Oscar-winning actress, producer and comedienne Goldie Hawn has been entertaining us for a very long time. She’s actually 71 now and has reached that time in life where partings are often more common than new beginnings. But with age also comes wisdom. And after one of her close friends died, she took to social media to share a memory and some good advice for the young people of today.
If it seems like Goldie Hawn has been on screens or stages her entire life, that’s because she pretty much has. She began taking dance lessons at the age of just three and in 1955 danced in a production of the famous ballet The Nutcracker. It was clear she was destined for the spotlight. In 1964 she had her first major stage role, playing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.
After that, she continued to both dance and act on stage. Her talent for acting “dumb blonde” roles served her well. In 1967 she took on that persona for the sitcom Good Morning, World. And the next year she joined the cast of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, which increased her profile considerably.
The success of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In led Hawn to movie roles. Her first major role, a suicidal woman in Cactus Flower, won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. More and more movies followed, such as Butterflies Are Free and There’s a Girl in My Soup.
At around this time, in 1969, Hawn got married to dancer Gus Trikonis, but the marriage lasted only a few years. By 1973 they had officially separated, and Hawn dated a few other men before becoming engaged to singer Bill Hudson. The month after her divorce to Trikonis came through in 1976, she and Hudson married.
Unfortunately, her relationship with Hudson failed as well. Though they had two children together – actors Oliver and Kate Hudson – they were divorced by March 1982. It wasn’t an amicable split, either. In the years afterwards, Hudson claimed that Hawn turned his children against him and he even ended up disowning Kate and Oliver.
However, Hawn doesn’t speak much about that painful part of her life and remains very close to Oliver and Kate. And after her unpleasant divorce, a new love came along. In 1983 she began dating her Swing Shift co-star Kurt Russell. And although the pair would never officially get married, their relationship became one of the longest-lasting in Hollywood.
Hawn credits her and Russell’s decision not to marry as the thing which makes the relationship special. “There’s something psychological about not being married because it gives you the freedom to make decisions one way or the other,” she said on U.K. chat show Loose Women in September 2016. “So, for me, I chose to stay, Kurt chose to stay.”
Throughout the ’00s, Hawn remained an icon of the screen, but she took a step back from acting. At that point in her life, she had three children: Kate, Oliver and her and Russell’s son, Wyatt. She also had a stepson, Boston, and had looked after children all over the world with her educational charity, The Hawn Foundation. In 2002 she appeared opposite Susan Sarandon in The Banger Sisters, and it seemed like that would be her last film.
However, it wasn’t. While Hawn was enjoying her retirement, she happened to meet famous comedienne Amy Schumer on a plane. Schumer asked her if she’d like to play her onscreen mother in a film she was working on. That film became Snatched, Hawn’s first film for a decade and a half.
Snatched did well at the box office even though it received mostly negative reviews. But it also introduced Goldie Hawn to a whole new generation, people who only knew her as “Kate Hudson’s mom” if they knew her at all. Soon the folks who had seen Snatched also discovered Hawn’s Instagram, and they loved it.
Instagram may be most popular with teens and twentysomethings, but Hawn had made hers into something a little different. People loved her honesty, her lack of filter and the fact that she looked like a normal woman in most of her photos. “Goldie Hawn’s Instagram Feed Is Like Your Mum’s, Only Funnier,” Popsugar suggested in 2017. However, it wasn’t necessarily all funny.
On August 6, 2017, Hawn posted a picture her fans had never seen before, of her younger self alongside a brunette woman. “My best friend has passed. Please treasure each other. Best friends get us through. Blessings to all this Sunday,” she wrote beside it. It was a simple but important message: life can be short, and loved ones are absolutely vital.
To make her point even clearer, Hawn followed up that post with another one. This time it was a picture of two little girls, one of whom was her four-year-old granddaughter, Rio. They were hugging each other, and Hawn tagged the photo with “Says it all!” It was an adorable pic, but it clearly masked a lot of sadness for Hawn.
Hawn didn’t mention the name of the woman alongside her in the photograph, but in the Instagram comments some people wondered if she was Jean Lynn, a woman described by Hawn as “my best girlfriend” in her 2005 autobiography A Lotus Grows in the Mud. But if that was her identity, Hawn didn’t confirm or deny it.
Even the quickest skim through A Lotus Grows in the Mud will reveal to the reader how important Hawn’s friends are to her. One notable chapter describes how terrifying the young Goldie Hawn found the prospect of a nuclear attack on the USA and how she and her friend Jean tried to protect each other one day when they heard the warning sirens go off.
Hawn has spoken about the importance of friendships in recent years, too. In an interview with People magazine given a few months before her friend’s death, she was asked who made her laugh the most at her current point in life. Hawn answered, “You have your girlfriends you really laugh with and there aren’t that many.”
And in a chat with Interview magazine in April 2017, she talked about how her friends were mainstays in her life as she got older and considered retirement. “I can’t imagine, as a human being, not being able to grow. When I turned 50, I asked some of my girlfriends, all actresses of the same age, ‘What are we going to do now?’” she said.
The reaction to Hawn’s Instagram post was overwhelmingly sympathetic. Some people shared similar stories of losing best friends, and others simply sent their prayers and condolences. “So sorry for your loss of your best girlfriend. You are so right… our best friends get us through some rough times together,” one comment read.
Although there is no doubt that Goldie Hawn loved her best friend, her words on Instagram served as a reminder to always treasure them, as one day they could be gone. Commenters responded positively to that idea, too. “Thank you for reminding us to cherish those near and dear to us. Much love,” one person wrote. And no doubt that that was the very reason why Hawn posted about her grief in the first place.