Kurt Russell speaking at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International, for
Kurt Russell speaking at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2", at the San Diego Convention Centre in San Diego, California.

Famous birthdays this week: Kurt Russell

17/03/1951 - present (aged 67).

"I was brought up by two people who just said, Whatever it is you're interested in, go do it. There is no winning or losing. You find out when you do it what the experience is”.

1951: Kurt Vogel Russell was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA and is an American actor. Russell is the son of actor Bing Russell and dancer Louise Julia Russell. He has three sisters, Jill, Jamie and Jody. Russell played little league baseball throughout his grade school years and also on his high school baseball teams. His father Bing played professional baseball. His sister, Jill, is the mother of baseball player Matt Franco.

1963: Russell made his film debut for an uncredited part in Elvis Presley's It Happened at the World's Fair and appeared in two extra episodes, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the then-defunct series Rin Tin Tin. On April 24, Russell guest starred in the ABC series Our Man Higgins, starring Stanley Holloway as an English butler in an American family. He played Peter Hall in the 1963 episode "Everybody Knows You Left Me” on the medical drama about psychiatry The Eleventh Hour.

1964: He played Christopher Larson in "The Finny Foot Affair” episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and also in the ABC western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters based on Robert Lewis Taylor's book. He also guest-starred in "Nemesis”, an episode of the popular ABC series The Fugitive in which, as the son of police Lt. Phillip Gerard, he is unintentionally kidnapped by his father's quarry, Doctor Richard Kimble.

In The Virginian, he played the mistaken orphan whose father was an outlaw played by Rory Calhoun who was still alive and recently released from prison looking for his son. Russell played a similar role as a kid named Packy Kerlin in the 1964 episode "Blue Heaven” for the western series Gunsmoke. He appeared in five episodes of Daniel Boone in various roles. At age 13, Russell played the role of Jungle Boy on an episode of Gilligan's Island, which aired on February 6, 1965. He guest-starred on ABC's western The Legend of Jesse James.

Photo of young Kurt Russell and Robert Vaughn from the television program The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in 1964.
Photo of young Kurt Russell and Robert Vaughn from the television program The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in 1964.

1966: Russell played a 14-year-old Indian boy, Grey Smoke, adopted by the Texas Rangers in the episode "Meanwhile, Back at the Reservation” of the NBC western series Laredo. Russell was signed to a ten-year contract with The Walt Disney Company, where he became, according to Robert Osborne, the "studio's top star of the '70s”.

1967: In January of this year, Russell played Private Willie Prentiss in the episode "Willie and the Yank: The Mosby Raiders” in Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. While filming the Sherman Brothers theatrical film musical The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, Russell met his future partner Goldie Hawn. Later, he, Jay C. Flippen and Tom Tryon appeared in the episode '”Charade of Justice” of the western series The Road West starring Barry Sullivan.

1969: He graduated from Thousand Oaks High School.

1970's: In 1971, he co-starred as a young robber released from jail, alongside James Stewart in Fools' Parade. Later, he guest-starred in an episode of Room 222 as an idealistic high school student who assumed the costumed identity of Paul Revere to warn of the dangers of pollution. Later, he starred in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, the latter of which spawned two sequels: Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972) and The Strongest Man in the World (1975).

Russell, like his father, had a baseball career. In the early 1970s, Russell was a switch-hitting second baseman for the California Angels minor league affiliates, the Bend Rainbows (1971) and Walla Walla Islanders (1972) in the short season Class A-Short Season Northwest League, then moved up to Class AA in 1973 with the El Paso Sun Kings of the Texas League.

1973: While in the field turning the pivot of a double play early in the baseball season, the incoming runner at second base collided with him and tore the rotator cuff in Russell's right (throwing) shoulder. The injury forced his retirement from playing baseball and led to his return to acting.

1974: In the autumn of this year, he appeared in the ABC series The New Land, inspired by the 1972 Swedish film of the same name. Critically acclaimed, it suffered very low ratings and only aired six of the 13 episodes. In 1976, Russell appeared with Tim Matheson in the 15-episode series The Quest.

1979: Russell married actress Season Hubley, whom he met while filming Elvis, in 1979, and had a son, Boston (born February 16, 1980). He divorce Hubley in 1983.

1980's: During the 80s, Russell teamed with Carpenter several times, helping create some of his best-known roles, usually as anti-heroes, including the infamous Snake Plissken of Escape from New York and its sequel, Escape from L.A.. Among their collaborations was The Thing (1982), based upon 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. He starred in the 1981 film The Fox and the Hound.

1983: Russell began his relationship with Goldie Hawn, and appeared alongside her in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, Swing Shift and Overboard (1987). They have a son Wyatt Russell (born July 10, 1986) and own a home in Palm Desert, California. Hawn's son and daughter with Bill Hudson, actors Oliver Hudson and Kate Hudson, consider Russell to be their father. He was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture for his performance in Silkwood (1983).

1986: He played a truck driver caught in an ancient Chinese war in Big Trouble in Little China, which was a financial failure like The Thing and has since gained a cult audience.

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell at the 61st Annual Academy Awards in 1989.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell at the 61st Annual Academy Awards in 1989.

1990's: Russell played Lt. Stephen "Bull” McCaffrey in Backdraft (1991), Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (1993) and Colonel Jack O'Neil in the military science fiction film Stargate (1994). His portrayal of U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks in the 2004 film Miracle, won the praise of critics.

1996: He was quoted in the Toronto Sun saying: "I was brought up as a Republican, but when I realised that at the end of the day there wasn't much difference between a Democrat and Republican, I became a Libertarian.

2003: In February of this year, Russell and Hawn moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, so that their son could play hockey.

2006: Russell claimed in one interview that George P. Cosmatos had ghost-directed the hit 1993 Western film Tombstone on Russell's behalf, saying he gave Cosmatos shot lists. Russell claimed Sylvester Stallone recommended Cosmatos to him after the removal of the first director, writer Kevin Jarre, but Cosmatos had also worked with Tombstone executive producer Andrew G. Vajna before on Rambo: First Blood Part II. Russell said he promised Cosmatos he would keep it a secret as long as Cosmatos was alive; Cosmatos died in April 2005.

2007: Russell played the villainous Stuntman Mike in Quentin Tarantino's segment Death Proof of the film Grindhouse. After a remake of Escape from New York was announced, Russell was reportedly upset with Gerard Butler for playing his signature character, Snake Plissken, as he believed the character 'was quintessentially American.'

2014: Russell appeared in The Battered Bastards of Baseball, a documentary about his father and the Portland Mavericks, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.

2015: He starred in The Hateful Eight and co-starred in the action thriller Furious 7.

2017: On May 4 of this year, Russell and Goldie Hawn received stars in a double star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their achievements in motion pictures. He also starred in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

ON MARRIAGE:

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have been together for 35 years, but marriage doesn't appear to be in the couple's plan.

"The question is, 'Why (get married)?' it's not, 'Why not?'" Hawn said on "CBS This Morning” in 2012. "We're in love. I wake up every morning. I love being with him. He brings me coffee. I give him a kiss. It's 'good morning.' We love each other. We fight the way people are supposed to fight. We love our lives together."

INTERESTING FACTS:

Russell is an avid gun enthusiast, a hunter, and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He is also an FAA-licensed private pilot holding single/multi-engine and instrument ratings, and is an Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian aviation organization Wings of Hope.


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