With a shiny Hollywood pedigree and shady family secrets to match, Kate Hudson’s rise to stardom contains both high fashion and dirty laundry. Behind those sunny good looks and sparkling personality, her fame is full of feuds, in-fighting, and broken hearts. Believe us: This iconic rom-com heroine didn’t have a fairy-tale career.
1. She Is Hollywood Royalty
In April 1979, Kate Hudson was born into Hollywood royalty. Her mother is legendary actress Goldie Hawn, while her father is musician and actor Bill Hudson. The young couple already had an older son, Oliver, and Kate’s birth rounded up the brood nicely for a time. But the supposedly happy family was in for a very sad end.
2. Her Father Abandoned Her
Not all that glitters is gold, and the young Kate didn’t have much time with her father before he and Goldie Hawn split. This wasn’t a joint custody situation, either. Kate and her brother moved out of Los Angeles with their mother, and didn’t see much of their father after. As Kate later said, her father “doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall.”
3. Her Mother Found Out A Sensitive Secret
Hudson’s relationship to Goldie Hawn is much different than with her dad. In fact, it’s downright scandalous. The two women share everything, and I do mean everything. When Kate lost her virginity at the tender age of 15, she told Hawn all about it, and Hawn happily approved. But that didn’t mean Goldie was always the most understanding mother…
4. She Was Almost A Child Star
When Hudson was growing up, she desperately wanted to act. There was just one problem: Hawn didn’t want to put her daughter through the Hollywood ringer when she was so young. Eventually, the matriarch relented and got her an audition for the lead role in a television project. Predictably, Hudson got the part—but that’s exactly when trouble started.
5. Her Mother Stole Her Job
Instead of telling Kate that she’d gotten the role, Hawn kept it a secret from the young girl. But it gets worse. She then turned the part down on her behalf, only coming clean and telling her the truth a year later, when it was already too late. Of course, child stardom being child stardom, this probably was a good idea, but Hudson wasn’t giving up there.
6. She Dropped Out Of School
By the time Hudson was all set to go to New York University in 1997, the acting bug was too strong for her to ignore. She begged her parents to let her defer for a year and focus on acting, and this time Hawn agreed whole-heartedly. There was no looking back after that…especially since Kate nabbed her breakout role just a couple of years later.
7. Her Most Famous Part Wasn’t Hers
Hudson’s turn as “band-aid” Penny Lane in Almost Famous made her, well, famous. Except she almost didn’t get the part. Originally, director Cameron Crowe offered actress Sarah Polley the now-iconic role, while he only wanted Hudson to play the main character William’s sister in the movie. But then a big twist of fate came in.
8. Her Loyalty Won Her A Job
Soon after signing on, Sarah Polley actually walked away from the set to work on one of her own projects. Meanwhile, Hudson had been breaking her back to take the “sister” role, even turning down lead parts in other movies. Hudson’s loyalty impressed Cameron Crowe so much, he offered her Penny in Polley’s stead, and the rest was history.
9. Her Biggest Movie Was Almost Completely Different
That wasn’t the only huge line-up change in Almost Famous, and Hudson might have acted opposite a completely different love interest. In the film, Penny is involved with rock musician Russell Hammond, played by Billy Crudup. Originally, however, none other than Brad Pitt said yes to the role, but dropped out because he didn’t “get it.” Well, his loss.
10. Jimmy Fallon Had A Crush On Her
Hudson had a bizarre on-set “romance” while working on Almost Famous. Comedian Jimmy Fallon was also in the film, and he has admitted that he quickly developed a huge crush on the actress. He even invited Hudson to a comedy show as a kind-of-sort-of date. However, his plans for seduction went wrong in the worst way possible.
11. She Gave A Brutal Rejection
When Fallon invited Hudson out for the evening, he got way more than he bargained for. That night, Hudson met Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson and hit it off with him. Fallon realized Hudson had “friend-zoned” him when he met her for skating the next day and she told him she was meeting Robinson right after. If Fallon wasn’t disappointed then, he definitely would be soon.
12. She Had a Quickie Wedding
Robinson and Hudson fell so hard for each other that they moved in together almost immediately after the first date. Fans noticed Hudson wearing a huge diamond on her finger at the Almost Famous promotions, and the couple made it official when they married on New Year’s Eve, a little over six months after they’d met. Their marriage was nothing short of a rockstar fairy tale…at first.
