Goldie Jeanne Hawn (born November 21, 1945) is an American actress, producer, and occasional singer. She rose to fame on the NBC sketch comedy program Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968–70) before going on to receive the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Cactus Flower (1969).
Hawn maintained bankable star status for more than three decades while appearing in films such as 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), and Private Benjamin (1980), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for playing the title role.
Hawn’s later work includes starring roles in the films Overboard (1987), Bird on a Wire (1990), Death Becomes Her (1992), Housesitter (1992), The First Wives Club (1996), and The Banger Sisters (2002). After a fifteen-year hiatus from film acting, Hawn made her comeback in Snatched (2017). 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. In 2003, she founded The Hawn Foundation, which helps underprivileged children.
Hawn was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Laura 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 one sister, entertainment publicist Patti Hawn their brother, Edward Jr.) died as an infant shortly before Patti was conceived.
Her father was a Presbyterian of German and English descent. Her mother was Jewish, the daughter of emigrants from Hungary. Hawn was raised Jewish. She was raised in Takoma Park, Maryland, and attended Montgomery Blair High School in nearby Silver Spring, Maryland.
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 1964, 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 and at the Peppermint Box in New Jersey.
Hawn moved to California to dance in a show at a theater across from Disneyland. 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.
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 was seen as something of the 1960s “It” girl.
Her 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.
After 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), 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. 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.
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 gave 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 actress and singer Liza Minnelli, Goldie and Liza Together (1980), which was nominated for four Emmy Awards. In the same year, Hawn took the lead role in Private Benjamin, a comedy she co-produced with her friend Nancy Meyers, who co-wrote the script. Meyers recalls Hawn’s reaction when she first described the idea for the story:
It was like watching the greatest audience I’ve ever seen. She laughed and then she got really emotional and her eyes would fill up with tears. She loved the image of herself in an Army uniform and she loved what the movie had to say.
Private Benjamin, also stars Eileen Brennan and Armand Assante and garnered Hawn her second Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Actress. Hawn’s box office success continued with comedies like Seems Like Old Times (1980), written by Neil Simon, Protocol (1984), co-written by Nancy Meyers, 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, in which she was the subject of the Playboy Interview. Her last film of the 1980s was opposite partner Kurt Russell, for the third time, in the comedy Overboard (1987).
Hawn was absent from the screen 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.
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 the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year.
In 2001 Hawn was reunited with former co-stars Warren Beatty (her co-star in 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 release. In 2002, she starred in The Banger Sisters, opposite Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush, her last live-action film for fifteen years. In 2005 Hawn’s autobiography, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, was published.
In 2017, Hawn returned to the big screen for the first time since 2002, co-starring with Amy Schumer in the comedy Snatched, playing mother and daughter.
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 has had a relationship with actor Kurt Russell since Valentine’s Day 1983. The couple first met while filming The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band in 1966, but became involved after re-connecting on the set of Swing Shift. They have a son, Wyatt (born July 10, 1986). Hawn is also the de facto stepmother of Russell and Season Hubley’s son Boston. In 2000 and again in 2004, news outlets reported that Hawn and Russell were on the verge of breaking up. During the alleged separations, Hawn was linked to newsman Charles Glass and Pakistani politician Imran Khan. On the May 11, 2017 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Hawn quasi-confirmed longstanding rumors–which she previously had denied–of an affair with Warren Beatty during the filming of their 1971 heist movie Dollars. Hawn and Russell, who celebrated 35 years together in 2018, own homes in Vancouver, British Columbia; Snowmass Village, Colorado; Manhattan, New York; Brentwood and Palm Desert, California.