Actress. Born Kate Garry Hudson, on April 19, 1979, in Los Angeles, California. The daughter of actress-producer Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson, a 1970s television comedian, Kate Hudson was raised by her mother and Hawn’s longtime companion, actor Kurt Russell, after her parents divorced when she was 18 months old. No stranger to the show business life, Hudson decided to embark on an acting career of her own, landing an agent and a guest spot on the TV drama Party of Five in 1996.
Upon her acceptance to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Hudson convinced Hawn and Russell to let her defer a year in order to concentrate on finding her first film role. In 1998, she appeared in the little-seen independent film Desert Blue, alongside fellow up-and-coming young actors Christina Ricci, Casey Affleck, and Brendan Sexton III. She was also a featured player in the ensemble cast of 200 Cigarettes (1999), a comedy that received poor reviews despite its talented cast, which included Ricci, Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, and Courtney Love.
Hudson began the year 2000 somewhat inauspiciously, with a supporting turn as a virginal college student in the unimpressive teen thriller Gossip. By year’s end, however, she had charmed her way into the hearts of moviegoers and critics with her breakthrough performance as Penny Lane, the leader of a group of girls, or so-called “Band-Aids,” who worship at the altar of 1970s rock & roll as imagined by writer-director Cameron Crowe in his autobiographical film Almost Famous. Originally cast in a smaller role, Hudson won the part after another young actress, Sarah Polley (The Sweet Hereafter, Go) dropped out. As Penny, the sometime lover of Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup), lead guitarist in the rock band Stillwater, and the object of affection for Crowe’s own alter ego, the budding rock journalist William Miller (Patrick Fugit), Hudson was in many ways the emotional center of the film. Her glowing performance earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Also in 2000, Hudson appeared in the ensemble cast of Robert Altman’s Dr. T and the Women, costarring Richard Gere, Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, and Liv Tyler. In 2001, she starred in Four Feathers, a wartime drama costarring Wes Bentley (American Beauty) and Heath Ledger (The Patriot). Upcoming projects include Garry Marshall’s Raising Helen, where she plays a successful single woman forced to take care of her sister’s three young children after a car accident. In 2004, she starred opposite Luke Wilson in the romantic comedy Alex & Emma.
Kate Hudson was married to Chris Robinson, the lead singer of the rock band The Black Crowes from December 2000 until they divorced in October 2007. The couple has one child, a boy named Ryder Russell Robinson, who was born in January 2004.