SHE MADE HER CAREER AS A DITSY BLONDE, BUT THIS OSCAR WINNER IS ONE SMART COOKIE. NOW, AFTER A 15-YEAR CAREER HIATUS, SHE’S BACK ON THE BIG SCREEN WITH FELLOW COMEDY ACTOR AMY SCHUMER
AT THE CARTER BARRON AMPHITHEATRE IN WASHINGTON DC ONE JUNE EVENING IN 1956, THE CAST IS PREPARING FOR THE START OF
THE NUTCRACKER WHEN THE STAR DUE TO PLAY CLARA IS TAKEN ILL. Her understudy, 11-year-old Goldie Hawn, steps in, but the director neglects to give the young dancer stage directions for the close of her pivotal scene with the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Instead of slipping into the wings as Clara is meant to do, Goldie cheekily steps to the front to take a bow alongside the prima ballerina, much to the audience’s delight. ‘I stay right where I am, curtseying from the waist repeatedly to the crowd, then I ounce o stage,’ she says. That night her career truly began. Now 71, Goldie is one of the world’s best-loved actors. This year, she celebrates the 50th anniversary of her rst screen appearance and returns to acting a er a 15-year hiatus to star with Amy Schumer in comedy Snatched.
Goldie Jeanne Hawn was born in Washington DC on 21 November 1945. Her father Edward was a musician, while her mother Laura worked at a jewellery shop and taught dance. It was no surprise then that Goldie, one of three children, followed in her parents’ creative footsteps. In 1961, 16-yearold Goldie made her acting debut as Juliet in a Virginia Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo And Juliet. A er graduating she enrolled at a private university in DC to study drama but dropped out at 18 to run her own dance school.
Although irrepressibly pretty, Goldie has always thought her best attribute was her ability to make people laugh. ‘I never considered myself beautiful at all and I still don’t,’ she said. ‘A homely girl always has to develop that [comedy] muscle.’ It’s what launched her on-screen career. In 1967, she was cast as the ditzy girlfriend of a DJ in sitcom Good Morning, World. The next year she won her breakout role as the female stooge on the acclaimed sketch show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Other women actors might have bridled at critics labelling them as a ‘perky dumb blonde’, but Goldie didn’t mind.