. The star has stayed with the church for decades, and credited it with getting him through his darkest times.
Straight to the Stage
John Travolta wasn’t particularly into school, and he dropped out of high school at 17, in 1971. From there, he moved to New York and fittingly got himself a role in a tour of Grease. Clearly, Danny Zuko knew he belonged at Rydell High!
After working in New York, the young Travolta headed to LA to see what Hollywood had in store for him. His first substantial role was as a bully in 1976’s classic teen horror movie Carrie.
Travolta’s Breakout Roles
The next few years saw several star opportunities for John Travolta. First was sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter — which featured a high school teacher and his racially diverse class. In the show, John Travolta played Vinnie Barbarino, the cocky leader and heartthrob of the group.
In 1976, John Travolta starred in TV movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. The movie shows Travolta’s character living his life in a bubble due to an ineffective immune system. This film ended up having a significant cultural impact.
An Uncomfortable Pairing
Interestingly, while filming The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, John Travolta fell in love with the actress playing his mom — Diana Hyland. With an 18-year age gap, it was rather controversial for the young star and the older actress to get together.
Tragically, the pair could only be together for six months, because Diana Hyland passed away from breast cancer. Subsequently, the star won an Emmy Award for her role in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, which Travolta accepted on her behalf.
Gimme That Night Fever
In 1977, John Travolta was one of the few well-known actors cast in Saturday Night Fever. The movie was hugely popular and had a massive effect on pop culture. It was packed full of disco music, a swaggering white-suited Travolta, and all the glitz and grime of the era.
For this role, John Travolta visited real discos and watched the patrons. Though the producers suggested a body double, the star insisted on learning and performing all of his own dance routines.
Grease Is the Word
Not content with just one incredibly iconic movie, John Travolta signed up for Grease just four days after Saturday Night Fever wrapped. As we know, the movie was hugely successful, becoming the highest-grossing musical ever at the time. In fact, it was only beaten out by the Les Misérables movie in 2012!
For the movie, John Travolta suggested director Randal Kleiser who directed him in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, and Australian singer Olivia Newtown John as Sandy.
John Travolta on the Dating Scene
Following the tragic passing of Diana Hyland, John Travolta dated several other women in the 1980s. Firstly, he dated French star Catherine Deneuve, who’s considered one of Europe’s greatest actresses. The star was married prior to dating Travolta, and has dated a string of other leading men.
John Travolta also had an on-again, off-again relationship with American actress Marilu Henner. Fittingly, the performer started her career in the original production of Grease; her breakthrough role was as Elaine in Taxi.
Dancing With Diana
A handsome movie star and a talented dancer, it’s no surprise that Princess Diana had her eye on John Travolta. The actor refers to the evening as one of the highlights of his life.
He recalls, “We were at the White House. It’s midnight. The stage is like a dream. I approach her, touch her elbow, invite her to dance. She spins around and gives me that captivating smile, just a little sad, and accepts my invitation. And there we were, dancing together as if it were a fairytale.”
The Story of John and Kelly
John Travolta first met the love of his life, Kelly Preston, when they were filming 1989 comedy The Experts. At the time, actress and model Preston was married to actor Kevin Gage. However, the actress filed for divorce, and was married to John Travolta by 1991.
Before getting together with husband Kevin Gage, Kelly Preston was actually in a relationship with George Clooney. Additionally, she was engaged to Charlie Sheen! At the time, it was claimed that the erratic star shot her in the arm.
More Than One Wedding
Kelly Preston was also a Scientologist, so she and John Travolta were married by a Scientology minister. The couple initially planned to get married in New York, but ended up eloping to Paris to avoid a media frenzy.
However, when John and Kelly returned from Paris, they discovered that their French Scientology ceremony wasn’t legal in the USA. To remedy this, they got married again in Daytona Beach, Florida. After two weddings, the pair was finally an official married couple.
Kelly, the Strict Scientologist
Apparently, Kelly Preston was introduced to Scientology in 1985 and was a keen follower of the controversial religion. Former members of the church have described the actress as “hardcore” and “a strict Scientologist,” saying she was more present at the Celebrity Center than her famous husband.
Indeed, according to Scientology documents, Kelly Preston achieved Operating Thetan Level Eight, which is the highest auditing level in the church. Apparently, achieving this level can take members decades to complete, showing Preston’s dedication.
The Travolta Family
After their weddings, John Travolta and Kelly Preston bought a house in Maine. In total, they had three children together. Son Jett was born in 1992, daughter Ella Bleu arrived in 2000, and son Benjamin was born in 2010. The family lived together in Florida, in a rather incredible home (more on that later).
