Love Is Real! A Look Back at Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell's Enduring Romance
The pair have been together for more than three decades - and are still going strong
The Ultimate Meet-Cute
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell first met each other on the 1968 set of The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band - and while their romantic relationship didn't begin for another decade, Russell did leave a lasting impression on Hawn.
"I was 21 and he was 16 and I thought he was adorable but he was much too young," the actress told Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4. "And then years later we met up again and I liked him and I remembered that I liked him very much when I first met him. But we both said we would never go out with another actor so it just shows you never can tell."
Making the First Move
Turns out the couple's long-term romance started with a terrible pickup line - following a night of drinking for Russell before reading lines with Hawn at an audition the next day.
"I was severely hungover … and I didn't know Goldie at all outside of having worked with her many years before," Kurt Russell recalled to Conan O'Brien of striking up conversation with his now-longtime partner. "I just didn't know in my mind what I was going to see. [Goldie] had a great body, and so the first that came out was 'Man, you got a great figure.' And it kind of came out quickly and it could've been wrong and she said, 'Why thank you.' "
Following a night of dancing at The Playboy Club on their first date, Russell and Hawn both agreed that "the night wasn't over yet," and wound up at a home the actress had recently purchased to renovate. "We eventually found our way upstairs, looking around at imaginary furniture and we were in the imaginary bedroom, now, and we are realistically having sex," Russell recalled during an appearance on Harry, "when the police walked in because we had to break into the place to get in."
"That was our first date," Russell said. "It was a lot of fun, I'll tell you what. I can't believe it was a long time ago."
Since reconnecting, Hawn and Russell have starred together in 1984's Swing Shift and 1987's Overboard, both of which continued to display their chemistry on the big screen. "I think sometime we'll work together again," Russell told Today in a 2017 interview when asked of the possibility of an on-screen reunion. "We already had movie careers going and they weren't co-dependent. There was no reason for them to be forced to be in that position ... The last [script] we read together was Overboard, so sometimes there's a long time in between."
At the time she began dating Russell, Hawn was already a mother of two - to Kate and Oliver Hudson, her children with second husband Bill Hudson - and she says it was Russell's interaction with her kids that made her fall for him. "What really got me was when I watched my kids when they'd come to the set and how he was with them. He was amazing with them. He was such a natural," the actress told PEOPLE.
To celebrate their "pa" on his 64th birthday back in 2015, the Hudson siblings wrote loving notes on Instagram, paying tribute to Russell, who serves as the stars' stepdad. "No matter what he was doing in his busy life, he always showed up," read Kate's message. "Not because he had to but because there was no other place on earth he would rather be than with his family. We felt the purity of that our whole childhood and my gratitude for his love is immeasurable."
Adding to the Crew
In 1986, Hawn and Russell welcomed son Wyatt. The actor is following in his famous parents' footsteps, having starred in 2014's 22 Jump Street, among other titles.
Despite having never married, the couple remain committed to one another. In fact, they attribute their longevity to the fact they haven't tied the knot. "If you like your independence there's something psychological about not being married because it gives you the freedom to make decisions one way or the other," Hawn said at a film panel in 2016. "So for me, I chose to stay, and Kurt chose to stay."
What's Their Secret?
"Love, gratitude, compassion, because sometimes every man or every woman will drive their partner crazy. Family. Fun. Laughs. Sex," Hawn told PEOPLE of the keys to the actors' successful relationship. "If you don't nurture that, and remember, you're done."
Just Like Everybody Else
Despite constantly defining relationship goals in the eyes of the public, Russell stresses that he and his leading lady have a relationship many couples can relate to.
"Look, I've said this for 34 years, I don't think Goldie and I, in real terms, are any different than any other couple; we go through all the same things," he explained. "But the important thing of who the two people are in a relationship is what you have to deal with. There's gonna be ups and downs and sideways and everything else ... I just think after 34 years you're gonna have experienced every emotion that you can together," he added.
Star Among Us
In May 2017, Hawn and Russell were honored with dual stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "It turned out to be a lovefest," Hawn told PEOPLE. "The last thing he said was, 'I'll always cherish you.' I didn't expect him to say those things. I had no idea he was going to be so beautiful."
Built to Last
In their latest PEOPLE interview in November 2020, Hawn insisted there isn't a secret to their success. "You've just got to want to be together," she said. "I don't think there's any way other than do it."
As for their continued choice not to marry, "It's okay," said Hawn, who costars with Russell in Netflix's The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two. "It's not about the marriage. It's about the people and the relationship, and the will to stay together. And that's a big one because if you want it, you can have it. You've got to give things up, but the joy and the excitement of being together and touching the toes of somebody at night is really a nice feeling."