The relationship between a mother and her daughter is often one of the strongest in a family unit. Kate Hudson can certainly attest to that, as she and her mom, Goldie Hawn, guest hosted an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in January 2019. However, during their joint introduction, Hudson had an interesting request for the Hollywood legend.
Born in November 1945, Hawn grew up in Washington, D.C., alongside her parents and older sister, Patti. As a youngster, she took a real interest in dancing, with her mother Laura operating a school for dancers at that time. On that note, the future star focused her attention on tap-dancing and ballet in particular.
During Hawn’s teenage years, she became a student at the American University in Washington. But attending college eventually led to a big decision. Indeed, at that point the aspiring dancer opted to abandon her education in order to pursue her passion: ballet. She even established her own specialized school for the art form, before showcasing her talents as a performer in New York.
Hawn’s life changed forever in 1967, however. That year, you see, she made her small screen debut in the television comedy show Good Morning, World, starring the likes of Ronnie Schell and Joby Baker. What’s more, the starlet went on to appear in 20 episodes of the series, ahead of its cancellation a year later.
Despite that disappointment, though, 1968 was another important year in Hawn’s fledgling career. She returned to TV screens in the sketch show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, featuring in more than 60 episodes over the next two years. In addition to that run, the actress also made her big-screen debut in the same period.
Hawn was cast in a Disney movie titled The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, taking on a character simply known as “Giggly Girl.” While working on the film, she was introduced to co-star Kurt Russell – her future partner. Following that appearance, the rising star bagged two more big screen roles in 1969.
The first of those appearances was an uncredited role in the action movie Five the Hard Way. But it was the second that would change Hawn’s career forever. Yes, she was cast as one of the leads in the romantic comedy Cactus Flower, starring alongside the likes of Ingrid Bergman and Walter Matthau. That performance earned the Washington native her one and only Oscar win as Best Supporting Actress.
Off the back of that win, Hawn was then cast in a number of other projects throughout the 1970s. Indeed, she starred in films such as The Heist, There’s a Girl in My Soup and Butterflies Are Free during that decade. One of her most lauded performances, however, came in 1974.
Hawn joined the cast of Steven Spielberg’s tense drama The Sugarland Express, taking on the lead role of Lou Jean. Up to that point, the actress was best known for her work in comedies, but she nevertheless showcased her thespian skills to great effect in the dramatic movie. From there, she continued to establish herself as a Hollywood mainstay.
And after working with Spielberg, Hawn appeared in movies such as Foul Play, Shampoo and Lovers and Liars at the back-end of the 1970s. In 1980, though, she then scored one of her most recognizable roles. That’s right: the Oscar-winner starred in the comedy drama Private Benjamin, a film she actually also produced.
Private Benjamin was incredibly well received on release, earning close to $70 million at the domestic box office. The film also picked up three Academy Award nominations, including a nod for Hawn as Best Actress. Unfortunately for her, though, she lost out on the Oscar in that category to Sissy Spacek that year.
After that, Hawn bagged a number of leading roles throughout the 1980s, with Swing Shift proving significant for a rather different reason. In that specific movie, released in 1984, she starred alongside Kurt Russell – some 16 years after they’d first worked together. And the pair formed a romantic relationship in 1983, coming off the back of the actress’ previous two marriages.
Hawn and Russell then starred in another movie together, taking on the lead roles in the romantic comedy Overboard in 1987. The Washington native was then cast in some notable releases throughout the 1990s. Indeed, she appeared in films such as Death Becomes Her, HouseSitter and The First Wives Club during that period.
Following Hawn’s appearance in 2002’s The Banger Sisters, however, she didn’t return to the big screen for another 15 years. The Hollywood star eventually came back in 2017, joining the cast of Snatched. That wouldn’t be her last film that year, though, as she took on the role of Narrator in SPF-18 too.
While Hawn has enjoyed a memorable career as an actress, she also became a parent in the 1970s. During her marriage to Bill Hudson, the star had two children, Oliver in 1976 and Kate in 1979. After that, she and Russell had a child in 1986, naming him Wyatt Russell. And that young trio eventually joined their parents in the world of entertainment.