Throughout their marriage, John Travolta and Kelly Preston attended marriage counseling, likely through the Church of Scientology. The star has commented that this helped the couple have a healthy marriage.
Look Who’s Talking
Clearly, John Travolta is an attractive man, because more than one of his leading ladies have fallen for him over the years. In 1990, the actor appeared in rom-com Look Who’s Talking opposite actress and fellow Scientologist, Kirstie Alley.
Kirstie Alley has since said that she developed feelings for her costar, despite being married at the time. In fact, she told Barbara Walters that John Travolta was the love of her life! The Scientologist star also has homes in Maine and Florida.
The Return of John Travolta
After his huge success in the 1970s, John Travolta’s career was up and down. In 1980, he starred in Western Urban Cowboy, which was referred to as the country music version of Saturday Night Fever. After Look Who’s Talking, the star’s next major success was Pulp Fiction — and boy, what a success!
In Quentin Tarantino’s acclaimed movie, John Travolta plays Vincent Vega alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, and Uma Thurman. After this role, the star was inundated with offers yet again.
But Don’t Forget the Flops
However, there have been a considerable amount of flops throughout John Travolta’s career. In 1978, the actor starred in rom-com Moment by Moment with Lily Tomlin, which was universally panned. Then, after Urban Cowboy, he starred in fantasy rom-com Two of a Kind with Olivia Newton-John, and romantic drama Perfect with Jamie Lee Curtis. Both were disasters.
As well as these less successful projects, John Travolta appeared in the Saturday Night Fever sequel. While fans loved it, critics didn’t.
When Movies Meet Scientology
One of John Travolta’s biggest missteps was the sci-fi movie, Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000. The 2000 movie was based on a 1982 Scientology novel, and featured Travolta in the lead role.
The star was also a producer, and contributed millions of dollars towards the project, as movie studios weren’t keen on its links to the controversial religion. Alas, the movie was a huge failure, and has been called one of the worst movies of all time.
Come Fly With Me
As well as being an extremely successful actor, singer, and dancer, John Travolta is also a trained pilot! The star has four aircraft altogether, including a Boeing 707 that’s named after his kids — Jett Clipper Ella (Clipper is a flying term).
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks in the USA, John Travolta became the ambassador at large for Qantas Airways. The star encouraged people to keep traveling by plane during the tumultuous time. Interestingly, Travolta represented Australian airline Qantas because of their safety record.
Front Door to Runway
Incredibly, John Travolta’s home is basically an airport. The star and wife Kelly Preston were some of the first people to buy land at Jumbolair Airport in Florida. The airport has two runways, which allowed Travolta to build a home where he can walk out the front door and fly wherever he fancies.
The star has said, “We designed the house for the jets and to have at our access the world at a moment’s notice.” Lucky for some!
John Travolta’s Property Portfolio
As well as the Travolta residence in Florida, which doubles as an airport, the star also owns other homes across the USA. As we know, Travolta and Preston bought a house in Maine when they first got together. This home is only accessible by boat and the couple transformed it into a bright and beautiful mansion.
As well homes in Maine and Florida, John Travolta owns a villa in star-studded Calabasas. This home has canyon views, six bedrooms, and four fireplaces! Finally, Travolta owns a residence in Hawaii.
Returning to Musicals
In 2007, after starring in several flops, John Travolta made his big return to musicals. Starring in his first musical since Grease, the seasoned actor got into drag to play Edna Turnblad in the movie remake of Hairspray. For the role, the star had to wear prosthetics, foam latex limbs, and a spandex and foam bodysuit.
Despite this, John Travolta nailed the role, managing to sing and dance in his oversized costume. Hairspray was a huge success, though some critiqued cisgender Travolta playing a woman.
Travolta Family Tragedy
Devastatingly, John and Kelly Travolta lost their first son Jett in 2009. The family was vacationing in the Bahamas when the 16-year-old had a seizure and hit his head on the bathtub. A statement released from the family at the time said, “To bury your son is the worst thing you can ever do.”
Jett Travolta was autistic, and suffered from Kawasaki disease since infancy. Since his tragic passing, John Travolta has founded the Jett Travolta Foundation to support kids with special needs.
Helping Out in Haiti
Because of John Travolta’s flying skills, the star is uniquely placed to help out when crisis hits. When Haiti was hit with a major earthquake in 2010, the star filled his Boeing 707 with food, supplies, and volunteers, and set off to help.
More controversially, John and Kelly Travolta brought a group of Scientologists Volunteer Ministers with them. On the ground, these yellow T-shirted volunteers supposedly helped people with “the power of touch.” Understandably, some doctors and aid agencies had issues with this.
