Although Kate Hudson has been estranged from her biological father, Bill Hudson, for many years, she still recalls a wonderful childhood thanks to mom Goldie Hawn and stepdad Kurt Russell. Find out all about Kate’s family unit here!
Kate Hudson, 42, is an actress, businesswoman, and writer who rose to prominence in the early 2000s with her Oscar-nominated turn as Penny Lane in the film Almost Famous. The famous star herself didn’t fall too far from the Hollywood tree as her mother, Goldie Hawn, 76, and father, Bill Hudson, 72, made names for themselves in show business. Although Goldie and Bill divorced in 1982 after having Kate and her younger brother, Oliver Hudson, 45, Kate was still raised with a prominent father figure in her life with stepdad Kurt Russell, 70, whom Goldie began dating in the early ’80s and hasn’t split from since.
Find out more about Kate’s parents, both biological and not, here!
Kate’s mother, Goldie Hawn
Goldie’s lookalike daughter Kate obviously got her acting and performing skills from her mom — not to mention her sunny disposition and upbeat personality. Goldie, an actress, producer, and singer, initially rose to stardom during the mid-’60s on the sketch comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. She was then quickly recognized as a serious actress after taking home an Oscar for her performance in 1969’s Cactus Flower and continued making star turns in movies like Shampoo (1975) and Private Benjamin (1980).
“I never though about the kind of support I had because it just felt like who we were,” Kate also told PEOPLE in September. “Mom was so available to being my greatest cheerleader. She made a lot of sacrifices, this one!” The mother-of-three added how Goldie’s being “conscious of her health” helped pave the way for her healthy and balanced lifestyle and also influenced the way she parented. “The best advice [she] ever gave me was when I was pregnant with Ryder and I was getting sad and I was like, ‘Why am I getting so sad?’ and [she] said ‘The second they leave they don’t belong to you anymore.’”
Goldie also praised Kate for having “a lot of patience” and “critical thinking” as a mom during the interview, noting how proud she was of her daughter’s ability to be a strong parent. “Your children are your greatest teachers and, as a parent, you should be available to learn,” Goldie shared.
While speaking with Rachel Ray on her eponymous talk show in 2016, Kate also revealed the way her mom helped her get through a tough time. “My mom took me through this visual experience where she asked me to squint my eyes very small and try to look at everything as if I’m looking at it for the first time,” she shared. “What happened was I realized it kind of calmed my system down and it made me less reactive, less emotional, and it make me kind of enjoy the experience of where I was at that moment.”
The Bride Wars actress continued, “To have a mom like that to be able to give you those tools is a really special thing and I think there’s a lot of people who would like to have those tools in their life.”
Kate’s stepfather, Kurt Russell
Although Kurt Russell is not Kate’s biological father, he served as a dutiful father figure her whole life after he and Goldie and Kurt began dating in 1983. Like Goldie, Kurt began his acting career at a young age and rose to prominence in the 1980s as a popular anti-hero figure, starring in numerous John Carpenter films like the 1981 dystopian action thriller Escape From New York.
Speaking with Howard Stern in 2016, Kate discussed her life growing up with Kurt and how big a role he played in raising her. “I have a great family, I have a beautiful mother, I have a stepfather who stepped in and played a huge, huge part in sharing what it is to have a dependable father figure in our life, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that we didn’t know our dad,” she said on the program.
She went on to praise Kurt’s “dependability” as a father figure while she was growing up, always being there as a reliable parent even when he had a lot going on as an actor. “I think that people can do a lot of things and they can be very successful and they can still be a really good parent because I was raised that way. Kurt is not a perfect man — no one is. But that trust I got from him in terms of his dependability was just priceless for me.
When promoting his 2016 movie Deepwater Horizon (in which Kate also played a role), Kurt discussed his “proud dad moments” he had while raising Kate as his own daughter. “When she was doing plays in school and stuff Goldie and I would look at her and think, ‘We know what she’s gonna do!’ There was no question about that,” he gushed during the interview. “You’re always proud of your kids. As they get older and they actually take it into their livelihood and, in Kate’s case, so quickly become extremely good at it. To be nominated for an Academy Award at 21-year-old you gotta be doing something right!”
Kate’s biological father, Bill Hudson
Although Kate has a healthy and strong relationship with her mom and stepdad, the same doesn’t really apply to her biological father, Bill Hudson. The 72-year-old is an musician and actor who was a vocalist in the group The Hudson Brothers in the ’60s — a band he formed with his two younger brothers Brett and Mark. He had a brief acting career and became involved with Goldie in the ’70s until the two filed for divorce in 1980 and officially separated two years later. Kate and her brother, Oliver, have remained estranged from their father pretty much since Goldie began seriously dating Kurt in the ’80s.
“I think that estrangement is unfortunately quite common,” Kate said in an interview with TODAY in January. “I think it’s important for people to talk about that… if they can’t reconnect or if it’s too challenging, that it’s OK, right? Kate went on to share that her feelings are not a new thing, but “a 41-year-old issue” she continues to deal with.
After Kate’s brother Oliver shared a spiteful Father’s Day post in 2015 in which he posted a photo of himself, Kate, and Bill and wrote “Happy abandonment day” in the caption, Bill fought back by slamming Goldie for pitting their children against him. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Bill claimed Goldie made him the villain once she began dating Kurt.
“When we split up, she never had a bad word to say about me,” Bill, who claimed that Hawn cheated on him and wanted an open marriage, said in the interview. “But when Kurt came on the scene, the narrative changed and I became the big, bad wolf. I would say to her ‘Goldie, why are you trashing me and saying I’m an absent father when it’s simply not the case?’ and she’d laugh and go ‘Oh Bill, you know it makes for a better story.’”
During the aforementioned Howard Stern interview, Kate opened up about the situation. “I never felt it was about [my dad] losing interest. My mom never spoke poorly of him, and I was a real tough little girl, like I understood what was going on. I did understand that it didn’t have to do with me and Oliver. We did understand that. Maybe not on a cellular level, but on a cognitive level, yes,” she shared.