Goldie Jean Hawn (born November 21, 1945) is an American Academy Award-winning actress, director and producer. She is best known for starring in popular film comedies of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Hawn was born Goldie Jean Hawn
in Washington, D.C.
, the daughter of Laura (née
Steinhoff), a jewelry shop/dance school owner, and Edward Rutledge Hawn, a band musician who played at major events in Washington. She has a sister, Patricia; a brother, Edward, died before she was born. She was raised in Takoma Park, Maryland
. Hawn's father, a descendant of Edward Rutledge
(a signer of the Declaration of Independence
), was Presbyterian
, and Hawn's mother was Jewish
, the daughter of immigrants from Hungary
; Hawn was raised in the Jewish
Hawn began taking ballet and tap dance lessons at the age of three, and danced in the chorus of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo production of The Nutcracker in 1955. She made her stage debut in 1961, playing Juliet in a Virginia Stage Company production of Romeo and Juliet. By 1964, she ran and instructed a ballet school, having dropped out of American University, where she was majoring in drama. In 1964, Hawn, who graduated from Montgomery Blair High School (Class of 1963) , made her professional dancing debut in a production of Can-Can at the Texas Pavilion of the New York World's Fair. She began working as a professional dancer a year later, and appeared as a go-go dancer in New York City.
Hawn began her acting career as a cast member of the short-lived situation comedy Good Morning, World
during the 1967-1968 television season, her role being that of the girlfriend of a radio disc jockey, with a stereotypical "dumb blonde
" personality. Her next role, which brought her to international attention, was as one of the regular cast members on the 1960s sketch comedy
show, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
. On the show, she would often break out into high-pitched giggles in the middle of a joke, and deliver a polished performance a moment after. Noted equally for her chipper attitude as for her bikini
and painted body, Hawn personified something of a 1960s "It" girl
. This persona was parlayed into three popular film appearances in the late 1960s and early 1970s: Cactus Flower
, There's a Girl in My Soup
and Butterflies Are Free
. She made her feature film debut in the 1968 The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band
(she was billed as Goldie Jeanne) in a bit role as a giggling dancer. Hawn won an Academy Award
for Best Supporting Actress
for her work in Cactus Flower
(1969), which was her first supporting role and which co-starred Walter Matthau
and Ingrid Bergman
After Hawn's Academy Award win in April 1970 for Cactus Flower
her film career took off. She starred in a string of above average and very successful comedies starting with There's a Girl in My Soup
(1971), Butterflies Are Free
(1972) and Shampoo
(1975) as well as proving herself in the dramatic league with the satirical dramas The Girl from Petrovka
and The Sugarland Express
both in 1974. She also hosted two television specials: Pure Goldie
in 1971 and The Goldie Hawn Special
in 1978. The latter was a sort of comeback for Goldie who had been out of the spotlight for two years since the 1976 release of The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox
, while she was focusing on her marriage and the birth of her son. On the special she performed show tunes and comedy bits alongside comic legend George Burns
, teen matinee idol Shaun Cassidy
, popular television star John Ritter
(during his days on Three's Company
) and even the Harlem Globetrotters
joined her for a montage. The special later went on to be nominated for a prime-time Emmy. This came four months before the feature film release of Foul Play
which became a box office smash and revived Hawn's career in the film industry. The plot centred around an innocent woman in San Francisco who became mixed up in a murder plot. The film was noted for its use of "Hitchcock
plagiarism" in that the plot was very similar to some of the late directors murder classics.
Nevertheless, Hawn's next film, Mario Monicelli's Lovers and Liars
(1979), was a box office bomb.
Hawn's popularity continued into the 1980s starting with Private Benjamin
(1980) a comedy which not only starred Hawn but was also her foray into producing. Private Benjamin
, which also starred Eileen Brennan
and Armand Assante
, garnered Hawn her second Academy Award
nomination, this time for Best Actress.
Hawn's box office success continued with an assortment of pictures, including comedies like Seems Like Old Times
(1984) and Wildcats
(1986) (Hawn also served as executive producer on the latter two) and dramas like Best Friends
(1982) and Swing Shift
Hawn posed on the cover of Playboy
in January, 1985 at the age of thirty-nine. The pictorial which went on to be one of Playboy's
highest selling issues, featured Hawn on the cover, sitting in a martini glass, with her legs in the air, and wearing nothing but a white collar shirt, a loosened black tie and a pair of red stilettos. The headline read: "A SPARKLING PLAYBOY INTERVIEW WITH GOLDIE HAWN". The issue sparked controversy in that a woman going on forty could be a sex symbol and iconic enough to appear in the famed men's magazine - something that English beauty Joan Collins
had pushed the envelope for when she appeared on the cover in December 1983 at the age of fifty.
Hawn's last picture of the 1980s was opposite partner Kurt Russell
(for the third time) in the 1987 comedy Overboard
, a critical and box office disappointment which questioned the likability and bankability of the two paired together onscreen.
