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Kate Hudson Biography

Home > Actresses > H > Hudson, Kate > Biography

Birth Name: Kate Hudson
Born: 04/19/1979
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA

The daughter of Academy Award-winning actress and producer Goldie Hawn and comedian-musician Bill Hudson, Kate Hudson was born on April 19, 1979. Hawn and Hudson broke up when their daughter was only 18 months old, so Hudson grew up considering Hawn's subsequent boyfriend Kurt Russell her dad, whom Hawn started dating in 1983 during their first movie together, "Swing Shift." She spent her childhood as the only sister in a boisterous household that included older brother Oliver, Russell's son Boston from a previous marriage, and Russell's and Hawn's son, Wyatt.

Hudson was a big personality and a natural performer from the start, with dance lessons beginning at age three and training with the Santa Monica Playhouse by age 10. She also spent a great deal of time on film and TV sets with her parents, but down-to-earth Hawn and Russell maintained a solid foundation for their kids, one that valued family ties and personal responsibility and did not indulge in Hollywood excess. But it was obvious that the charismatic Hudson had a flamboyant flair for entertaining, so they certainly did not discourage her, enrolling her at the Crossroads Performing Arts high school in Santa Monica and encouraging her to spend a summer training with the renowned Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts.

In 1996, Hudson landed her first few TV appearances; most notably on an episode of "Party of Five" (Fox, 1994-2000), but declined an offer for a feature film debut in "Escape from L.A." (1996), so as to avoid any accusations of riding the coattails of the film's star, "Pa" Kurt Russell. The following year, she was accepted to NYU's Tisch School of the Arts but had a change of heart and decided to jump right into the professional arena, where she quickly landed several feature roles. Her first was "Ricochet River" (lensed 1997), a drama set in a Pacific Northwest logging town co-starring Jason James Richter. In "200 Cigarettes" (1999), Hudson was cast as a clumsy young woman on a New Year's Eve date from hell among an ensemble cast including up-and-comers like Christina Ricci and Ben and Casey Affleck. Morgan J. Freeman's charming "Desert Blue" followed, with Hudson as a young actress driving across the California desert with her father (John Heard) and ending up in a small town full of interesting characters. Hudson's screen radiance and palatable talent more than ensured a bright future for the young actress.

But Hudson undoubtedly made her biggest impression on Hollywood in 2000. She read the script of Cameron Crowe's 1970s coming-of-age rock chronicle, "Almost Famous" and was determined to land a role in the film, attracted by the music and fashion of her favorite decade, as well as recognizing that it would be a significant acting challenge that would prove she could take her career to the next level. In this tale of an aspiring music journalist on the road with a rising rock band and its troupe of female "band-aides," Hudson initially landed the smaller role of the rebellious runaway sister of lead character William (Patrick Fugate). Thankfully for her, Sarah Polley had to drop out of her role as head band-aid Penny Lane and Hudson tirelessly worked to convince Crowe that she could carry one of the film's three leads. He relented, and Hudson delivered a pitch-perfect performance, imbuing Penny Lane's flamboyant, life-of-the-party facade with heart-breaking (and heartbroken) vulnerability and insecurity just beneath the surface.

The 20-year-old was floored to receive an Oscar nomination, feeling that she had officially joined the ranks of her show business family. Later that year, art imitated life when Hudson met Chris Robinson, singer for the blues/rock group, The Black Crowes, and the two began a whirlwind romance. Hudson moved into Robinson's New York apartment soon after, and the pair were married on New Year's Eve of 2000. Upon her mother's advice, she took a year off to enjoy her new marriage. The following year, she and Hawn, Russell, and brother Oliver teamed up to form their own production company, Cosmic Entertainment.

Now a proven leading actress, Hudson wanted to choose her next film carefully. She was offered the role of Mary Jane Watson in "Spiderman" (2002) but did not feel ready for a sure-fire blockbuster actioner, opting instead for a remake of the Victorian classic "The Four Feathers." In the film, she starred as the fiancée of a conflicted British soldier played by Heath Ledger. The film did moderately well at the box office but failed to excite critics. In 2003, Hudson co-starred in the first of a string of very successful romantic comedies, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003). The film centered on an advice columnist (Hudson) and ad exec (Matthew McConaughey) who meet amidst differing romantic quests and experience every rom-com manner of miscommunications. The pair's playful chemistry won over audiences (though not critics) to the tune of over $100 million in box office haul. Later the same year, Hudson was paired with Luke Wilson in the Rob Reiner romantic comedy "Alex and Emma." Playing an opinionated stenographer helping a blocked writer finish his book, Hudson further explored her comedic side by playing a trio of fictional characters in the planned novel - each inspired by Wilson's growing attraction to her character. Again, Hudson provided much needed spark to an otherwise listless exercise.

