- 17 March 1951
- Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
Kurt Russell was born Kurt Vogel Russell in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Louise Julia (Crone), a dancer, and actor Bing Russell (Neil Oliver Russell). He is of English, German, Scottish, and Irish descent. His first roles were as a child in television series, including a lead role in the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963). Russell landed a part in the Elvis Presley movie, It Happened at the World's Fair (1963), when he was ten years old. Walt Disney himself signed Russell to a 10-year contract, and, according to Robert Osborne, he became the studio's top star of the 1970s. Having voiced adult Copper in the animated Disney film The Fox and the Hound (1981), Russell is one of the few famous child stars in Hollywood who has been able to continue his acting career past his teen years. Kurt 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 Elvis (1979), and married the actress who played Priscilla Presley in the film, Season Hubley. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for the role. He followed with roles in a string of well-received films, including Used Cars (1980) and Silkwood (1983), for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture. During the 1980s, he starred in several films by director Carpenter; they created some of his best-known roles, including anti-hero army-turned-robber Snake Plissken in the futuristic action film Escape from New York (1981) (and later in its 1996 sequel Escape from L.A. (1996)), Antarctic helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady in the horror film The Thing (1982), and Jack Burton in the fantasy film Big Trouble in Little China (1986), all of which have since become cult classics. The Thing was based on the short story Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr., which had been interpreted on film before, albeit loosely, in 1951's The Thing from Another World (1951). In Big Trouble in Little China, Russell played a truck driver caught in an ancient Chinese war. 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. They made another film together, Garry Marshall's comedy Overboard (1987). His other 1980s titles include The Best of Times (1986), Winter People (1989), and the hit Tango & Cash (1989). In 1991, he headlined the firefighter drama Backdraft (1991), in 1993, he starred as Wyatt Earp in the western film Tombstone (1993), and in 1994, had a starring role in the military science fiction film Stargate - La porte des étoiles (1994). In the mid-2000s, his portrayal of U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks in Miracle (2004) won the praise of critics. In 2006, he appeared in the disaster-thriller Poseidon (2006), and in 2007, in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof (2007) segment from the film Grindhouse (2007). Russell appeared in The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014), a documentary about his father and the Portland Mavericks, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. He co-starred in the action thriller Furious 7 (2015). In 2015, Russell starred in the western films Bone Tomahawk (2015) and The Hateful Eight (2015), and in 2016, he had a leading role in the dramatization Deepwater (2016). Russell and Goldie Hawn live on a 72-acre retreat, Home Run Ranch, outside of Aspen. He has two sons, Boston Russell (from his marriage to Hubley) and Wyatt Russell (with Hawn). He also raised Hawn's children, actors Oliver Hudson and Kate Hudson, who just call him dad.