Movie Stars: Hawn, Goldie–Career Phases

Goldie Jeanne Hawn (born November 21, 1945) is a multi-talented celebrity, leaving her mark as actress, director, producer, singer, and philanthropist.

She rose to fame on television’s Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968–70).  She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar and Golden Globe Award for the 1969 comedy, Cactus Flower, and then maintained her star status for more than three decades,

She is the mother of actors Oliver Hudson, Kate Hudson and Wyatt Russell, and has been in a relationship with actor Kurt Russell since 1983. She founded The Hawn Foundation in 2003.

Hawn was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for the title role in the 1980 film Private Benjamin.

Other films include: There’s a Girl in My Soup (1970), Butterflies Are Free (1972), The Sugarland Express (1974), Shampoo (1975), Foul Play (1978), Seems Like Old Times (1980), Best Friendd (1982), Overboard (1987), Bird on a Wire (1990), Death Becomes Her (1992), Housesitter (1992), The First Wives Club (1996), and The Banger Sister (2002).

This season, she is starring in her first film in 15 years in Snatched.

Early life

Hawn was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Laura (née Steinhoff; November 27, 1913 – November 27, 1993), a jewelry shop/dance school owner, and Edward Rutledge Hawn (September 28, 1908 – June 7, 1982), a band musician who played at major events in Washington. She was named after her mother’s aunt.

Her father was a Presbyterian of German and English descent; her mother was Jewish, the daughter of Hungarian immigrants, and Hawn was raised Jewish.

Hawn began taking ballet and tap dance lessons at the age of three, and danced in the corps de ballet 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 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 CBS situation comedy Good Morning, World during the 1967–68 television season, her role being that of the girlfriend of a radio disc jockey, with a stereotypical “dumb blonde” personality.

The role brought that her to international attention was as 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 was seen as something of a 1960s “It” girl.

Her Laugh-In persona was used in three popular films 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.”

However, in her first major film role, in Cactus Flower (1969), she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Walter Matthau’s suicidal fiancée.

After Hawn’s Oscar 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). She continued 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.
Hawn, who had been out of the spotlight for 2 years since the 1976 release of The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox, 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, 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.

Foul Play, with Chevy Chase, was a box office smash, reviving Hawn’s career. The plot centered around an innocent woman in San Francisco who becomes mixed up in an assassination 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, titled Goldie. It was recorded with 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”.

Hawn’s popularity continued into the 1980s, starting with another primetime variety special alongside Liza Minnelli, Goldie and Liza Together (1980), which was nominated for four Emmys.

Hawn took the lead role in Private Benjamin, a comedy she produced. Private Benjamin, which also stars Eileen Brennan and Armand Assante, garnered Hawn her second Oscar nomination, this time as Best Actress.

Hawn’s box office success continued with 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).

Hawn posed for the cover of Playboy‘s January 1985 issue in a giant martini glass wearing only a white collar shirt, a loosened black tie, fishnet stockings and pair of red stilettos.

Her last film of the 1980s was opposite partner Kurt Russell for the third time in the comedy Overboard (1987).

Hawn’s career slowed down in the late 1980s, but revived somewhat in 1990 with the action comedy Bird on a Wire, a critically panned but commercially successful picture that paired Hawn with Mel Gibson.

Hawn had mixed success in the 1990s, with the thriller Deceived (1991), the drama Crisscross and opposite Bruce Willis and Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her (both 1992).

But Housesitter, a screwball comedy with Steve Martin, was a commercial and critical success. Hawn was absent from the screen again for 4 years, taking caring of her mother (she died of cancer in 1994).

Hawn was a producer of the satirical comedy Something to Talk About starring Julia Roberts and Dennis Quaid, as well as making her directorial debut in the TV 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 sang 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 Awards.

In 1999, she was awarded Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year.

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 $90 million, the film opened to little notice and grossed only $7 million .

In 2002, she starred in The Banger Sisters, opposite Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush, her last film to date.

In 2005 Hawn’s autobiography, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, was published.

In 2013, Hawn guest starred, along with Gordon Ramsay, in an episode of Phineas and Ferb, in which she provided the voice of neighbor Peggy McGee.

Hawn will be returning to big screen for the first time since 2002, in which she will portray the mother of Amy Schumer’s character in the upcoming comedy Snatched.

Personal life

Hawn has studied meditation. In a 2012 interview, she stated, “I don’t think of myself as a Buddhist. I was born Jewish, and I consider that my religion.” She also stated, “It’s not the idea of a particular religion that’s important; it’s the development of a spiritual life.”

Hawn is a supporter of the LGBT community speaking in Nigeria about criminalized homosexuals, she denounced these laws, stating, “This is man’s inhumanity to man, of the first order.”
Hawn’s first husband was dancer-director Gus Trikonis, who appeared as a Shark in West Side Story. Hawn and Trikonis married in 1969, in Hawaii, and separated in 1973.

In 1975, she became engaged to musician Bill Hudson of the Hudson Brothers, whom she met on a flight from New York to L.A. Hawn married Hudson in 1976 and bore two children, actor Oliver and actress Kate.  The divorce from Hudson was finalized in 1982.

Hawn has been in a relationship with actor Kurt Russell since early 1983. The couple first met in 1968, while shooting The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, but became romantically involved in 1983 on the set of Swing Shift.

They have a son, Wyatt (ne 1986), and Hawn is also the stepmother of Russell’s son, Boston.

The Hawn Foundation

In 2003 Hawn founded the Hawn Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides youth education programs intended to improve academic performance through “life-enhancing strategies for well-being”.

The Hawn Foundation has supported research studies conducted by external researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of its educational program for children, called MindUP

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