The Secrets of Scientology
The Church of Scientology is notoriously secretive. However, we do have information about the organization thanks to people that have left the Church. One of those people is actress Leah Remini, who went on to write a book and create a documentary series about her time as a member.
In her memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini alleges that high profile members Tom Cruise and John Travolta are not on friendly terms. In fact, Remini claimed Travolta wasn’t invited to Cruise’s 2006 wedding.
Tom Cruise Vs John Travolta
Tom Cruise and John Travolta are certainly among the most high-profile Scientology members, alongside Elisabeth Moss, Kirstie Alley, and Laura Prepon. You might think that the A-listers would be obvious allies, but in fact, the opposite is true.
Former Scientologist Brendan Tighe revealed that both movie stars competed for the attentions of Scientology leader David Miscavige. Apparently, when Miscavige presented Tom Cruise with Scientology honor, the Freedom Medal of Valor, John Travolta was furious, and “exploded with jealousy.”
Lawsuits and Allegations
Over the years, John Travolta has faced some serious allegations. In 2009, a worker on a Royal Caribbean cruise claimed that the star had complimented him and told him he would take care of him, making him feel uncomfortable.
Then, in 2012, two massage therapists sued the movie star for battery and assault, saying that Travolta had acted violently in a Beverly Hills hotel. In each of these cases, John Travolta stayed quiet, and the cases were eventually dropped. Who knows what actually happened.
The Hollywood Rumor Mill
Over the years, it has been suspected that John Travolta is gay or bi, and that he has relationships with men. In 2014, one of the star’s former pilots (pictured) claimed he’d been having a relationship with the star for some time. On other occasions, the star has been spotted kissing both men and women.
A photograph of the star kissing a man on the lips before boarding Travolta’s plane certainly looked rather suspicious. However, the star claims he kisses friends of either gender in the same way.
John Travolta’s Broadway Star Blunder
Another low of 2014 for John Travolta was his embarrassing blunder at the Academy Awards. The actor took to the stage to introduce Broadway star, and Frozen voice actress Idina Menzel. However, Travolta must not have done his homework, because he badly mispronounced her name, calling her “Adele Dazeem.”
This blunder quickly became a meme, though Travolta dealt well with the backlash. He sent Idina Menzel a large bunch of roses alongside an apology note. The following year, she introduced him as “Glom Gazingo.”
Travolta on TV
While John Travolta is best known for his iconic movie roles, he’s also appeared on television various times throughout his career. Of course, one of Travolta’s big breakthroughs was in sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. Then, in 2016, the star returned to the small screen for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
In the Emmy Award-winning series, John Travolta played lawyer Robert Shapiro, yet again donning prosthetics for a character. This performance split critics, and the real Shapiro wasn’t a fan!
The Loss of Kelly
Devastatingly, Kelly Preston died at 57 years old following a two-year battle with breast cancer, in 2020. The family didn’t publicize her illness, though Travolta later posted, “I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while.”
The actor’s life has been blighted with tragedy, including the loss of Diana Hyland to breast cancer, and the early passing of son Jett due to a seizure.
Happy Mother’s Day
On the Travolta family’s first Mother’s Day without Kelly Preston, the actor shared various family photos on social media. The caption of one of these pictures read, “Dearest Kelly, you brought into my life three of the most wonderful children I have ever known. Thank you. We love and miss you. Happy Mother’s Day.”
With an almost 30-year marriage, Kelly Preston and John Travolta’s union was one of the strongest and most long-lasting in Hollywood.
You Make Parenting Look Easy
The Travolta family was also present on social media for their first Father’s Day without mom Kelly Preston. Travolta’s daughter Ella posted a family snap with the caption: “Daddy, you make parenting look so easy, though it not always is. […] I hope to be even half as good of a parent as you someday.”
For his part, John Travolta posted, “It is a privilege to be the father of these two beautiful children — thank you for the honor and my love and respect to all fathers.”
Breaking From the Church
Since the passing of John Travolta’s wife, it has been speculated that the star may move away from the Church of Scientology. This is because the church is opposed to cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. However, Travolta publicly thanked the medical staff that treated his wife, saying he would be “forever grateful.”
Ex-Scientologists have commented that this could be a sign that the star is stepping away from his long-time religion. However, Travolta himself hasn’t commented on his relationship with the Church.
What’s Next for John Travolta?
Since the passing of Kelly Preston, John Travolta has listed the couple’s Maine mansion for sale. It’s also thought that the star will step away from acting to care for his kids. However, some of Travolta’s previous projects are being rebooted for a new audience.
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies and Summer Lovin’ are in production, while a reboot of Look Who’s Talking is also in the works. Action movie Paradise City, starring Travolta and Bruce Willis in their first movie since Pulp Fiction, wrapped in 2021.