Date of Birth17 March 1951, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
Birth NameKurt Vogel Russell
Height5' 11" (1.80 m)
Mini BiographyKurt Russell landed a part in the Elvis Presley movie, It Happened at the World's Fair (1963) when he was 10 years old. In 1960, Walt Disney himself signed Russell to a 10 year contract. Once his stint as a child actor ended, he spent the early 1970s playing minor league baseball. In 1979, he gave a classic performance as Elvis Presley in John Carpenter's ABC-TV movie. He followed with roles in a string of well-received films: Used Cars (1980), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982) and Silkwood (1983). In 1983 he became reacquainted with 'Goldie Hawn' (who appeared with him in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968) when they worked together on Swing Shift (1984). The two have lived together ever since. The movie was a failure - as was their next one together, Overboard (1987). During the 1980's, Russell starred in a rash of disappointments: The Best of Times (1986), Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and Winter People (1989). Finally, his career seemed to be seriously stalled. He only landed Tango & Cash (1989) after Patrick Swayze dropped out; Dennis Quaid was the first choice for the part in Backdraft (1991). In the end, these two roles were key in re-establishing him as a box-office draw. Russell and Goldie Hawn live on a 72-acre retreat, Home Run Ranch, outside of Aspen. He has two sons, Boston Russell (from a brief marriage to actress Season Hubley) and Wyatt Russell with Goldie Hawn).
|Season Hubley||(17 March 1979 - 16 May 1983) (divorced) 1 child|
TriviaRode along with the Chicago Fire Dept.'s Squad 5 in preparation for his role in Backdraft (1991).
Played pro baseball (2nd base, AA club- California Angels) until a torn shoulder muscle forced retirement in 1973. Was hitting .563 at the time. His friend, Ron Shelton wrote the Crash Davis role in Bull Durham (1988) for him - the studio insisted on Kevin Costner though.
Father is Bing Russell a former baseball player, who played the deputy sherriff on "Bonanza" (1959) for 6 years.
He appeared in the music video and sang in the choir on the song "Voices That Care."
He is an FAA licensed Private Pilot holding single/multi- engine and instrument ratings.
Performs many of his stunts himself.
Father of Wyatt Russell (with Goldie Hawn).
He and longtime companion Goldie Hawn both appeared in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968).
Partner of Goldie Hawn (1983 - present) 1 child.
He and partner Goldie Hawn formerly took summer vacations in the Muskoka region in Ontario, Canada. They gave up their cottage after too many unwelcomed visitors would stare at their cottage through binoculars from Lake Rosseau.
Atlanta Braves' first baseman, Matt Franco, is his nephew.
His character Snake Plissken (of Escape from New York (1981)) is about to become a comic book. Published by theCrossGen imprint Code 6 Comics, the book will be known as The Snake Plissken Chronicles. It is marked for publication beginning in 2003.
Started Cosmic Entertainment with partner Goldie Hawn, her daughter Kate Hudson, and her son Oliver Hudson in 2003.
Is a card carrying member of the NRA.
Was the best man at Ted Nugent's wedding.
Father of Boston Russell (born in 1980) with Season Hubley.
Graduate of Thousand Oaks High School, Thousand Oaks, California with Michael Richards, Kramer from "Seinfeld" (1990). Class of 1969, who voted him "Best Looking.".
Ex-brother-in-law of Larry J. Franco.
Is a big fan of Elvis Presley, Patrick Rondat and Tom Robinson.
Auditioned for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
In his audio commentary for The Thing (1982), he joked with director John Carpenter about the scene where he threw a stick of dynamite at the character Palmer (who was turning into the Thing) and how the explosion was more powerful than he had expected. In truth, he could have been seriously injured.
Was one of the first actors to do audio commentary on DVDs.
The presence of Lee Van Cleef on the set of Escape from New York (1981) inspired him to talk in a raspy voice similar to Clint Eastwood's from the Man With No Name trilogy.
During the filming of 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) in Vancouver, he visited the nearby set of "Stargate SG-1" (1997) and met the cast. Russell starred as Colonel Jack O'Neil in the original Stargate (1994). His role was adopted by Richard Dean Anderson in the spin-off series and the character's name was changed slightly (to Colonel Jack O'Neill).
Is good friends with stunt man Dick Warlock, who was his stunt double for over 20 years.
Portrayed cult classic heroes in four different movies: Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Stargate (1994) and Escape from L.A. (1996).
Said in his audio commentary for Big Trouble in Little China (1986) that the test audiences reacted so well to the film that he thought for sure that he and director friend John Carpenter had a box office hit on their hands. However, the studio put so little effort into advertising the film that it ultimately didn't do as well at the box office but became a cult favorite instead.
Is a libertarian.