13. She Gave Glamorous Wedding Vows
In true boho-artistic style, Hudson and Robinson tied the knot in the mountains of Colorado, with a Ute Indian Shaman presiding over their ceremony. Kurt Russell walked Kate Hudson down the aisle and gave her away to Chris, and the veteran Hollywood actor also later joined the groom in serenading the bride with an Elvis duet.
14. Her First Marriage Was A Victory Lap
For a time, the power couple was very happy together. In fact, when Hudson won the Golden Globe for Almost Famous, she got up on stage and made sure to thank “My husband, Chris Robinson.” For his part, Robinson seemed equally in love, and wrote a song for his wife that he titled “Katie Dear.” Then something life-changing happened.
15. She Was A Young Mother
In January 2004, when Kate Hudson was still just 24 years old, she gave birth to Ryder Robinson, her son with Chris Robinson. And apparently, she wasn’t done yet. Kate declared that she and her husband wanted to have “millions of babies” together. Unfortunately, not long after Ryder’s birth, some unsavory rumors started surfacing.
16. She Had A Cruel Breakup
Robinson filed for divorce in November 2006, just before their sixth anniversary, citing “irreconcilable differences.” Though the exact reasons behind the unraveling of their marriage have remained private between the couple, Hudson herself has suggested she got tired of the wild, rock-star lifestyle. Even so, Hudson wasn’t finished with drama.
17. She Dated Bad Men
For a time in her single life, Hudson had quite the type: Controversial athletes. She reportedly dated both cyclist Lance Armstrong and baseball star Alex Rodriguez. She even went to quite a few baseball games to cheer Rodriguez on, though neither relationship went far and both ended before the sportsmen got into some hot water over doping. However, the reason for Hudson’s break-up with Rodriguez? It had much more to do with what happened off the baseball pitch.
18. An Ex Got In The Way
According to the New York Daily Mail, Hudson dumped Rodriguez because he just couldn’t stop calling his ex. And considering the fact that said ex was major pop star Madonna? Well, that definitely didn’t help matters. After giving Rodriguez three chances to stop talking to his old flame, Hudson ended the relationship. With that fling over, Hudson moved onto her next paramour.
19. Gwyneth Paltrow Almost Took Her Role
One of Hudson’s most famous and well-loved movies is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days with Matthew McConaughey. Well, once more, she wasn’t necessarily destined for the part. The filmmakers were originally going to cast Gwyneth Paltrow in the role of Andie Anderson, but changed their minds when they saw Almost Famous. Still, that’s not the only surprising thing about the movie…
20. She Did Some Strange Improvisations
Hudson shocked quite a few of her co-actors in How to Lose a Guy when she improvised many scenes and shook things up. In particular, Matthew McConaughey wasn’t expecting her to kiss him so whole-heartedly in the scene where she introduces him to her dog. Likewise, the guys at his “boys’ night” were surprised when she threw a whole veggie platter at them.
21. She Has A Type
When Hudson fell in real love for the second time, it became clear she really had a type. From almost the moment she met Matt Bellamy, the frontman for the band Muse, she was head over heels. Just like with Chris Robinson, romance happened very fast. Bellamy proposed the following year, and they welcomed a child, son Bingham Hawn Bellamy, three months later. Yet this relationship was just as volatile as her last.
22. She Broke Off Her Engagement
In December 2014, after a three-year long engagement, Hudson and Bellamy announced that they had called it quits. By the end, Hudson admitted that things had soured. In her words, “If Matt and I had a great relationship, we would still be together, but we chose to move on because we had different visions of how we wanted to live our lives.”
23. She Could Have Been A Marvel Hero
For all the home-runs Kate Hudson has had in her acting career, she’s also made her fair share of mistakes. In fact, she once turned down the role of an iconic Marvel heroine. In 2002, producers approached her about playing Mary Jane Watson for the upcoming Spider-Man film, but Hudson said no, using her time to act in the lesser-known film The Four Feathers instead.
