Kurt Russell's photo flashback: His life and career in pictures
Since making his acting debut in the early ’60s, Kurt Russell has enjoyed a successful and enduring Hollywood career. In honor of the actor’s 70th birthday on March 17, 2021, Wonderwall.com is looking back at his life and career in photos. Keep reading to take a walk down memory lane with this photo flashback…
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Kurt Russell was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on St. Patrick’s Day in 1951 to actor Bing Russell and dancer Louise Julia Russell. Kurt, who had three sisters, began acting when he was 12. He’s seen here in his teens.
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Kurt Russell made his feature film debut when he landed an uncredited role in Elvis Presley’s 1963 musical movie “It Happened at the World’s Fair.” That same year, young Kurt went on to guest star on the ABC series “Our Man Higgins.” He’s seen here in a publicity shot for another project, “The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters,” the same year.
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From 1963 to 1964, Kurt Russell — seen here in an episode of “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in 1964 — starred on the short-lived ABC Western series “The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters,” which was based on Robert Lewis Taylor’s 1958 novel of the same name.
At 17, Kurt Russell landed a role in the 1968 live-action musical flick “The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band.” It’s where he met his future partner, Goldie Hawn, though it would be many years before they started dating.
1966 marked the year in which Kurt Russell signed a 10-year deal with The Walt Disney Company. Over the next decade, Kurt — who was regarded as Disney’s top star at the time — starred in several flicks for the conglomerate including “The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit,” “Guns in the Heather,” “The Barefoot Executive,” “Now You See Him, Now You Don’t,” “Charley and the Angel” and “Superdad.” He’s pictured here in the 1970 Disney movie “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.” A year prior, Kurt graduated from Thousand Oaks High School near Los Angeles.
How dashing! Kurt Russell is pictured here on a 1970 episode of the ABC anthology series “Love American Style” entitled “Love and the First Nighters.” He was 19 when the ep aired.
Acting wasn’t the only career Kurt Russell pursued. In the early 1970s, he also had an interest in playing baseball like his father, Bing (who’s pictured here with Kurt’s mother, Louise, at the 1966 Spotlighter Teen Awards dinner). Prior to suffering a career-ending injury, Kurt was a switch-hitting second baseman for the Bend Rainbows and the Walla Walla Islanders, two minor league affiliate teams for the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels (formerly the California Angels). Following his retirement from the sport in 1973, Kurt returned to acting full-time.
Such a throwback! Kurt Russell is seen here on an episode of the 1974 ABC series “The New Land,” on which he starred with Bonnie Bedelia and Scott Thomas.
Kurt Russell, is that you?! In 1976, Kurt starred alongside Tim Matheson on the NBC Western series “The Quest,” which ran for just one season.
1979 marked the year in which Kurt Russell — who was 28 at the time — married actress Season Hubley, with whom he shares son Boston Russell. The couple, seen here the same year they tied the knot, ended their marriage in 1983.
Kurt Russell or the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll? In 1979, Kurt starred as Elvis Presley in the made-for-television film “Elvis,” which chronicles the rock star’s personal and professional life. For his portrayal of the late music icon, Kurt earned a 1980 Primetime Emmy Award nomination for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie. It marked the first of many times Kurt would work with director John Carpenter.
Throughout the ’80s, Kurt Russell appeared in a series of films including “Amber Waves, “Escape from New York,” “The Fox and the Hound” and “The Thing.” He’s seen here in Robert Zemeckis’s dark comedy “Used Cars,” in which he starred alongside Jack Warden, Gerrit Graham and Deborah Harmon in 1980.
And the critically acclaimed roles just keep on coming! 1983 marked the year in which Kurt Russell starred alongside Meryl Streep and Cher in “Silkwood,” the acclaimed biopic about nuclear technician Karen Silkwood. The film, which was co-written by Nora Ephron and Alice Arlen, earned $35.6 million on a $10 million budget and received five nominations at the 56th Annual Academy Awards including best actress for Meryl.
