Kurt Russell has been in the movie industry almost his entire life. He began his career as a Disney actor – and, according to him, his name was the last thing Walt Disney said before he passed away.
Today, Kurt Russell has entered himself into film history, and his beautiful partnership with actress Goldie Hawn has pretty much become a example of how Hollywood relationships should work. The two have been together for more than 40 years – and they have no plans to change anything.
In recent years, Kurt Russell has pretty much kept to himself, going through surgery and not doing that many films. But now, the legendary actor is back – and pictures of him in his new role certainly have fans gushing!
Born on March 17, 1951, Kurt Russell was not exactly destined for a job in the acting business – in fact, based on his father’s passions, his career could easily have gone down an entirely different path altogether! Russell’s father, Bing Russell, may have technically been an actor, it was the incredible sport of baseball that was his true passion.
Kurt grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, and when recalling early memories, Kurt Russell remembers how baseball was an essential part of growing up.
“He loved passing on his knowledge of the game,” he recalled.
Kurt Russell – early life
“Baseball was what we were going to do. That was it. We had a batting cage in our backyard. In fact, that was our backyard. For my family, baseball was a year-round thing. Acting was a business for me like it was for my dad. I made money, but I wanted to play baseball. That was the pursuit.”
Even though baseball was a big passion for the Russell family, Kurt’s father showed his son the acting industry when he was a kid.
He appeared in shows such as The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters at age 12, and other credits included Gilligan’s Island and The Virginian. It took off as Kurt signed a 10-year deal with Disney while still in high school, but baseball was always stayed his number one priority (though, we’ll get to that in a second).
At 11, Kurt Russell got his first role in a movie, and it wasn’t just any movie. Suddenly, the young boy found himself eye-to-eye with Elvis Presley in the film It Happened At The World’s Fair. Believe it or not, one of his assignments was to kick(!) Elvis in the shins.
In the film, Presley’s character wanted to get together with a nurse and needed a modest injury to make their meeting possible. Therefore, he asked the young boy, Kurt Russell’s character, to kick him in the shins. It took 15 takes to get it right.
“One time I got close to the edge of it and he looked at me, because he really trusted me, and went ‘…stay on the pad’. What a nice guy he was. Yeah. He was 27 years old,” Russell recalled in an interview with GQ Magazine.
He spent around two weeks filming with Elvis, and in between takes, they spent a lot of time together. They played catch and, of course, talked about baseball.
“He was really cool. “An incredibly nice guy,” Kurt Russell said about Elvis.
Kurt Russell’s early teenage years were hectic as he became a very popular child actor, in part due to Walt Disney himself.
Walt Disney’s last words were “Kurt Russell”
As mentioned, the young boy signed a 10-year-deal with Disney, starring in many productions, including the 1966 film Follow Me, Boys!, which was his first Disney production, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band in 1968, the 1969 film The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and Now You See Him, Now You Don’t from 1972, among others.
Walt Disney is considered one of the legends, if not the biggest legend, in film history. He sadly died in 1966 when Kurt Russell was still a teen. However, a couple of years later, Kurt Russell would learn something that made him go nuts.
Russell literally got the last word in Walt Disney’s life, as the actor revealed that Walt Disney’s last words before passing were “Kurt Russell.”
“They pulled me into the office a couple years after he died, and this woman — who I don’t believe it was his secretary, but it might’ve been, I don’t know ― pointed to [something he wrote] and she said, ‘Do you know what that’s about?’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t.’ [She said], ‘Because he wrote something after it. But then he went back up and he wrote your name. That was the last thing he wrote.’ And I said, ‘Oh gee. I don’t know what it’s connected to,” Kurt Russell recalled in an interview with the Huffington Post.
“She was pointing out that that’s the last thing he wrote. That’s the only thing I know.”
Moreover, Russell explained that he had an excellent relationship with Walt Disney, who took care of the then-young promising actor when he arrived at the studio. He said that Walt reminded him of his grandfather.
“I was very comfortable around him, and I had a great time with him, great relationship, and it was very important. He said to me, ‘Baseball might not be something that you end up doing as a career.’ He said, ‘I think you might want to look at things in this business because I think you’re going to have a long career.’ So he did have a strong effect on me,” Russell added.
A baseball injury led Kurt Russell into acting
Baseball was, at that point, still Kurt Russell’s passion, and he aimed to go pro. He played second base for Thousand Oaks High and went on to play with Class A Short Season Bend in the Northwest League before the 1971 season. He made the All-Star team and later moved to the Double-A El Paso team. He played on minor league teams like the Portland Mavericks for four seasons and was heading towards a major league career.
Sadly, an injury destroyed his dream when he tore his rotator cuff. Though, ironically, baseball led him onto the path of becoming a movie legend.
“I found out it was over from a doctor who had a terrible bedside manner. He examined me and said, ‘Aren’t you an actor too?’ I said, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ And he said, ‘Well, you’re an actor all the time now.’ [Laughs] That was it. He just walked out of the room. I sat there for like ten minutes, not knowing what to do. I was like, ‘Is that it?’ A nurse had to come in and get me. I was just devastated,” Russell said.