The path that Hawn’s daughter took to reach that goal, though, bore some similarity to her own journey. Born in April 1979, Kate Hudson grew up in California and Colorado alongside her mother and Russell, looking to follow in their footsteps. After completing her studies at high school, the future movie star then had a big decision to make.
Some 12 months prior to Hudson’s graduation, she’d already made her small screen debut in the 1996 television show Party of Five. The teenager also appeared in another program, titled EZ Streets, that very year. Yet despite those credits, she was all set to become a student at New York University following high school.
Much like Hawn had during her teenage years, Hudson decided to pursue her true passion for performing over her academic studies. Off the back of that choice, mind you, the California native made her big screen debut in 1998’s Desert Blue. She joined an illustrious cast that included the likes of Christina Ricci, Casey Affleck and Peter Sarsgaard.
Hudson followed Desert Blue with an appearance in the rom-com 200 Cigarettes, but the film wasn’t well received on release. Alongside the poor reviews, the movie only made $6.8 million at the domestic box-office from an estimated budget of $6 million. However, everything changed for the actor at the beginning of the new millennium.
After featuring in films like Dr. T & the Women and About Adam, Hudson scored a role in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous in the year 2000. Taking on the character of Penny Lane, she produced a memorable performance that cemented her place as one of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars. In addition, she also picked up an Oscar nomination for her work.
From there, Hudson appeared in a number of other movies throughout the 2000s, such as The Four Feathers, Raising Helen and The Divorce. In 2004, though, the California native became a parent herself, giving birth to her son Ryder. After that, she returned to the big screen in 2005’s The Skeleton Key.
Hudson continued to earn significant roles in the noughties, before returning to the small screen in 2012. That year she joined the cast of the musical TV show Glee, taking on the character of Cassandra July. And during her brief stint on the program, the actor appeared in five episodes.
In more recent times, Hudson enjoyed a busy 2016; she featured in three major releases, after all. The actress first appeared in Kung Fu Panda 3, lending her voice to the character of Mei Mei. After that, she starred in the romantic comedy Mother’s Day alongside Jennifer Aniston, before joining the cast of Deepwater Horizon.
Hudson’s last appearance on the big screen since then came in 2017 as she co-starred in Marshall. The following year, the California native gave birth to her third child in the fall, naming her Rani Rose. Just a month prior to that, though, the expectant mom and Hawn were guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Sitting beside Hawn, Hudson explained how close her daughter was to giving birth at that point. “Let’s just say you’ve probably never had anyone this pregnant on your show [before],” she informed DeGeneres in 2018. “Really, it looks like you could be [due] any second,” the host responded.
And Hawn then spoke about the role she played when Hudson gave birth to her second child, Bingham, in 2011. The Hollywood legend suggested that she wasn’t particularly helpful on that occasion. That’s right: the proud parent was ravenous and therefore brought a pizza into the hospital.
Following Hawn and Hudson’s memorable appearance on the show in 2018, they returned in January 2019, albeit in a slightly different capacity. The mom and daughter were, in fact, standing in for DeGeneres as guest hosts on that occasion. And much like before, the duo’s chemistry proved a big hit with the live studio audience.
To kick things off, a group taking a tour of the Warner Bros lot were handed tickets to the show from Hawn and Hudson. And the surprise came about due to the former’s connection with the studio. She had, in fact, worked on a handful of her movies there. However, there were more highlights still to come.
Dressed in a white jumpsuit, Hawn joined her daughter on stage as she opened the program, much to the delight of the audience. At that point, Hudson spoke about her reaction to being asked to guest host DeGeneres’ show, which drew a humorous response from her giddy mother.
“We are so happy to be here,” Hudson tells the studio audience. “At first I was a little nervous, because I just was. And they told me to be myself.” Sensing her chance, Hawn then cuts in. “That was what I was worried about most,” the veteran actress says. “About you being yourself!”
On that note, Hawn gives a bit of background to the quip. “The last time [we were on the show] we were definitely ourselves, weren’t we?” she continues. “And that’s why I didn’t think we’d be invited back again!” From here, Hudson recalls their previous appearance on the program, revealing some intriguing information along the way.
“It was the first time we’d ever done a show together,” Hudson explains. “It was super fun, and Mom remembered thinking how it was entertaining. But anyway, they asked us if we wanted to come back to guest host together so here we are.” After receiving a quick round of applause, the Hollywood star then turns toward her mother.
