Goldie Jean Hawn was born in Washington D.C. to Laura Steinhoff (a jewelry shop/dance school owner) and Edward Rutledge Hawn (a band musician). She has a sister, Patricia, and a brother, Edward, who died before she was born. She was raised in the Jewish religion. Her mother was Jewish and the daughter of Hungarian immigrants. Her father was Presbyterian. At the age of three, Goldie began taking ballet and tap dance lessons and, at the age of ten, she danced in the chorus of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo production of "The Nutcracker". At the age of 19, she ran and instructed a ballet school, having dropped out of college, where she was majoring in drama. Before going into the film business, she worked as a professional dancer.
She began her acting career on the TV sitcom, "Good Morning, World" (1967), but the series was canceled after 26 episodes. She, subsequently, joined the cast of the comedy variety show, "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1967), which made her a household name around the country and earned her an Emmy Award. Hawn made her feature film debut in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968), in which she played a giggling dancer. Her first substantial film role came in 1969, when she played opposite Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman in Cactus Flower (1969); the movie was a major success and she won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her performance. After her Oscar win, her career took off and she followed with roles in successful comedies, such as There's a Girl in My Soup (1970) and Shampoo (1975) and more dramatic roles in The Girl from Petrovka (1974) and The Sugarland Express (1974). In 1978, she starred alongside Chevy Chase in the box office hit, Foul Play (1978). In 1980, she starred in another box office hit, Private Benjamin (1980), where she also served as producer. During the 1980s, she starred in hit movies such as Protocol (1984), Wildcats (1986) and Swing Shift (1984). In 1987, she appeared with her partner, Kurt Russell, in the film, Overboard (1987), which became both a critical and box office disappointment. Her career slowed down after that until 1990, when she starred alongside Mel Gibson in Bird on a Wire (1990). In 1992, she starred in the successful film, Death Becomes Her (1992), with Meryl Streep and Bruce Willis, which was followed by another successful film, HouseSitter (1992), which co-starred Steve Martin. In 1996, she played the role of an aging alcoholic actress in the comedy, The First Wives Club (1996), with Diane Keaton and Bette Midler, it became a critical and financial success. She also starred in the Woody Allen film, Everyone Says I Love You (1996) and The Out-of-Towners (1999), which reunited her with Steve Martin. In 2001 and 2002, she starred in Town & Country (2001) with Warren Beatty, and The Banger Sisters (2002) with Susan Sarandon.
Goldie has been married twice. First to actor/director Gus Trikonis, from 1969 to 1974. In 1975, she married musician Bill Hudson and became a mother, for the first time, in 1976, when she gave birth to their son, Oliver Hudson. In 1979, she had her second child with Hudson, daughter Kate Hudson. The marriage ended in divorce in 1980. Since 1983, she has been in a relationship with actor Kurt Russell.