This Week in History

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Opening of Goldie Hawn's "Private Benjamin"

October 10, 1980
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"Women have to be very, very tough," says actor-producer Goldie Hawn, who practices what she preaches. Despite the difficulties of working in a male-dominated industry, she has become a force to be reckoned with both in front of and behind the camera.

Institution: Private collection


Goldie Hawn produced and starred in the highly popular film, Private Benjamin, which was released in theaters on October 10, 1980. The movie focuses on Judy Benjamin, a pampered bride-to-be whose husband suddenly dies on their wedding night. In her grief, Benjamin enlists in the Women’s Army Corps, and once she joins the army, Benjamin undergoes a transformation from stereotypical Jewish American Princess to self-aware, empowered woman in charge.

Hawn, one of the most successful women in Hollywood, has acted in over thirty films. Her film credits include Death Becomes Her (1992), The First Wives Club (1996), The Out-of-Towners (1999) and most recently The Banger Sisters (2002). Cactus Flower (1969) started Hawn’s film career, and netted her an Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe Award for her performance. She has also produced a number of theatrical and television movies, including 1997’s TV movie, Hope, (which Hawn also directed), and The Matthew Shepard Story (2002). Hawn's memoir, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, was published in 2006.

To learn more about Goldie Hawn, visit Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia.

See also: Film Industry in the United States, Jewish Women in Comedy.

Source: Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, pp. 603-604.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "This Week in History - Opening of Goldie Hawn's "Private Benjamin"." (Viewed on April 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/oct/10/1980/goldie-hawn>.