Kate Hudson's biological father is a musician and actor named Bill Hudson. The man she calls her dad though is Kurt Russell. Russell has been partners with Kate's mom, Goldie Hawn for 35 years and by all accounts, while Hawn and Hudson divorced just a year or so after Kate was born. So how did Kate's relationship with Russell evolve like it did? Quite naturally, actually.
Russell and Hawn started dating while filming Swing Shift in 1984. The movie is not one of the more memorable in either actor's filmography, but it did something more than any other movie has done for them, it brought them together. Kate was three-years-old at the time and her brother Oliver was six. Recently, the two discussed the early days of Kurt Russell's relationship with their mom on their podcast, Sibling Revelry.
The first time Hawn brought Russell home, Kate and Oliver were sleeping. It was 1984 and both kids shared a bedroom. Kate says on the podcast, "We were sleeping, and Mom said he walked in and he saw us and she unexpectedly was just going to peek in and see them, but he sat down next to each of us." Kate and Oliver's father, Bill, whom they are estranged from today, was still in the picture to an extent, though as Hawn and Russell got closer, so did Kate and Russell.
Kate says on the show, "For me, it felt like such a big moment because it was like, 'My mom is madly in love with this guy.' For me, at the time, it was like, 'Is this going to be my dad?'" Hawn and Russell have famously never married, but Russell became a constant and welcome presence in Kate's life. On the Howard Stern show in 2016, Kate said, "When you have a father like Kurt, who has been there for the hard stuff. The trust that I got from him in terms of his dependability was just priceless for me."
Kate's love and respect for Russell is clear and nothing shows that better than the name of her oldest child with ex-husband Chris Robinson, whom she chose to name after him, Ryder Russell Robinson. She even calls him "Pa." Kate's relationship with Bill is strained, to say the least, she says she doesn't have any ill will towards him. She did succinctly tell Howard Stern how important Russell is to her though, saying, "Kurt was great with that stuff when we were growing up. He is so honest, so brutally honest. I love him so much; he is just a great guy."