But the injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Russell went on to have a fantastic career in acting, becoming a massive celebrity from his performances in films such as Escape From New York (1981), Silkwood (1983), Tombstone (1993), and The Hateful Eight (2015). But the biggest success story is undoubtedly the romantic side of his life, as he has been with his beloved Goldie Hawn for more than 40 years.
Goldie and Kurt met while filming The Only and Only, Genuine Original Family Band in 1966.
“I was 21, and he was 16,” Hawn said in a BBC interview. “I thought he was adorable, but he was much too young. Then, years later, we met up again, and I remembered that I liked him very much when I first met him. We both said we would never go out with another actor, so it just shows you never can tell.”
Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn’s love story
However, they weren’t ready to start dating quite yet.
Goldie Hawn married actor Gus Trikonis in 1969, with the couple separating after four years. In June 1976, she was granted a divorce, marrying Bill Hudson just a few weeks later. Their union lasted six years.
In 1983, Russell and Hawn met again while filming Swing Shift. He tried to impress Hawn with the pick-up line: “Man, you’ve got a great figure.”
“I was severely hungover and I didn’t know Goldie at all outside of having worked with her those many years before,” Russell said in a 2017 interview with Conan O’Brien.
“I just didn’t have in my mind what I was going to see, and she had a great body. So the first thing that came out was, ‘Man, you’ve got a great figure.’ It came out quickly and it could’ve gone wrong, and she said, ‘Why thank you.’”
At that time, Goldie already had two children from her marriage with Bill Hudson, who later would lash out against Hawn, saying she had ‘poisoned’ their children.
Her son Oliver was born September 7, 1976, and her daughter Kate was born April 19, 1979.
Kate and Oliver have their own podcast named Sibling Revelry. In one of the episodes, Goldie’s children explained the moment Kurt stole their mother’s heart. At the time, Kate recalls being about three years old. Oliver was six.
“It was the first time she brought him home to the house, it wasn’t their first date, but it’s a beautiful story,” Kate said. “We were living in deep Malibu, and Mum said that was when she fell in love with Kurt right away because she brought him back to the house, and we were already asleep.”
The reason why Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn never married
Kate and Oliver, who shared a room, recalled when Kurt walked in and sat beside them.
“He sat down next to you [Oliver] first, and watched you sleep. Then came by to me. I believe he watched me longest,” Kate explained.
“According to the story when mum tells me the story. I was the last one he was watching and was there for longer.”
One thing led to another, and Kurt and Goldie welcomed their son, Wyatt Russell, in 1986. The couple have had great careers in show business and are still acting in movies. As per reports, they don’t usually watch the films they’ve starred in. They made an exception to that rule once, however.
In 1987, they starred in the movie Overboard and later watched it together to remind themselves of their beautiful relationship.
Goldie and Kurt have been together for four decades. However, they’ve decided not to get married.
According to the couple, this is why their bond is so strong. The kind of love and devotion they have is more than just special. At the same time, Goldie explained that the key to a healthy relationship is not spending every hour together.
Despite all this, Goldie has revealed that she has referred to Kurt as her husband from time to time. In an interview with Opray Winfrey, Goldie said that she did refer to Russell as her husband instead of lover or boyfriend but that they had an ongoing discussion on what they should call each other.
“If you leave the door open, you’ll never walk out of it, sometimes if you close the door and there is a sense of finality, that a lot of things happen to people,” Goldie said.
New pictures of Kurt Russell for latest movie have fans excited – he stars with his son
At 72 years of age, Kurt Russell does not have to work anymore. However, just like many feel about their jobs, it’s too much fun to quit.
Now, Kurt is set to star in the upcoming Godzilla movie Monarch: Legacy of Monsters – and the latest pictures of him tell us that he is doing very, very well.
Meanwhile, the film will be very special for the Hawn/Russell family. Kurt and Goldie’s son, Wyatt, is also set to star in the movie – as the same character as his father. Wyatt will portray the character when young and Kurt when older.
“It just felt like, ‘What an amazing idea,’ and it’s so rare. I mean, two actors who are extraordinary on their own, two actors who bear an uncanny resemblance to each other because they’re father and son playing the same part, just felt like an idea that we had to run wholeheartedly at, and they were excited to do it,” director Matt Shakman said.
“Also, it’s such a unique fit because Kurt Russell stars in all the movies I love, and since I was a kid, I’ve been watching him on screen,” he added. “The idea of Kurt Russell plus Godzilla just feels absolutely, 100% right. He occupies the same awesome space. Then the fact that Wyatt could work so beautifully as the young version of that same character, it just was serendipity, you know, things that we couldn’t have planned that the fates made possible for us.”
When news of the casting of Kurt and his son was out, fans were quickly revealing their excitement on social media.
“That’s actually excellent casting,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“ohhhhh i did not know this, I will be seated,” another user gushed.
A third added, “Probably awesome to act alongside your own father.”
“Very interesting! Can’t wait to see this,” a fourth said.
We can’t wait to see Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell act in the same movie, even though they won’t share the screen together. Maybe now is the time for Kurt and Goldie’s son to take on the big stage, becoming a Hollywood star!
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