Made his film debut in the Elvis Presley film, It Happened at the World's Fair (1963). He later went on to play him in Elvis (1979/I) (TV), and to provide his voice in Forrest Gump (1994).
When he and director John Carpenter were discussing the character of MacReady in The Thing (1982), they thought about making MacReady a former Vietnam chopper pilot who felt displaced by his service in the war and, as a result, was much more isolated than the other characters. This ultimately did not make it into the film.
Auditioned for the role of Flash Gordon (1980). The part went to Sam J. Jones instead
He and his Tombstone (1993) co-star, Val Kilmer, have both played Elvis Presley. Val Kilmer played him in True Romance (1993), while Russell played him in a television movie, and provided his voice in Forrest Gump (1994). In Tombstone (1993), he plays Wyatt Earp. In 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), he works with Kevin Costner, who played the role a mere six months later in the film Wyatt Earp (1994).
Is good friends with director John Carpenter. The two have collaborated on five different films: Elvis (1979/I) (TV), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and Escape from L.A. (1996).
He claims that he often felt an outcast in Hollywood because of his Libertarian beliefs, and so moved to live in an area outside Aspen, Colorado, where he started to try his hand at writing.
Kate Hudson, daughter of his longtime companion Goldie Hawn, named her son Ryder Russell Robinson. The middle name is an homage to Kurt, whom Hudson always considered to be her father.
Has starred in films with two of his former brother-in-laws: Larry J. Franco in John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), and Whip Hubley in Executive Decision (1996).
Has two younger sisters.
A member of the conservative Wednesday Morning Club in Hollywood, Russell introduced guest speaker Newt Gingrich in 1999.
Received The Disney Legends Award 1998 for living up to the Disney principals of: The Disney Legends award has three distinct elements that characterize the contributions made by each talented recipient. The Spiral ... stands for imagination, the power of an idea. The Hand ... holds the gifts of skill, discipline and craftsmanship. The Wand and the Star ... represent magic: the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.
For his role on Tombstone (1993), he was trained by renowned Hollywood Gun Coach Thell Reed, who has also trained such actors as: Val Kilmer, Bill Paxton, Sam Elliott, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Foster and Girard Swan.
He acted as father to Kate Hudson by walking her down the aisle and giving her away at her wedding to rock star Chris Robinson.
Was offered a role in The Fog (1980).
Was originally cast to play the cursed heroic knight Navarre in Ladyhawke (1985), while Rutger Hauer, who played the part of Navarre in the film, was the original choice to play the evil captain, even though Hauer had no interest in the part and was actually more interested in the part of the hero Navarre. When Russell dropped out of the project, Hauer took the role.
Snake Plissken, the (anti-)hero of Escape from New York (1981) and Escape from L.A. (1996) is his favorite character of all he's played.
Quit smoking cigars in 2006.
He and Goldie Hawn own a vacation home on Muskoka Lake, Ontario.
Born at 10:42 AM (EST).
Was Sylvester Stallone's original choice for Church in The Expendables (2010), but he turned it down.
One of his heroes since boyhood was John Wayne. He was able to use his dead-on John Wayne impression (to twisted effect) in Grindhouse (2007).
Personal Quotes"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." (On why he won't marry Goldie Hawn)
I seem to have a knack for picking movies that go on to be cult favorites.
If it hadn't been for video cassette, I may not have had a career at all.
[Talking about the fight scene with Ox Baker from Escape from New York (1981)]: "I remember Dick Warlock helped set up the fight and he came out with this big purple lump on the side of his head, and all he said to me was 'Keep your head down and be careful, man.'"
I was brought up as a Republican. But when I realized that at the end of the day there wasn't much difference between a Democrat and Republican, I became a libertarian.
To go on about acting as art is ridiculous. If it is an art, then it's a very low form. You don't have to be gifted just to hit a mark and say a line. And as far as I'm concerned, hitting my marks and knowing my lines is 90% of the job. I'm always criticized for talking like that. Maybe the reason I do it is that I never got the chance to develop a real desire to act. I was acting by the time I was nine so it seemed like a natural thing to do. Anyone who finds acting difficult just shouldn't be doing it.
You know, when Escape from New York (1981) first came out, a lot of people said, 'I don't quite understand this movie ... is this some kind of comment that, like, New York is a prison?' and years later a lot of people are saying, 'You know, New York is looking a lot like that movie.' In Escape from L.A. (1996), it's a story about a guy who just wants a cigarette. He just wants a cigarette! Everybody laughed back then because there was no red meat, no cigarettes in the movie. Well, look around! It's happening! You can barely smoke a cigarette anymore and although I quit smoking six months ago, the anti-smoking laws are enough to make me want to smoke!
