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.
She made her big-screen debut as an ambitious young starlet stranded in a tiny California town in Desert Blue (1998). Her next two films, while critically panned, made it into wider release: 200 Cigarettes (1999) (in which she played an earnest but accident-prone ditz) and Gossip (2000)- (which cast her as a rich, virginal college student). Perhaps Hudson’s biggest break was landing the role of rock groupie (or “Band Aide") Penny Lane in Almost Famous (2000). The part was originally intended for Sarah Polley; when Polley backed out to pursue another project, director Cameron Crowe considered scrapping the film altogether. Hudson, who had been cast in a smaller role (as William’s stewardess sister), begged for a chance to read for Penny. Crowe was impressed, Hudson got the part, and the show went on. An immensely watchable young actress, Kate Hudson is one of a rare breed that stands out due to her onscreen presence, and sheer star quality that makes her more than just another Hollywood actress. She possesses a smile that lights up the screen whenever she’s up there, and you literally can’t take your eyes off her.