“There’s one thing that happens on this show that Mom’s the most excited about,” Hudson says before shooting Hawn a glance. “What?” she replies with a smile. “tWitch,” her daughter responds, pointing at DeGeneres’ DJ, Stephen “tWitch” Boss. After looking over at him, the Washington native can’t hide her excitement.
“Here’s the thing,” Hawn says. “I love Ellen so much, but when I first did her show, I did it really cause I got to dance with her. And now we get to dance on our own! And I’m so excited.” Consequently, “tWitch” plays “Best of My Love” by The Emotions over the speakers, with the hosts showing their skills on the stage.
Hawn and Hudson then dance their way up the aisle of the studio audience, fully embracing the moment. Furthermore, the Hollywood legend in particular really gets into it, due perhaps to her long dancing history. And after swaggering through one long row of people, the pair start to make their way back down to the stage.
That segment was subsequently uploaded on YouTube by the show’s official channel in January 2019, drawing a big response from online users. Indeed, the video has earned over 900,000 views and close to 8,000 likes on the website. In addition to these impressive figures, it’s also generated more than 570 comments, with one in particular standing out.
“I never watch daytime TV but happened on this,” the YouTube user wrote in the comments section of the video. “Goldie and Kate you are the bomb! You need your own talk show. You’ve converted me. Charisma and charm abound. Please do this again. Been a fan since the Hee Haw days!”
As for the rest of the show, Hawn and Hudson chatted with both Gwyneth Paltrow and someone else they knew pretty well. Indeed, Oliver Hudson rounded off the guests, spending time with his mom and sister on the stage. The talkative twosome meanwhile also recalled the birth of the California native’s third child back in October 2018.
“[The doctor] was sort of like this, leaning down, doing the thing,” Hawn recalled on the show. “And I’m trying to get in on him to try to look over his shoulder. Now I see the head, and I’m going, ‘Oh! There’s the head!’ Then it went back, and he said, ‘Goldie, if you get any closer, you’re going to fall in!’”
Away from daytime television, it seems, Hawn and Hudson have had packed schedules. Indeed, the former was last seen in the 2018 Netflix movie The Christmas Chronicles, featuring alongside Russell and her son Oliver. As for her daughter, she’s set to appear in two future releases, titled Music and Blood Moon.
But Hawn and Hudson aren’t the only celebrities who’ve been known to get a crowd going with their moves. John Travolta can also claim that achievement – which perhaps comes as less of a surprise, given his history. But nevertheless, when the actor appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to mark the 40th anniversary of the movie Grease, the studio audience could never have imagined the treat that they’d be in for.
Travolta has been in a lot of movies since he first hit screens in the ’70s. But one picture tends to get brought up more than any other: the 1978 mega-hit Grease. And come 2018 Grease was the word all over again, as it was 40 years since the flick had been released. What’s more, Travolta found himself celebrating that milestone in a delightful way when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
As a young actor, Travolta had quite a bit of success. In 1976, for instance, he played the villain in still-iconic Stephen King horror movie Carrie; he also portrayed Vinnie Barbarino in the ABC sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter for four years from 1975. But by the turn of the decade, Travolta was a massive movie star. Why? Well, it was all thanks to two movies in particular: Saturday Night Fever and Grease.
But Travolta very nearly didn’t get the star-making role of Danny Zuko in Grease. Initially, the producers had wanted Henry Winkler of Happy Days fame to play him; Winkler turned down the job, however, as he feared being typecast as a ’50s teen. Travolta eventually came on board, then, with two conditions: he would have Elvis-style black hair, and he would get to sing “Greased Lightnin’.”
In the original musical version of Grease, Kenickie sang “Greased Lightnin’.” But Travolta was adamant that he got to do the number instead, and producers were happy to oblige. Furthermore, while the decision caused no end of tension on set, it did still result in one of the most iconic movie musical moments of all time.
In fact, most of the musical numbers in Grease have since become renowned. The famous final Sandy-Danny duet, “You’re The One That I Want,” for example, has been covered and parodied endless times in the last four decades, despite – or perhaps because of – the debate on how gender roles are portrayed in the scene.
