Friday, May 20, 2011
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Private Benjamin, Foul Play, Overboard, Bird on a Wire, Death Becomes Her, The First Wives Club, and Cactus Flower, for which she won the 1969 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She is the mother of actors Oliver Hudson and Kate Hudson. Hawn has maintained a relationship with actor Kurt Russell since 1983.
Early lifeHawn was born 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 was named after her mother's aunt. She has a sister, Patricia; her brother, Edward, died before she was born. Through her father, Hawn is a direct descendant of Edward Rutledge, the youngest signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Hawn was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland where she went to Montgomery Blair High School. Her father was Presbyterian and her mother was Jewish, the daughter of immigrants from Hungary; Hawn was raised in Judaism.
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 Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo and Juliet. By 1964, she ran and taught in a ballet school, having dropped out of American University, where she was majoring in drama. In 1964, Hawn 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.
1960sHawn 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 1968-1973 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.
Hawn's Laugh-In 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. Hawn had made her feature film debut in a bit role as a giggling dancer in the 1968 film The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, in which she was billed as "Goldie Jeanne", but in her first major film role, in Cactus Flower (1969), she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as Walter Matthau's suicidal fiancée.
1970sAfter Hawn's Academy Award win, her film career took off. She starred in a string of above average and successful comedies starting with There's a Girl in My Soup (1970), $ (1971), and Butterflies Are Free (1972), as well as proving herself in the dramatic league with the 1974 satirical dramas The Girl from Petrovka and The Sugarland Express and Shampoo in 1975. 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 Hawn, 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 primetime Emmy. This came four months before the feature film release of Foul Play (with Chevy Chase), which became a box office smash and revived Hawn's career in the film industry. The plot centered around an innocent woman in San Francisco who becomes mixed up in a murder plot. Hawn's next film, Mario Monicelli's Lovers and Liars (1979), was a box office bomb. In 1972 Hawn recorded and released a solo country LP for Warner Brothers, titled Goldie. It was recorded with the help of Dolly Parton and Buck Owens. Allmusic gives the album a favorable review, calling it a "sweetly endearing country-tinged middle of the road pop record".
1980sHawn's popularity continued into the 1980s, starting off with another primetime variety special alongside actress and singer Liza Minnelli - Goldie and Liza Together (1980) - which went on to be nominated for four primetime Emmys. Hawn furthermore established both her critical and commercial worth in 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 (1980), Protocol (1984), and Wildcats (1986)—Hawn also served as executive producer on the latter two—and dramas like Best Friends (1982) and Swing Shift (1984).
At the age of thirty-nine, Hawn posed for the cover of Playboy's January 1985 issue, which went on to be one of their highest selling issues. Hawn posed in a giant martini glass 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". Her last film 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.
1990sBird on a Wire, a critically panned but commercially successful picture that paired Hawn with action favorite Mel Gibson. Hawn had mixed success in the early 1990s, with the thriller Deceived (1991) and the drama CrissCross (1992). However, her role opposite Bruce Willis and Meryl Streep in the 1992 film Death Becomes Her garnered her much attention.Earlier that year, she starred in HouseSitter (1992), a screwball comedy with Steve Martin, which was a commercial and critical success. Hawn was absent from the screen again for four years while caring for her mother who died of cancer in 1994. Hawn made her entry back into film as producer of the satirical comedy Something to Talk About starring Julia Roberts and Dennis Quaid, as well as making her directorial debut in the television film Hope (1997) starring Christine Lahti and Jena Malone.
Hawn returned to the screen again in 1996 as the aging, 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 1990s 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 was not successful at the box office. In 1997, Hawn, along with her co-stars from The First Wives Club, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler, were recipients of the Women in Film Crystal Award, which honors "outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry."
2000sIn 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 2011, her last film appearance was in The Banger Sisters (2002), opposite Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush.
In 2005, Hawn's autobiography, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, was published. Hawn has said 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. As of 2011 the project has yet to go into production.
Relationships and familyHawn's first husband was dancer (later director) Gus Trikonis, who appeared as a Shark in West Side Story; his sister Gina played Graziella, Riff's girlfriend. Her second husband was Bill Hudson, of the Hudson Brothers, the two divorced in 1980. They have two children, actor Oliver Hudson (born 1976) and actress Kate Hudson (born 1979).
Hawn has been in a relationship with actor Kurt Russell since 1983, when the two met again on the set of Swing Shift (they had previously met while filming 1968's The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band). The couple have a son, Wyatt Russell (born 1986).
Hawn is stepmother to Kurt Russell's son Boston and she became a grandmother in 2004, when her daughter gave birth to son Ryder Russell Robinson. Hawn became a grandmother for a second time when her son Oliver and his wife, actress Erinn Bartlett, had a son Wilder Brooks Hudson in 2007. Hawn became a grandmother again in 2010 when her son Oliver had another boy, whom they named Bodhi Hawn Hudson. Hawn announced it via her Twitter.