Shifting gears, Hudson took a co-starring role in the sophisticated Merchant-Ivory production of "Le Divorce" (2003), an adaptation of Diane Johnson's bestselling novel. Returning to more naturalistic acting, Hudson excelled in her portrayal of a naive American girl who visits her depressed, divorcing sister (Naomi Watts) in Paris and becomes swept up in an affair with a charming, if caddish, older married man. Hudson's three 2003 films affirmed her star power at first, though interest began to wane slightly as they were released only months apart and threatened to overexpose the new audience favorite.

Hudson began 2004 with news of the birth of her and Robinson's son, Ryder. Adding to her busy schedule, that spring she appeared in director Garry Marshall's "Raising Helen" (2004), where she ironically appeared as a self-involved career woman who finds herself unprepared to become the adoptive mom of her late sister's children. Though familiar and formulaic, the film allowed Hudson to show off some her most endearing on-screen attributes, as her character unfolded into a more grounded, loving person. Kate spent the remainder of the year keeping her own family together, bringing Ryder on the road with his dad's rock band, before returning home for the launch of Cosmic Entertainment's feature debut, "Two for the Money" starring Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey.

Hudson returned to the limelight herself the following year in the thriller "The Skeleton Key" (2005). The gloomy, atmospheric supernatural entry effectively used Hudson's inherent sunniness to contrast to the plot's voodoo goings-on. Not surprisingly, the film did well with audiences. "You, Me, and Dupree" (2006), however, confirmed that Hudson was still best-loved by audiences for her romantic comedies; this one concerning a houseguest (Owen Wilson) who overstays his welcome in the home of a newly married couple (Hudson and Matt Dillon). While reliant on physical gags and the usual misunderstandings that are the center of the broad comedy universe, the film enjoyed over $100 million in box office receipts.

Providing further publicity for the film, Hudson and Robinson announced their separation and tabloids romantically linked Hudson and co-star Wilson, known affectionately with the ladies' man moniker of "the Butterscotch Stallion." The two reportedly dated into the following year, with observers speculating that Wilson's outgoing spirit was a better match for Hudson than Robinson's darker temperament. But Wilson was apparently not without a dark side, and several months after their second break-up - during which time, she was photographed passionately kissing new beau, Dax Shepard - was rushed to the hospital in August of 2007 after attempting suicide at his home in Santa Monica, CA. Entertainment blogs had a field day with speculation that Hudson's new romance was to blame for Wilson's breakdown, though neither side confirmed this theory.

The rumor mill had calmed down enough by the beginning of 2008, so as not to overshadow Hudson's sparkling, comedic re-teaming with McConaughey in "Fool's Gold," an adventure about a newly-divorced couple who bury the hatchet and team up to retrieve a sunken treasure. Hudson was next co-starred opposite stand-up comic-turned-actor Dane Cook in another crossed-wires romantic farce, "My Best Friend's Girl" (2008), and the budding entrepreneur also planned to launch a line of natural haircare products later in the year. Hudson next co-starred opposite stand-up comic-turned-actor Dane Cook in another crossed-wires romantic farce, "My Best Friend's Girl" (2008), but that film was a relative disappointment next to her third rom-com offering of the year, "Bride Wars" (2008), in which she and Anne Hathaway paired up to play best friends and competing bridezillas to considerable box office success.

Hudson took a break from predictable comedies and went on to join the high caliber ensemble of Rob Marshall's "Nine" (2009), a musical drama about an aging filmmaker (Daniel Day-Lewis) and the complicated women in his life including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penélope Cruz), his muse (Nicole Kidman), and a Vogue journalist (Hudson). Around the time of that film's release Hudson was in the public spotlight for her love life once again; this time seen around with notorious womanizer and rumored Madonna ex, Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. Often seen in the stadium stands throughout the fall, Hudson and Rodriguez made a striking couple and the paparazzi could not get enough of the couple, whether they be walking New York streets or sealing the Yankees' World Series Win with an on-field kiss. Even after the two separated, Hudson kept the gossip industry's tongues wagging when rumors started to fly - accompanied by photos - that the slim, athletically-built actress had gotten a slight breast augmentation. Hudson downplayed the surgery, although her next role was not only her most controversial, but also required nudity. As the girlfriend of sheriff/secret murderer Casey Affleck in "The Killer Inside Me" (2010), Hudson had to shoot several explicit scenes of nudity and of graphic violence in the darkest role she had ever tackled. In fact, the film's depiction of violence against women (Affleck beats both Jessica Alba and Hudson to death on screen) drew fierce criticism and impacted every single review that followed.