COLDIE HAWN

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

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - LIFE STORY -

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.

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