Kurt Vogel Russell (born March 17, 1951) is an American television and film actor. His first acting roles were as a child in television series, including a lead role in the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963–1964). In the 1970s, he signed a ten-year contract with the Walt Disney Company, where he became, according to Robert Osborne, the "studio's top star of the '70s". In 1979, Russell was nominated for an Emmy Award for the made-for-television film Elvis.
In 1983, he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for his performance opposite Meryl Streep in the 1984 film, Silkwood. During the 1980s, Russell was cast in several films by director John Carpenter, including anti-hero roles such as former army hero-turned robber Snake Plissken in the futuristic action film Escape from New York, Antarctic helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady in the horror film The Thing (1982), and truck driver Jack Burton in the dark kung-fu comedy/action film Big Trouble in Little China (1986), all of which have since become cult films.
In 1994, he had a starring role in the military/science fiction film Stargate. In the mid-2000s, his portrayal of U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks in Miracle (2004) won the praise of critics. In 2006, he appeared in the disaster-thriller Poseidon, and in 2007 Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof segment from the film Grindhouse.
Russell married actress Season Hubley, whom he had met on the set of Elvis in 1979; they had a son, Boston Russell, in 1980. In 1983, in the middle of his divorce from Hubley, Russell re-connected with Goldie Hawn on the set of the film Swing Shift, and they have been in a relationship ever since. They had a son, Wyatt, in 1986. One year later, in 1987, the couple starred in the film Overboard. Hawn's son and daughter with Bill Hudson, actors Oliver and Kate Hudson, consider Russell to be their father.
It was long reported that the final written words of Walt Disney were Kurt Russell's name scribbled on a piece of paper. Russell confirmed that he had seen the paper himself, but did not know what Disney was trying to convey.
Russell is a Libertarian. In 1996, he stated: "I was brought up as a Republican. But when I realized that at the end of the day there wasn't much difference between a Democrat and Republican, I became a libertarian." He claims he was often viewed as an outcast in Hollywood because of his libertarian views, so he and Hawn moved to an area outside Aspen, Colorado.
In February 2003, Russell and Hawn moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, so that their son could play hockey. Russell is 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. Former Major League Baseball player Matt Franco is his nephew