24. She Had A Secret Romance
Hudson’s own mother spilled the beans on her most scandalous relationship. In an interview, Goldie Hawn slipped up and admitted that Kate Hudson had dated Nick Jonas in 2015. At the time, Hudson would have been 36. Nick, meanwhile, would have been just 23. Well, then…
25. She Met A New Man
Has Hudson finally found Mr. Right? Well, she’s been with her current partner, Danny Fujikawa, for four years now. Still, Fujikawa isn’t breaking the mold when it comes to Kate Hudson’s taste: He’s also a musician and an actor, and the pair continue to live the boho-chic life that has come to define Hudson’s style and career. However, there is one difference…
26. She Was Friends With Benefits
Interestingly, Hudson and Fujikawa had known each other for 13 years before they started dating. Fittingly, then, their first date together was just a “friendly” hike where nothing happened at the end. However, the two quickly transitioned to a “calm and loving relationship.” Apparently, both Hudson’s big exes get along very well with Fujikawa.
27. She Had A Musical Inspiration
Hudson’s son’s Ryder’s name is a nod to the fact that Hudson would feel him moving particularly enthusiastically in her tummy whenever he heard the song “Ride.” In fact, since she’d spent so much time on the tour bus with the Black Crowes while she was pregnant, Hudson has a pretty strong suspicion Ryder might turn out to be a musician too.
28. She Had A Surprise Child
In 2018, Hudson had another surprise coming to her. That year, she posted a video on social media and was ecstatic to announce that she was pregnant with a baby girl. Sure enough, she gave birth to Rani Rose Hudson Fujikawa several months later. Hudson was happy that the little girl evened up her boyish brood and added a little spice to her life.
29. She Revealed Her Best Kiss
Hudson recently revealed what her favorite on-screen kiss was, and get ready for a tear-jerker, people. On Watch What Happens Live, Hudson told Andy Cohen that the best film kiss she ever had was with the late, great Heath Ledger, who she starred alongside in 2002’s romantic drama The Four Feathers. As she put it, Heath “was just so beautiful and sweet and gentle.”
30. She Has Daddy Issues
Although Hudson has issues with her father Bill, he has a different side to the story. He claims that he tried to be a part of his children’s lives, but that Goldie Hawn pushed him out. According to Bill, Goldie cheated on him and then “willfully” alienated him, especially after she started dating actor Kurt Russell.
31. Her Love Life Was Doomed From The Start
The estrangement from her biological father Bill has affected Kate in a myriad of ways, but most especially in her love life. After her marriage to Chris Robinson and then her engagement to musician Matt Bellamy fell apart, Hudson placed the blame squarely on her daddy issues, saying, “Anybody who has had an experience with a parent that is absent, it’s going to manifest.”
32. There’s Another Man In Her Life
Despite all the hurt and tragedy of her early life, there was one silver lining: Kurt Russell. The actor stepped in as a father figure for Hawn’s young children after the pair started dating, and Kate now considers him her real father. She even posted a picture of Russell on one Father’s Day and captioned it, “Pa…Thank you…love you to the moon and back.” Awww.
33. She Has One Big Insecurity
Even Kate Hudson has insecurities. She used to worry about her looks when she was growing up and heard people raving about her mother’s figure, and she had particular anxiety about the size of her chest. Even today, she does still have one lasting insecurity: When she was a child, kids always teased her about her (adorable) ears.
34. She Earned A Mean Nickname
Everybody has a little sibling rivalry going on when they’re young, but Kate and her brother Oliver took it to the next level. He even gave her an incredibly cruel nickname. According to Kate, Oliver used to call her “Hammerhead” because he thought her eyes were on the side of her head when she was a little girl. Ouch.
35. She’s Independent
Hudson might have been a huge star much earlier. When she was young, she could have easily gotten a part in her step-father Kurt Russell’s new film Escape From L.A. However, Hudson turned down the role because she didn’t want to coast into Hollywood on his coat-tails. Instead, she auditioned just for the experience and tried to make it on her own steam.
36. Her Middle Name Has A Secret Meaning
Believe it or not, Kate Hudson’s middle name is “Garry.” Why Garry? Because it was her mother Goldie Hawn’s favorite uncle’s name, and he’d passed just before she gave birth to Hudson. This moniker was her mom’s way of honoring his memory. Kate loves the androgynous element of it, and the fact that it’s so unusual.
37. She Has A Rare Certificate
Matthew McConaughey and Hudson reunited as husband and wife in Fool’s Gold, but the most memorable part of the film for Hudson was getting her scuba diving certificate. It took her a few weeks to get it because she was scared in the beginning, but she conquered her fear and was so proud that she carried the certificate around in her wallet for quite a while afterwards.
