Lifetime Achievement Award John Travolta


As an actor, John Travolta has influenced two generations. The first grew up in the 70s and loves him for his unmistakable dance sequences. The second became acquainted with the actor in the 90s in his role as a gangster – with an unmistakable style. The Zurich Film Festival honours him for his life’s work. 

Born in Engelwood, New Jersey, in 1954, the young Travolta left home and high school at 16, to pursue a career in acting. He secured his first role in L.A. in the series WELCOME BACK, KOTTER, which soon became a hit and got the young Travolta noticed in the role of Vinnie Barbarino.

Dance Floor Idol

Soon after, Travolta was cast in the role of disco king Toni Mareno in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (1977), which brought him an Oscar nomination and made him a cultural icon in the age of disco fever. Despite receiving numerous film offers, Travolta returned to the stage and toured with the musical Grease. He also starred in the film adaptation of the musical, which became the cult film of the decade. At the end of the 80s, Travolta starred alongside Kirstie Alley, as a charming father and cab driverin the box office hit, LOOK WHO’S TALKING.

Comeback as a Gangster

Travolta made an explosive comeback in the mid ‘90sm when he played hitman Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino’s cult gangster film PULP FICTION (1994) – a performance that brought him an Academy Award nomination, and catapulted him back into the spotlight. This was followed by numerous great performances in such films as FACE/OFF (1997) alongside Nicolas Cage, and SWORDFISH (2001) with Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman. Travolta’s latest role is as a corrupt narcotics officer in Oliver Stone’s SAVAGES – which will open this year’s festival.

John Travolta will accept the Golden Eye in person on September 20 at the cinema corso.

The Zurich Film Festival celebrates the actor with screenings of five of his most important films.