Meanwhile, Grease’s soundtrack became the second-best selling US album of 1978; the first was the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, making Travolta king of the charts as well as the movies. And Grease was so popular that there were even plans to make it into a franchise. Unfortunately, though, 1982’s Grease 2 ended up being a huge flop.
Yet the original Grease was never forgotten, even as Travolta’s career suffered some major downturns. By the ’80s, he had been in several failed films, including Two of a Kind, where he appeared again with his Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John. It wasn’t until the ’90s, in fact, that the actor really got back on track.
Travolta’s renaissance began with his portrayal of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction – a role for which he received an Oscar nomination. And that movie also involved a dance scene which has since gone on to become iconic. It seemed, then, that Travolta would never escape the world of dance even if he wanted to.
Then, in 2007 Travolta appeared in his first musical film since Grease – a re-imagining of the 1988 John Waters movie Hairspray. More song and dance was forthcoming, even though Travolta spent the whole movie in a fat suit and dressed as a woman. Despite those limitations, the actor danced his way to victory, as Hairspray became the fourth highest-grossing movie musical ever.
But after Hairspray, Travolta seemed to hang up his dancing shoes. He took to doing action films instead, such as 2009’s The Taking of Pelham 123. And in 2016 the superstar gave one of his most critically acclaimed performances as lawyer Robert Shapiro in the FX series The People v. O.J. Simpson – which has a distinct lack of musical numbers.
But when Grease’s 40th anniversary rolled around in 2018, Travolta was more than willing to prove that he still had the moves. Appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on June 13, he sat down with the host and discussed the film’s classic “You’re The One That I Want” scene.
The Oscar-nominated actor explained how he had contributed to the dance moves in that particular scene. “Like with Pulp Fiction, I grew up with all these kind of novelty dances,” he said. “With Grease, they needed a step for ‘You’re the One that I Want’ at the end. So I said, ‘We used to do the four corners, why don’t we do that?’ And the choreographer was like, ‘Show it to me,’ and I did.”
Travolta then pulled Fallon to his feet to show him the dance. To do the four corners, you have to hook your fingers through your belt loops and make four steps in a box formation. It sounds easy, but it’s all about rhythm and poise. Luckily, though, Fallon seemed to pick the steps up pretty quickly, and so he and Travolta did the dance together.
And Travolta’s retained dancing skills were pretty impressive – all the more so considering that the actor is now 64 years old. On The Tonight Show’s YouTube channel, where the video of Travolta gained nearly two million views, fans rushed to talk about the star in the comments. “Such amazing moves, bringing back memories!” one person wrote.
A number of people also commented on how good Travolta was looking. Over the years, the star’s weight had fluctuated dramatically; in 2018, however, he seemed to have found a healthy body shape. The Hollywood legend had also changed his hair to appear more natural. “John has aged exceptionally well. Still as handsome as when he was back in the Welcome Back, Kotter days!” wrote a commenter.
The Tonight Show dance wasn’t the only tribute Travolta paid to Grease for its 40th birthday, however. When the actor went to the 71st Cannes Film Festival in 2018 to promote his new movie Gotti, for instance, he also attended a special beach-side screening of the iconic musical and gave a short speech about its importance.
“This is a film that’s so timeless, that keeps on giving to each new generation,” the Danny Zuko actor told the audience. “When people watch this, they just get happy. They want to become the characters that they’re watching. They want to sing along with it, they want to dance, they want to be part of this film.” Just like Jimmy Fallon!
“When mutual enthusiasm comes together and creates an environment, you can create almost anything – and we created Grease,” Travolta finished. The movie’s director, Randal Kleiser, was also present for the event, and he revealed, “It’s very exciting to have a screening on the beach here at Cannes after 40 years. John Travolta coming back for it is a big thrill too.”
Unfortunately for Travolta, Gotti itself has proved somewhat of a catastrophe. Critics absolutely mauled the film, with the flick ultimately going on to receive a rating of zero on Rotten Tomatoes. Few releases debut to such a disastrous reception.
But the criticism afforded to Gotti will most likely prove to be but a blip in Travolta’s lengthy career, and he’s already weathered a lot of those. Maybe, then, he just needs to focus his attention on creating more musicals – perhaps even a Grease 3…