Goldie Hawn divorces Hudson's biological father, Bill Hudson, of the '70s comedy trio The Hudson Brothers. Three years later, Hawn meets Kurt Russell on the set of Swing Shift. The two fall in love, and Russell moves in with Hawn and her brood when Hudson is 3 years old. He becomes a father figure to Hudson, and she calls him "Pa" or "Dad."
Hawn asks Hudson, 15, if she's had sex yet. When recounting the story to Details, Hudson recalls, "When I said 'yes,' that I'd already lost my virginity to a boy I was just mad for, she was supportive."
After taking her first professional acting job in 1996, guest-starring on FOX's drama, Party of Five (left), Hudson appears in her first film, the little-seen drama Ricochet River, as a teenage outcast growing up in a small town.
At a Halloween party, Hudson meets future husband Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, who is 12 years her senior and seems as dark as she does bubbly. When later asked by PEOPLE if the two plan on marrying, she says, "There's no question. We knew it the first day we met."
Hudson's movie career gains speed, first with a role in the ensemble comedy 200 Cigarettes with Christina Ricci, Ben and Casey Affleck, and then in the comedy Desert Blue, also featuring Ricci and Casey Affleck.
Robinson and Hudson bump into each other again at a party following a New York City performance by Kids in the Hall. Four days after they have their first date strolling through Central Park and visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hudson moves into Robinson's New York City apartment. Hudson is later spotted wearing a diamond ring, sparking talk of an engagement. Though she declares to PEOPLE, "We're totally in love," the actress denies plans for an impending wedding.
Hudson cements her reputation as a serious actress by winning rave reviews as groupie Penny Lane in the Cameron Crowe dramedy Almost Famous. The 21-year-old later earns an Oscar nomination for the role and snags a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
Hudson and Robinson tie the knot in front of about 70 guests in Hawn and Russell's Old Snowmass, Colo., backyard with a string quartet playing on New Year's Eve. A Ute Indian shaman weds the bohemian couple, and at the reception that follows, Robinson and Russell serenade Hudson with an Elvis duet. The newlyweds honeymoon in England, where Hudson is shooting the 19th century adventure tale The Four Feathers.
Hudson and Matthew McConaughey shoot the comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. While filming, McConaughey hangs out with her family and tells her, "The Osbournes got nothing on y'all." When the romantic comedy opens the following year, it debuts at No. 1, eventually breaking the $100 million mark.
Before the release of her latest romantic comedy, Alex & Emma (with Luke Wilson), Hudson announces her pregnancy with her and Robinson's first child. That summer, Hudson gets a taste of roadie life, traveling with Robinson on his first solo American tour.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Berliner Studio/BEImages; David Lee/Paramount/Liason; PMC; MARY ELLEN MATTHEWS; ALEX OLIVEIRA/STARTRAKS; Everett Collection