Kurt Russell

After getting his start as a child star in several movies for Walt Disney Studios, actor Kurt Russell managed to shed his wholesome image to play some of cinema's most notorious and hard-edged tough guys. Russell first broke the Disney mold with an acclaimed portrayal of the King in the made-for-television biopic, "Elvis" (ABC, 1979), which many hailed as one of the finest performances of his career. Having partnered with director John Carpenter, he next essayed one of his most enduring characters, Snake Plissken, the antihero of Carpenter's cult classic "Escape from New York" (1981). Russell delivered another solid performance as memorable hard-case R.J. MacReady in Carpenter's gory remake of "The Thing" (1982). While making the troubled romantic comedy "Swing Shift" (1984), Russell became romantically involved with co-star Goldie Hawn, with whom he forged a lasting partnership that resembled a marriage, but without the actual legal certificate. He was even considered by Hawn's two children from a previous marriage, actors Kate Hudson and Oliver Hudson, to be - at least in spirit - their father. Meanwhile, Russell thrived throughout the 1980s with "Big Trouble in Little China" (1986) and "Tequila Sunrise" (1988), which carried over into the next decade with "Backdraft" (1991), "Captain Ron" (1992) and a dead-on portrayal of Wyatt Earp in "Tombstone" (1993). Following box office success with "Stargate" (1994) and "Executive Decision" (1996), Russell offered up varied performances in films like the tense thriller "Breakdown" (1997), Cameron Crowe's "Vanilla Sky" (2001), hockey drama "Miracle" (2004), and Quentin Tarantino's "Grindhouse" (2007) and "The Hateful Eight" (2015). Whether playing the hero or the heel, Russell remained one of the most engaging actors in Hollywood.