Love is in the air! In 1983, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn went public with their romance. The duo (seen here in 1984) — who started dating when they starred in the romantic war drama “Swing Shift” together — went on to welcome a son, Wyatt Russell, in 1986.
Adorable! Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are pictured here on the set of 1984’s “Swing Shift.”
Kurt Russell played Jack Burton in the 1986 John Carpenter film “Big Trouble In Little China,” which went on to become a cult classic.
Among the most popular movies on Kurt Russell’s IMDB list? 1987’s “Overboard,” in which he starred with his real-life leading lady, Goldie Hawn. Unfortunately, the romantic comedy failed to impress at the box office at the time — it earned just $26.7 million on a $22 million budget — but it garnered a larger fanbase as time went on.
In 1988, Kurt Russell starred in the romantic crime-drama “Tequila Sunrise” alongside Mel Gibson and Michelle Pfeiffer. While the film, which earned an Academy Award nomination for best cinematography, was a major hit at the box office (it made $105.9 million on a $23 million budget), it garnered mixed reviews from critics.
Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone memorably starred as rival narcotics detectives forced to work together to bring down a baddie in the 1989 buddy-cop film “Tango & Cash.”
Throughout the ’90s, Kurt Russell continued to rack up acting credits. He appeared in films including “Backdraft,” “Unlawful Entry,” “Tombstone,” “Executive Decision,” “Escape from L.A.,” “Breakdown” and “Soldier.” He’s pictured here in the 1994 sci-fi flick “Stargate.”
A sports fan! Kurt Russell is pictured here at the Los Angeles Kings vs. Saint Louis Blues NHL hockey game in 1995.
Kurt Russell fans know and love him as Snake Plissken, the antihero leading man in John Carpenter’s 1996 cult classic “Escape from L.A.” Kurt first played Snake in the 1981 John Carpenter film “Escape from New York.”
A family affair! Kurt Russell is seen here with sons Boston and Wyatt Russell and de facto step-daughter Kate Hudson, who considers him her father, at the premiere of the film “Executive Decision” in 1996. “The trust I got from [Kurt] in terms of his dependability was priceless for me,” Kate — whose mother, Goldie Hawn, has been with Kurt since the early ’80s — told radio host Howard Stern in 2016.
In 2004, Kurt Russell earned critical acclaim for his starring performance in the sports drama “Miracle.” In the film, which earned $64.5 million on a $28 million budget, Kurt plays the coach of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team, Herb Brooks, who led his players to Olympic gold at the 1980 Winter Games.
2007’s “Death Proof” — a segment of “Grindhouse” — marked the first time Kurt Russell collaborated with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. They’re seen here in between takes while shooting the slasher flick in which Kurt starred as Stuntman Mike alongside Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Tracie Thoms and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
In 2014, the Netflix documentary “The Battered Bastar** of Baseball” was released, which chronicles the now-defunct minor league team the Portland Mavericks. Kurt’s late father, Bing Russell — who owned the Portland Mavericks — was also spotlighted in the film. Kurt is seen here at the documentary’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival that year.
Kurt Russell and Quentin Tarantino joined forces for the second time with 2015’s “The Hateful Eight.” In the film, Kurt played John Ruth, otherwise known as “The Hangman.” He’s seen here with co-stars Tim Roth and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Another major blockbuster film Kurt Russell appeared in? 2015’s “Furious 7” in which he portrayed Mr. Nobody.
In 2017, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn — seen here with their children Boston Russell and Kate Hudson — celebrated their contributions to Hollywood with a double star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Kurt Russell also appeared in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film — 2017’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” The flick was a major success, earning $863.8 million on a $200 million budget!
As for what Kurt Russell has been up to more recently? In 2020, he reprised his role as Santa Claus in the Netflix holiday flick “The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two.” He’s seen here with partner Goldie Hawn — she co-starred as Mrs. Claus — at a drive-in event promoting the flick that November.
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