Kurt Russell Through the Years: The Hollywood Star’s Life in Photos
Kurt Russell might just be one of the most likable guys in Hollywood. Throughout his rise from child star to movie star, he’s effortlessly transitioned between action films, westerns, and romantic comedies, proving that he really can do just about anything. And fans really will watch him in anything — whether it’s the new Fast and the Furious film or the latest from Quentin Tarantino.
Here’s a quick look at Kurt Russell’s career in photos, from his childhood days to now.
1963 – The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
The same year he appeared in It Happened at the World’s Fair with Elvis Presley, a 12-year-old Kurt Russell made his breakout performance in this western TV series as the titular character.
1969 – The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
By the late 60s, a young Kurt Russell had started appearing in a slew of films for Walt Disney including this popular film.
1974 – More Disney films
After starring in the Disney film Superdad, Russell went on to star in the second sequel to The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Strongest Man in the World.
1976 – The Quest
Russell has appeared in numerous western projects over the years including this series. He played the role of Morgan “Two Persons” Beaudine opposite Tim Matheson. They played two brothers on the road looking for their missing sister.
1979 – Elvis
Who could forget that Kurt Russell played the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll? He really nailed the stage presence of Elvis Presley, though he didn’t actually do any of the singing in this TV film.
1983 – Silkwood
After starring in the 1982 horror film The Thing, Russell changed gears by appearing in this drama written by Nora Ephron. The film, also starring Cher and Meryl Streep, followed the real story of Karen Silkwood (Streep) who was investigating wrongdoing at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant where she worked.
1984 – Swing Shift
Technically, Russell had already met Goldie Hawn when they filmed The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band in 1968. But this was the film where they actually fell for each other.
1986 – Big Trouble in Little China
Who could forget this memorable action film where Russell starred as truck driver Jack Burton? It was kind of a martial arts film, kind of a fantasy film, and kind of a box office failure. But it’s become a cult classic over the years, especially for major fans of Kurt Russell and director John Carpenter.
1987 – Overboard
Without a doubt, this is one of the funniest rom coms ever made. Russell starred as a single father who tricks a rich client with amnesia (Hawn) into taking care of his kids. And thinking she’s his wife. Both he and Hawn are absolutely hilarious.
1988 – Tequila Sunrise
Apparently, Russell has said that this romantic thriller was one of the performances that made Hollywood start viewing him as a serious actor. He played a detective whose best friend, played by Mel Gibson, was a drug dealer trying to go straight. Michelle Pfeiffer co-starred as Gibson’s love interest. Am I the only one who thinks Kurt looks exactly like his son Wyatt Russell in this photo?
1991 – Backdraft
This classic Ron Howard drama starred Kurt Russell as Lieutenant Stephen “Bull” McCaffrey in a story centered around a Chicago firehouse.
1993 – Tombstone
One of the best westerns in recent decades, Russell played Wyatt Earp opposite Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott and Bill Paxton in this film retelling of the legendary shoot out at the O.K. Corral.
1994 – Stargate
This classic science fiction film inspired multiple TV show spinoffs despite receiving mixed reviews at the time. Russell and James Spader starred together in this story following a military expedition to a different universe.
1996 – Escape from L.A.
The sequel to John Carpenter’s Escape From New York brought Russell back as his memorable character Snake Plissken, but this time he’s in Los Angeles.
1998 – Golden Globe Awards
Just further proof that Kurt and Goldie have always been couple goals. Despite never getting married they have been dedicated to each other for decades, setting a strong example of what a blended family can look like. Russell basically raised Goldie’s two kids, Oliver and Kate Hudson, from her previous relationship. They also share one son of their own, Wyatt.
2004 – Miracle
In this feel-good sports film, Russell played real coach Herb Brooks who led the U.S. men’s hockey team to a gold medal at the 1980 Olympics.
2007 – Death Proof
Quentin Tarantino was inspired to write this film after learning about how stuntmen make their cars “death proof” to survive dangerous stunts and crashes. In this horror film, Russell stars as stuntman Mike McKay, who stalks and kills women in his death-proof car.
2015 – The Hateful Eight
Another Tarantino film, this western followed Russell as the bounty hunter John Ruth who is escorting the criminal Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to be hanged. Mayhem ensues.
2017 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kurt Russell was also part of the Marvel universe! He appeared as the planet Ego in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. He played Chris Pratt’s dad who, unfortunately, is the bad guy.
2018 – The Christmas Chronicles
As if Russell didn’t already have the most eclectic acting resume of all time, he’s also Santa Claus! He and Goldie appeared as Santa and Mrs. Claus in this Netflix holiday film as well as its 2020 sequel.