Monday, May 24, 2004

Goldie Hawn brings smiles during Smart Talk lecture at Aronoff

By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn spoke before a packed house at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.
(Melissa Heatherly/The
Cincinnati Enquirer)

Goldie Hawn sashayed on stage at the Aronoff Center, clutching a mug of tea.

She immediately laughed and apologized for forgetting her lip gloss, kicking off the most off-the-cuff speech in this year's Smart Talk women's lecture series.

"I have no script," she admitted with a wide grin. "I just talk."

The Sunday evening lecture was originally slated for June 1, but Hawn had to reschedule because of conflicts with her production calendar.

Academy Award-winner Hawn is known for her spot on the variety show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, as well as her performances in Cactus Flower, Private Benjamin and The First Wives Club. She is also a director, a producer and CEO of Cosmic Entertainment, along with partner Kurt Russell and her children Oliver and Kate Hudson.

Hawn mostly spoke about growing up, talking about her Maryland childhood in a duplex on a dead-end street. She was an average student with just two best friends. She signed her school papers, "Love, Goldie." And she painted pictures of apples in yellow, because she didn't like red.

"So I guess from the beginning, I was always taking a different path," she giggled.

Hawn stumbled into fame, going from doing the can-can on a bar in New York to dancing in a chorus line on an Andy Griffith television special, where she was spotted and signed to the William Morris Agency.

She also spoke frankly about the depression and anxiety she suffered when her career took off.

"It was a time when people were asking for my autograph, and I didn't even know who I was," she said. "Getting fame, fortune and money is supposed to make people happy. But sometimes it's just unsettling."

Years of therapy helped Hawn discover the healing power of laughter.

Hawn is currently using her boundless enthusiasm to create the "Traveling Museum of Laughter," an exhibit designed to entertain as well as enlighten the public to the scientific, physiological and emotional effects of laughter.

She concluded her speech by making the audience laugh for a full 15 seconds.

"When you go to sleep at night, ask yourself, 'How many times did I laugh today?' before you think about the troubles," she said.

Because laughter, she said, lowers blood pressure, exercises the lungs and face, and "ups the good cells that eat the bad cells."

"Laughter is no laughing matter," she said. "Hey, I just made that up!"


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