38. She Says She Was A “Teen Mom”
Though Hudson adored having Ryder with Chris Robinson when she was only 24, she said she felt like a “teen mom” during the whole process. After all, actresses in Hollywood usually wait longer to have children so they can focus on their careers. On LIVE With Kelly and Ryan, Hudson confessed, “Me and Reese Witherspoon were like teen moms. We had kids really super young.”
39. She’s Bad At Math
All moms routinely feel pangs of mom-guilt, and Hudson is no different. While there are times when she’s proud of herself for having it all together, there are also moments when she feels like a bad mom. It might be most acute when she’s hating helping her children with their Math homework; she admits she’d rather watch The Bachelor than do fractions.
40. She’s A Business Woman
She may not be making any big films lately, but Hudson has plenty to keep her busy. She is the cofounder of activewear brand Fabletics, which she calls the most rewarding professional endeavor of her life. Her aim was to create a clothing line for people who wanted to feel and look good while working out. Considering the brand has over a million subscribers, I’d say she’s been pretty successful.
41. She Has A Little-Known Talent
Most people don’t know this, but Hudson is also an author. She’s written two bestselling books, Pretty Happy and Pretty Fun, on her secrets for staying fit and being happy. Spoiler alert: It’s hard to be one without the other. One of her reasons for writing them was so she could better explain what she meant by a lifestyle change and how her own lifestyle helped her in finding and creating happiness.
42. She Has A Health Secret
Hudson’s own workout plan is simple: She believes in breaking a sweat every day, even if it’s for just 20 minutes. She loves Pilates and dancing, but even counts running after her kids as exercise as long as it makes her sweat. The best part is that she doesn’t believe in diets or depriving herself and loves eating well in moderation. Don’t know about you, but I’m quite liking this mantra.
43. She Has A Cherished Childhood Memory
Hudson was quite the daredevil when she was young. Her family moved to Aspen, Colorado, and she remembers riding dirt bikes and ATVs when she was only seven. She also loved horseback riding, and one of her favorite memories is of walking to the barn to get her horse. That’s a walk she still loves because it centers her.
44. She Doesn’t Like Rom-Coms
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days might now be a romantic comedy classic, but it’s not a classic in Kate Hudson’s heart. She admits that it’s one of her biggest hits, but that she is actually not personally a huge fan of the rom-com genre as a whole. Wow, my whole life is now a lie.
45. She Has A Star Squad
Hudson’s gal pals are a whole other stratosphere of cool. Some of her famous friends include Liv Tyler, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston, and Kate hangs out with them for a surprising reason. She once confided, “I kind of like that we’re intimidating. You know, when you see a group of girls walk in that are having more fun than anyone?”
46. She Refuses To Act With One Person
Kate Hudson has acted as a rock groupie in Almost Famous and a “dumb” blonde in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but there’s one thing you should never expect her to do. According to both Goldie Hawn and Hudson, the mother-daughter duo don’t want to work together any time soon. As Hawn said in an interview, “You want to talk about baggage!”
47. Her Father Disowned Her
After Kate grew up, her father dealt her a heartbreaking betrayal. In one angry interview, he lashed out at his daughter and son after Kate’s brother Oliver posted a Father’s Day message that said “Happy Abandonment Day.” In the interview, Bill Hudson claimed that his children were “dead” to him, and asked them to stop using his last name.
48. She Had A Big Rebound
Hudson started dating You, Me and Dupree co-star Owen Wilson soon after her divorce from Chris Robinson. Although both Hudson and Wilson denied there was any overlap with her marriage, relationship issues still plagued them. The two broke up and got back together more than once before going their separate ways. Sadly, this had a devastating result.
49. She Broke A Man’s Heart
In 2009, following a breakup with Hudson, Owen Wilson infamously tried to take his own life. This was tragic enough, but his reasons were reportedly chilling. According to rumors, Wilson made the attempt just after he saw a photograph of Hudson with a new man in her life, comedian Dax Shepard. Kate’s response to the news was heartbreaking.
50. She Received Devastating News
Hudson reportedly found out about Wilson’s attempt while she was shooting a movie. When she got the call, she paced back and forth on the set and looked concerned. There was even some evidence that she tried to see him immediately after the incident, though sources claim Wilson’s family barred her from coming, saying she wasn’t “good” for him.