The Secret Kurt Russell Cameo In One Of The Biggest ’90s Movies Ever

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Kurt Russell had a secret cameo in the 1994 comedy-drama Forrest Gump. In the scenes depicting Forrest’s formative years, viewers learn that his mother supplemented their income by renting out rooms in their home. One of their tenants happened to be “a young man with a guitar case,” revealed later to be none other than Elvis Presley.

Kurt Russell Voiced Elvis In Forrest Gump

While Peter Dobson, who played Presley, remained either out of focus or filmed from behind during these scenes, Kurt Russell provided Elvis’s singing voice. Since Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis chose to keep the vocal cameo uncredited, it wasn’t until a 2016 GQ interview that the actor confirmed the rumors.”I did that as a thing for Bob,” Kurt Russell told the publication. As the story goes, Dobson’s voice didn’t have the right tone so Zemeckis asked for favor. “He didn’t like what it was and said, ‘I need something real bad.’ I didn’t know if, to be honest with you, Bob was doing it on the sly. In other words, the actor didn’t know,” he explained of his time on Forrest Gump. “It was fun to do.”

Kurt Russell Has Portrayed Elvis Multiple Times

Kurt Russell has encountered Elvis or his legacy several times over the years. At 12, he made his feature film debut in 1963’s It Happened at the World’s Fair and shared the screen with a singer who played the lead role. Russell also earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Special for his performance in John Carpenter’s television movie Elvis.Ironically, Kurt Russell didn’t lend his voice to the songs in Carpenter’s Elvis, with Ronnie McDowell performing the vocals instead. The most notable instance of the actor doing something related to the iconic singer was in the film 3000 Miles to Graceland, where he and Kevin Costner portray criminals posing as Elvis impersonators.

Tom Hanks In Forrest Gump

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Interestingly, Forrest Gump remains one of the biggest movies Kurt Russell has been involved in. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the movie is based on the 1986 Winston Groom novle of the same name. The movie stars Tom Hanks in the titular role, and follows Forrest Gump, a man with a low IQ who inadvertently influences several defining moments in American history.Forrest Gump narrates the story as he sits at a bus stop, recounting his life experiences to various strangers. Despite his low intelligence, Forrest excels in football and running. His life becomes intertwined with historical events like the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, and the Watergate scandal. He also develops a friendship with Jenny, who comes in and out of his life.

Forrest Gump was a critical and financial success, receiving praise for its storytelling, performances, and innovative use of visual effects which placed Forrest into historical footage. Tom Hanks’ portrayal of the titular character earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film, with the secret Kurt Russell cameo, was hailed for its emotional depth, humor, and unique approach to American history.

Kurt Russell’s Early Career

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Kurt Russell has enjoyed a diverse and successful film career over the years. In the 1990s, he continued to showcase his versatility by taking on various roles in films like Escape from L.A. and Breakdown. In the 2000s, Russell expanded his repertoire with roles in Vanilla Sky, Miracle, and Death Proof, which was part of Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse double feature.

Kurt Russell Today

In later years, Kurt Russell appeared in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious, F9, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The actor also ventured into streaming with Netflix releases The Christmas Chronicles and its sequel, The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two.