Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy 59th Birthday Kurt Russell!

Kurt Vogel Russell was born on March 17, 1951 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He is the son of Louise Julia Crone, a dancer, and Bing Russell (photo below), a character actor, best-known for playing Deputy Clem Foster on Bonanza.

Kurt Russell began acting at the age of 6 when he appeared in several episodes of Sugarfoot (1957-1958). In 1960, Walt Disney himself signed Russell to a 10 year contract. He made his movie debut in It Happened At The World's Fair (1963).

As a child actor, Kurt Russell appeared in episodes of The Dick Powell Show, Sam Benedict, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Virginian, Lost in Space and The Fugitive.

On February 6, 1965, Russell, not quite fourteen, played the role of Jungle Boy on an episode of CBS's Gilligan's Island.

As a child actor, he appeared in films such as Guns of Diablo (1964) Follow Me, Boys! (1966) and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969).

During the early 1970s, Kurt Russell had a baseball career. He played second base for the minor league team the El Paso Sun Kings. Kurt Russell's baseball career ended when he tore a rotator cuff during a game. Before his injury, he was leading the Texas League in hitting, with a .563 batting average. The injury forced his retirement from baseball in 1973 and led to his return to acting.

As an adult, Kurt Russell has appeared in films such as The Barefoot Executive (1971), Fools' Parade (1971), Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972), Superdad (1973), The Strongest Man in the World (1975), Used Cars (1980), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Silkwood (1983), Swing Shift (1984), Overboard (1987), Tequila Sunrise (1988), Tango & Cash (1989), Backdraft (1991), Tombstone (1993), Escape from L.A. (1996), and Poseidon (2006).

In 1979, Kurt Russell gave a classic performance as Elvis Presley in John Carpenter's ABC-TV movie Elvis. He was nominated for an Emmy for his performance.

Kurt Russell married actress Season Hubley, whom he had met on the set of Elvis in 1979 and they had a son, Boston Russell, in 1980. They divorced in 1983.

In 1983, he began a relationship with Goldie Hawn while filming Swing Shift. They had a son, Wyatt, in 1986. They have been together 26 years.

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