Everything You Need to Know About Goldie Hawn: Her Life, Her Loves, Her Movies and More

Actress Goldie Hawn has enjoyed a career that has spanned an astonishing 50 years. She first came to the public’s attention in the 1960s as a part of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, winning the 1969 Academy Award for her role in the movie Cactus Flower, charting her own destiny by becoming a producer beginning with Private Benjamin in 1980 and, in her private life, raising a brood of kids (Oliver Hudson and Kate Hudson among them) as well as sustaining a 35-year relationship with Kurt Russell.

She was born Goldie Jeanne Hawn on November 32, 1945, in Washington, D.C. At the age of 3, she began taking ballet and tap dance lessons and, in 1955, she danced in the corps de ballet of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo production of The Nutcracker. Her stage debut came nine years later when she played Juliet in a Virginia Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo and Juliet. That same year, at 19, after deciding to drop out of American University, she ran and taught a ballet school, and made her professional dancing debut at the New York World’s Fair in the Texas Pavilion, performing the Can-Can. In 1965 she started working as a go-go dancer in New York City and at New Jersey’s the Peppermint Box. Next up was a move to California to take advantage of the opportunity to dance at a theater nearby Disneyland.

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“I believe you have to start with a craft; you don’t just start with a dream,” she explained to Interview. “You’ve got to put a lot of work in. If you want to pursue acting, then you go to acting class. If you want to be a dancer, then you learn to dance, which is what I did … When you’re young, you start looking at what you want to do — not just who you want to be, but what you want to do. And I think the tenacity to say, ‘I’m going to perfect that’ is the beginning of a work ethic. It’s the beginning of a talent … What will carry you through your life is the authenticity of who you are. Start with learning how to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. And be really good at it. Learn what it is to sweat. Learn what it is to fail. Learn how to take rejection. Don’t personalize it. I always believed that I could become a dance teacher. I had a realistic dream.”

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In 1967, that dream expanded to include acting, and she made that shift by co-starring on the sitcom Good Morning World. From there, it wouldn’t be long before the world would come to know — and never forget — Goldie Hawn. And for the actress, the realization that her time had come would actually be apparent not necessarily when she won the aforementioned Oscar, but, instead, with the release and success of 1980’s Private Benjamin, perhaps her most popular film.

“The film was a bigger, fatter success than I could ever have imagined,” she writes in the pages of her biography A Lotus Grows in the Mud. “Not only was it the great creative collaboration of my life, it was the most thrilling time in my professional career. The movie opened at the theaters even better than anyone expected, and the only name above the title was mine. There was no male star to carry the picture, as they say, as was usually the case. If ever I had suspected how life-changing this movie would be for me, I could never have guessed how much.”

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“Everybody suddenly wanted to interview me,” Goldie added. “I made the cover of Newsweek. I was touted as the Hollywood actress who broke the rules, broke box office expectations and blazed a new trail for women, especially for actresses who wanted to produce films for themselves and for others … Because the media decided it would be so, I became the face of female power in Hollywood.”

She’d certainly come a long way and would go even further.

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