When does the future seem written clear as day? John Travolta’s international fame seems a foregone conclusion today, but the Grease star's older sister, Ellen, bore witness to his gradual rise from normalcy to stardom, and she remembers the instant she knew he was in for a remarkable journey. Travolta is the youngest of six children, and at the opposite end is Ellen, the eldest sibling. Born on October 6, 1939, Ellen became known as a singer and actress in her own right. Ellen is recognized for playing Louisa Arcola Delvecchio in Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi. She also has credits in General Hospital and Charles in Charge. John Travolta’s sister Ellen recalls realizing her brother was going to be sensational Saturday Night Fever showed Ellen Travolta her brother John was going to be sensational / Everett Collection Ellen was around 15 when the family welcomed John into the world, and he got his start sooner in life than Ellen did. She was in her mid-thirties when she started acting; he entered the industry three years prior in ‘72, when he was around 18. RELATED: John Travolta’s Sister Was Actually In ‘Grease’ — Can You Spot Her? “I think I knew he was a good actor,” said Ellen. “He was 12 … I came home and my mom said, ‘We’re going down to this little tiny theater.’ We went down, and I thought, ‘Boy, this kid is good.’” “And then I was gone,” she went on. “I was on the road. Then I got married. He was always working. We went back and saw him on Broadway playing Doody in ‘Grease.’ And then when ‘Kotter’ came out, he was adorable and funny. But when ‘Saturday Night Fever’ came out, and you saw him on the big screen, I said, ‘Oh my, when did that happen?’ We never knew. We never saw that coming. It was a surprise.” Ellen Travolta had a front-row seat to the start of something great with John and with her own career HAPPY DAYS, from left: Al Molinaro, Ellen Travolta, 1974-84 / Everett Collection “There was no John’s going to be famous,” Ellen added. “I mean, that may have been said by his managers. … when ‘Saturday Night Fever’ hit with the Bee Gees songs and all that, oh my God. He’d been around a few years, but with ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ that’s when he got nominated for his first Academy Award. And he was breathtaking. It was this little brother of mine. And he was a major, major star.” She's the eldest of the siblings / © NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection Ellen has done well for herself too. Her own singing prowess could be heard when she was part of the vocal radio group The Sunshine Sisters. But perhaps her most popular gig was that of Chachi’s mother and Fonzie’s aunt, Louisa Arcola Delvecchio in Happy Days. She appeared in five episodes but made a lasting impression on one of the most formative sitcoms of the ‘80s. These days, Ellen uses her experience to become a drama coach and to direct student productions. Today, Ellen is 84 and has been married twice, first to James Fridley from ‘64 to ‘77, and then to actor Jack Bannon; the two got married in ‘83 and remained together until his passing in 2017. She is a mother of two and, in the world of acting, her last on-screen credit comes from 2022’s Haul out the Holly.