There are few men who can live with a woman who is, or is perceived to be, more POWERFUL THAN THEY ARE
‘[People] wanted me to be happy and jovial… I thought, “Why not?”’
Her Zen attitude is in part due to her rst husband, West Side Story actor Gus Trikonis, who introduced her to Buddhism, sparking a lifelong interest. The couple eloped to Hawaii in 1969. ‘He opened up new worlds to me – of philosophy and of art – and taught me to ask the bigger questions in life,’ she wrote in her 2005 autobiography, A Lotus Grows In The Mud.
Only two years a er her TV debut, Goldie won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Cactus Flower, a comedy in which she played the suicidal lover of a dentist, stealing the show from her veteran co-stars Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman, and gaining a rave review from The
New York Times. But in 1974, she experienced her rst career low. Steven Spielberg cast Goldie in his rst lm,
The Sugarland Express, a crime drama in which she played a wife on the run with her prison-fugitive husband. Steven wanted to show Goldie in a serious light, but the movie bombed. Disappointed, she reverted to type for her next role as the girlfriend of Warren Beatty’s philandering hairdresser in 1975’s Shampoo.
Privately, she was also struggling. She sought therapy to combat panic attacks induced by the stress of her work and marriage. By early 1976, she and Gus were divorced. ‘There are few men who can live with a woman who is, or is perceived to be, more powerful than they are,’ she said. As soon as her divorce was nalised, she married Bill Hudson, a singer she’d met at a party. Their son, Oliver, was born in September 1976 and a daughter, Kate, arrived in 1979.
While pregnant with Kate, Goldie landed the role of her career – as a spoilt, rich young woman who joins the army in Private Benjamin. Keenly attached to the project, she took on the role of producer – unheard of for a woman actor at the time. Released in 1980, the comedy earned Goldie an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. But the men who ran Hollywood didn’t like a woman producing her own lms, and word spread that Goldie was ‘di cult’ to work with – the e ect was brutal.
‘I kept hearing things like, “But Goldie does her own lms,”’ she said. ‘Even though I met with many wonderful, strong directors… none of them hired me. I started developing a complex, thinking they didn’t want to work with me. In truth, they didn’t want the baggage of “Goldie Hawn”. [It was] crushing.’ That reputation stayed with her during the 90s. She could still draw audiences – The
First Wives Club and Housesitter had healthy box-o ce returns – but acting acclaim eluded her.
By then she endured another divorce; her marriage to Bill ended in 1982. In 2011, he penned a memoir alleging Goldie had cheated on him with other men, including her Shampoo co-star Warren Beatty, claims she denied. Bill said he was moved to speak
out because Goldie’s long-time love Kurt Russell had replaced him in his children’s lives and they called him ‘dad’ instead [Oliver and Kate say Bill ‘abandoned’ them].
Goldie rst met Kurt when she was 21 and he was 16, on the set of The One And Only, Genuine, Original Family
Band. ‘I thought he was adorable, but he was much too young,’ she said. ‘Years later, we met up again [in 1983 on the set of Swing Shi ] and I remembered how much I liked him.’ Today, the pair remain happily unwed, having had their son, Wyatt, in July 1986. Goldie’s daughter Kate, an actor herself, commented: ‘I think what they have… is really rare and beautiful and something to strive for.’
Wanting to help children in a way that re ected her interest in Buddhism, Goldie withdrew from making lms in 2002 and founded The Hawn Foundation in 2003. With psychologists, scientists, teachers and meditation practitioners, she created the MindUP programme to help children cope with modern life – now more than a million youngsters worldwide practise MindUP at school or at home. ‘We think they’re just kids, that they just play and go to school, but they are so stressed. When we are able to give them tools to recognise their own stress, it puts them in the driver’s seat,’ she said last year.
It was only when Amy Schumer approached her about Snatched that Goldie considered a lm comeback. ‘Eventually some people got in her ear and told her I wasn’t crazy,’ said Amy. The reaction to Goldie’s return to acting shows how loved she is.
A er Snatched, she’ll reunite with her First Wives Club co-stars Bette Midler and Diane Keaton for the Net ix movie Divanation. It’s not a
FWC sequel – the trio rejected that when the studio refused to increase their pay. ‘Had three men come in there, they would’ve upped their salaries without thinking,’ Goldie said. If the ‘bittersweet sting of Private
Benjamin’ taught her anything, it’s to ght for her worth: ‘I came to know this about myself: for better or worse, I don’t give up.’
ABOVE Amy Schumer courted Goldie to co-star in Snatched RIGHT Goldie with family, (from left) Oliver and Kate Hudson, husband Kurt Russell, and Wyatt Russell
RIGHT Goldie with Liza Minnelli in their 1980 TV special Liza and Goldie BELOW With co-stars Diane Keaton and Bette Midler in The First Wives Club
BELOW Private Benjamin was a watershed moment in Goldie’s career