My generation couldn't stand me and I couldn't stand them. In high school I was to the right of being straight. I believed in the work ethic, making money, and they all had this beef with the nation. Vietnam disappointed me because we didn't win.
(1996) For me there's never been a woman more beautiful than Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.
(1996, on smoking marijuana) I never did, not until I was 32. I still don't understand the reason for smoking dope if you're not going to have sex. To me, drugs have no appeal other than sex.
(1996) Bull Durham is tough to talk about. (Director) Ronnie Shelton and I both lived that life, there were a lot of things in there that were derivative of what had happened to me. I was surprised that Ronnie [did] it with somebody else. I went to Europe on a vacation, having said the script was great, and I came back to discover Kevin [Costner] was doing it. Ronnie got a better deal. So I pulled a practical joke on him that wiped the slate clean for me. I was working on Winter People about 60 miles from where he was doing Bull Durham. I got on the phone, pretended to be [production chief] Mike Medavoy, ordered that Ronnie be pulled off the set, and I told him that the dailies were shit, the movie was shit and Costner was not working, "Here's what we're going to do,"' I told him. "Kurt Russell's 60 miles north of you finishing Winter People tonight. He will be on the set Monday morning." There was this long pause until Ronnie realized who he was really talking to, and then he said, "You son of a bitch!" I had him going for a few minutes, though.
(1996) The only time in my entire life as an actor when I felt I didn't know what I was doing was on Tango & Cash, when I had to dress up as a woman. It's not an acting chore I'd care to do again. I looked like a really ugly version of my mother, who happens to be beautiful. I don't get transvestism.
(1996) When I read Executive Decision, it was a real page-turner. I read scripts for the movies more than I do for the characters. I've read lots of characters I'd like to play, but I didn't enjoy the movie itself that much. I liked the fun of Executive Decision, You know, I feel when an audience sees my name attached to a film, they think it'll probably be a pretty good movie. The movies I do, if we make them well, will be fun to watch. They may not be the best movie of the year, and I may not be your favorite actor, but people come up to me all the time and say, "I like the movies you do."
(1996) It would be fun to have enough money to have a small restaurant where you could have your eclectic group of friends come in and get a good meal and be able to scream and holler, about politics, about anything-and you could be able to afford to lose $200,000 a year on it and it wouldn't make a difference. I'd like to have a jet airplane that I could fly, which would get me back and forth to Aspen inside of two hours, so that Aspen could become a weekend place. I'd like to have enough money to be able to afford some things for my family that I know they could use. Then, too, you know, certain humanitarian things-like, financing a school which could make a difference.
(1996, on his passion for hunting and where that started) My grandfather owned a hotel along Kennebago Lake in Maine. It had 31 log cabins and was built in 1887. I grew up watching all the guys going out in snowshoes while I played with my sister in the yard, and they'd come back with a deer. And then I got old enough to go with them. I grew up thinking that was the way to live. You could feed yourself, you could have corn in your garden, you could stock things in a barn, you didn't need anybody to do anything. And my grandparents were doing that. My grandfather was a phenomenal shot. And I watched my dad shoot deer, impossible shots when I could barely even see the deer. Goldie's a great game cook. We have a party every New Year's Day in Old Snowmass where everybody just watches the football games and they have Goldie's elk stew. We cook as much of the stuff as we can and finish it every time. And she enjoys that.
(1996) I am like Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin. I love life. I have a comic outlook, I laugh at myself harder than at anybody else. I get extremely vociferous about things I don't believe in, but I'm in the moment. Benjamin Franklin loved life, he wasn't a negative person. And I do sense that I'm being more perceived like that now.
(1996, on being part of the Hollywood community) At times I take great pride in it. But most of the time I'm completely ashamed of it, especially on the night of the Academy Awards. It's the one night of the year where I just want to crawl in a hole and hide. It's a bit like standing shoulder-to-shoulder with assholes. Mike Nichols and I were talking about politics once and he said, "The thing is, you can't stand shoulder-to-shoulder with assholes." And he's right. I can't. What's interesting about Oscar night is it's a joke-it's about how bad everything is. Everybody knows that that's the night to applaud Hollywood in all its horror. And yet...There's no other business that can create such enjoyment of life as this business. I love being part of that. Actors have changed my life at times. When people get to know me, I can't tell you how many times they come up to me and say, "You're nothing like what I've read about." I think people feel me more than they hear me. I've read interviews I've done and it's exactly what I've said but it's not what I was saying. I have an acerbic, sardonic sense of humor. I'm being facetious 90 percent of the time, but then 10 percent of the time I'm not. So unless I was to qualify everything I say, I'm not going to be understood.
|Vanilla Sky (2001)||$5,000,000|
|Escape from L.A. (1996)||$10,000,000|
|Executive Decision (1996)||$7,500,000|