Her career slowed down after 1987, but was revived somewhat in 1990 with the action comedy Bird on a Wire
, a critically panned but commercially successful picture that paired Hawn with action favorite Mel Gibson
. The early 90's weren't particularly good to Hawn, with little success associated with the thriller Deceived
(1991) or the drama CrissCross
(1992). But her success in 1992 when she appeared opposite Bruce Willis
and Meryl Streep
in the film Death Becomes Her
garnered her much attention. Following up that was HouseSitter
(1992), a screwball comedy with Steve Martin - which again ventured into commercial and critical success. She was absent from the screen again for four years, while caring for her mother who died of cancer in 1994. She made her entry back into the film business with producing the satirical comedy Something to Talk About
starring Julia Roberts
and Dennis Quaid
, as well as making her foray into directing with the television film Hope
(1997) starring Christine Lahti
and Jena Malone
She returned to the screen again in 1996 as the ageing, alcoholic actress Elise Elliot in the financially and critically successful The First Wives Club, opposite Bette Midler and Diane Keaton, with whom she covered the Lesley Gore hit "You Don't Own Me" for the film's soundtrack. Hawn also performed a cover version of the Beatles' song, "A Hard Day's Night", on George Martin's 1998 album, In My Life. She continued her tenure in the 90's with Woody Allen's musical Everyone Says I Love You (1996) and reuniting with Steve Martin for the comedy The Out-of-Towners (1999), a remake of the 1970 Neil Simon hit. The film was critically panned and bombed at the box office.
In 2001 Hawn was reunited with former co-stars Warren Beatty (her co-star in $ and Shampoo) and Diane Keaton for the comedy Town & Country, a critical and financial fiasco. Budgeted at an estimated US$90 million, the film opened to little notice and grossed only $7 million in its North American theatrical run.
As of 2008, her last film appearance was in the 2002 runaway hit The Banger Sisters, opposite Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush.
In 2005, Hawn's autobiography, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, was published. Hawn claims that the book is not a Hollywood tell-all, but rather a memoir and record of what she has learned in her life so far. Hawn announced in an interview with AARP's magazine that her next film project would be called Ashes to Ashes and co-star her partner Kurt Russell. The film is about a New York widow who loses her late husband's ashes in India.
Relationships and family
After her disastrous marriage to actor/director Gus Trikonis from 1969 to 1974 Hawn said she was not contemplating marriage again, even going as far to say in 1975 that: "I don't understand it." Although she seemed to change her mind a year later when she married Bill Hudson
, of the Hudson Brothers
, the two divorced in 1980 and have two children, Oliver Hudson
(born 1976) and Kate Hudson
(born 1979), both of whom are now noted actors.
Hawn has been in a relationship with actor Kurt Russell since 1983, when the two reconnected on the set of Swing Shift (they previously met while filming 1968's The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band). The couple have a son together, Wyatt Russell, born July 10, 1986, who lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, learning and playing hockey. Wyatt was a goalie with the Brampton Capitals of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League before starting college in 2007 and playing for the CHA Champion University of Alabama in Huntsville Chargers. She also is stepmother to Kurt Russell's son Boston. Hawn became a grandmother on January 7, 2004, when her daughter, Kate Hudson, gave birth to son Ryder Russell Robinson. She then became a grandmother for a second time when son, Oliver Hudson and his wife, actress Erinn Bartlett, welcomed their son Wilder Brooks Hudson, on August 23, 2007.
Hawn became involved in Eastern philosophy
in 1972. She was raised Jewish
but is now a practising Buddhist
and has raised her children in both Buddhist
traditions. She has stated on the Larry King Show that she is a Jewish Buddhist
, but neither more Jewish nor more Buddhist. Even though she might have converted to Buddhism, she has said in an interview that she never had to forsake her Jewish heritage to embrace Buddhism. Hawn has also stated, in several interviews, that her Jewish religion and heritage comes before Buddhism. Hawn travels to India
annually, and has visited Israel
, stating that she felt a strong identification with its people. She was criticized, by pro-Palestinians, for lending out her support for Israel and for the Jewish National Fund.
Hawn founded and funds the Goldie Hawn Institute, formerly called the Bright Lights Foundation. The institute teaches the Buddhist technique of mindfulness training; where fourth through seventh graders are instructed in mindful awareness techniques and positive thinking skills, then tested for changes in behavior, social and emotional competence, and moral development. One school official reports that in one classroom, the children went from having the most behavioral problems, to having zero behavioral problems.
Hawn realizes that many parents oppose bringing Buddhist methods into public schools, and recently stated in Greater Good magazine, published by Greater Good Science Center: "There will always be people who see this as scary, or as some kind of Eastern philosophy that they don't want for their kids." Hawn adds, "Mindfulness gives kids a tool for understanding how their brain works, for having more self-control".
Hawn is a self-described humanist
Hawn has been known to visit her childhood home in Takoma Park and has broken into the house to look around.