Like Goldie Like Kate
updated 06/07/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/07/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Like her mom before her, Hudson is juggling her acting career with young motherhood; in her new comedy Raising Helen, Hudson stars as a sudden mom to her sister's three kids. But the shared blonde ambition—not to mention that infectious giggle, the California-girl glow and the tonsil-flashing smile—aren't the only parallels between them. Offscreen both Hudson, 25, and Hawn, 58, "find humor in everything—they're able to lighten any mood," Erinn Bartlett, 31, told PEOPLE last August; her fiancé, actor Oliver Hudson, 27, is Kate's brother. Plus, Bartlett added, "they both have that natural-mom thing going on. They share an incredible relationship."
But perhaps it is baby Ryder—whose middle name is a nod to Hawn's longtime partner, Kurt Russell, 53 (whom Hudson calls Pa)—who has most cemented the bond between mother and daughter. "I am loving being a grandmother," says Hawn. For Hudson, however, Ryder's arrival comes with some first-time-mom anxiety. "All of a sudden," says Hudson, "you have these feelings like, 'I gotta do everything perfect, I'm a mother now.' " But according to producer George Schlatter, a longtime friend since working with Hawn during her Laugh-In days in the '60s, Hudson has a terrific role model in Hawn, who plays mother hen to her extended brood (see box). "If you knew her as a mother, you would understand why everyone should wish Goldie was their grandmother," he says. "Goldie is one of the smartest people I've ever known and also one of the most loving. That's a very tight family."
In 2002 Hawn and Russell purchased a $2.2 million Tudor-style home in rainy Vancouver so that their son Wyatt, 17, could pursue his pro-hockey dreams. The family has quietly settled into their new neighborhood, where Russell frequently browses the DVDs at Rogers Video store (the BBC series The Office was a recent pick) and Hawn stops in at Meinhardt Fine Foods for granola and flowers. Both parents turn out to cheer Wyatt, who plays goalie for the Richmond Sockeyes, a junior league team. "He's a levelheaded kid," says coach Ron Johnson. Soon the family will be joined by Oliver, whose new WB series The Mountain is expected to shoot in Vancouver. Having her sons together, says Hawn, "is the most beautiful thing for a mother to see."
While Hawn and Russell are camped out north of the border, Hudson and Robinson have finally settled into their first home—not coincidentally, the very same house in Pacific Palisades that Hawn bought when she was pregnant with Kate. "They are so much in love," Stan Robinson, Chris's father, says of the couple. "They laugh all the time." (Ryder, meanwhile, "looks just like his daddy," says Stan.) And Hudson can turn to Hawn if she needs advice on being a working mother. "A lot of the time, my life has been busy," says Hawn, who plans to direct a film and is set to publish her memoirs later this year. "I prioritized very greatly the things that I did."
Like her daughter, who earned an Oscar nomination at 21 for Almost Famous, Hawn gained notice early, scoring the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1969's Cactus Flower when she was 24 years old. Hawn also walked down the aisle at a young age: first to director Gus Trikonis (they split in 1973), and then in 1976 to Hudson, now 55, who found fame in the mid-'70s with the Hudson Brothers band. But their union would hardly outlast the births of their children, Oliver and Kate; in 1980 the pair divorced. Although last year Kate told IN STYLE, "I see him all the time.... I don't resent him for anything," father and daughter have had a notably rocky relationship. "I have not seen the baby," says Bill, who has two children from a marriage to actress Cindy Williams: Zachary, 18, and Emily, 21. "My mother, Kate's real grandmother, has not seen the baby, and she cries about it." He also takes issue with his grandson's middle name: "I call him Ryder Hudson Robinson."
Meanwhile, Kate has long shared a deep bond with Russell, with whom Hawn hooked up on the 1984 set of Swing Shift. Soon after, they went about blending their families but chose not to marry. "I love being free and having him at the same time," Hawn has said. "And he feels the same way about me."
Hudson took a more traditional approach when she decided to wed Robinson, the former lead singer with the Black Crowes. "When I met Chris, everything just seemed to become very clear," she said last year. The couple married in Aspen on New Year's Eve 2000, and Hudson says she values her mom's advice on keeping a happy home. "[One] important thing my mom said is that men always have to feel like men," Hudson has said. "I think she's right."
As for the women of the house, well, both Hawn and Hudson seem comfortable with their current roles. "They share a best friend-sister relationship," Bartlett told PEOPLE. In her daughter, Hawn has found a confidante, knitting partner and kitchen buddy. "Katie is Miss Cooking Queen," said Bartlett. "She is always whipping up pies, and she makes these tacos to die for. That's Goldie too." The mother-daughter team hasn't ruled out teaming up onscreen as well. Said Hawn in '02: "If a great role comes in, I'd love to direct her, act with her, serve her tea."
In the meantime, Goldie, Kate, Oliver and Kurt have joined forces to create a family-run production company, Cosmic Entertainment. (Among other projects, Kate is producing I Did, I Do, Now What?, a UPN pilot about a young married couple.) And of course Ryder is keeping everyone on their toes. "I can't wait to see what he turns into," says Russell. "He has some genes going on." And Hudson has one fervent wish: "I can only hope that when Ryder and then the next kids come, they like me as much as I like my mom."
Michelle Tauber. Amy Longsdorf in New York City, Susan Mandel in Washington, D.C., Andrea Billups in Miami, Robin Roberts in Vancouver and Rachel Biermann, Alexis Chiu, Sean Daly, Michael Fleeman and Vicki Sheff-Cahan in L.A.