Today is the birthday of Goldie Hawn (b. 1945). That is actually her real name. A lot of people make the erroneous assumption (at least I did) that she was just a go-go dancer who was hired to be on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in and became a comedy star and actor as a sort of fluke. In reality she was a go-go dancer who was hired for Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in who was also a trained, professional ballerina since age 10, and a professional actress at least since 1961 when she played Juliet in a Virginia Shakespeare Company production of Romeo and Juliet. She later majored in drama at American University, from which she dropped out in order to teach dance and perform professionally. Then, she was cast as a dumb blonde in the sit-com Good Morning World with Ronnie Schell, and THIS is what got her cast on Laugh-In.
Now: perhaps it is obnoxious of me (and I certainly don’t condone the perpetuation of stereotypes) but I vastly prefer her Laugh-In character to anything (and I mean ANYTHING) she’s ever done in movies. Early Goldie was big and silly and funny and made a forceful impression — she really stole the show when she was around. Her more subdued “real” film persona leaves virtually no impression on me. Even in light comedy, I find her at best likable, but for the most part bland and forgettable. Give me Goldie Classic!
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.