John Travolta as Robert Shapiro
John Travolta, age 61, portrays famous lawyer Robert Shapiro in new show American Crime Story: The People V. OJ Simpson. The series follows the murder case of OJ Simpson with victims Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Robert Shapiro is most known for his being a part of the defense team which successfully defended OJ Simpson in his 1995 trial. Shortly after the victory, Shapiro transitioned from criminal law to civil litigation. John Travolta spoke with Parade about his playing Shapiro and stated that it was Shapiro's ego that intrigued him. Travolta explained: I think his ego. I think I’ve been around enough of his type of man in the legal world and in the show business world—producers and studio heads. But there was enough of the kind of person I understood, where I felt like I could get an angle on it that would work. One part of the show that Travolta is dying to see play out goes down in episode 7 of the show. Travolta reveals: There’s one in Episode 7, where I actually blackmail Robert Kardashian, which was the most despicable moment I’ve ever had in my acting career. I can’t believe that the character actually leverages him to try to settle, to convince the team to settle. It was such a strange day to play that and I want to see how that came out. You may have also recognized Shapiro from TV commercials for the LegalZoom company he co-founded. He also co-founded Shoedazzle.com. In his personal life, Shapiro married wife Linell Thomas on March 8, 1970. They had two sons together and one (Brent) died of an MDMA overdose, prompting the Shapiros to establish "The Brent Shapiro Foundation", a non-profit organization aimed at drug awareness.
In addition to OJ Simpson, Shapiro represented other celebrities throughout his career, including Darryl Strawberry, Eva Longoria, Steve Wynn, José Canseco, Johnny Carson, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Linda Lovelace, the Kardashians and many others. What's interesting is that Shapiro ended up having to sue Darryl Strawberry for unpaid legal bills. From his experiences, Shapiro has written a couple books - The Search for Justice, A Defense Attorney’s Brief on the O.J. Simpson Case and Misconception. For more information on Shapiro and Travolta's taking on the role, click through our gallery of Travolta nd the real Robert Shapiro's best photos. (FX)