Movie star Kurt Russell turns 63 years old today, coincidentally in the wake of the release of his big-screen return with The Art of the Steal. But, of course, guys still remember and love Kurt Russell best for the chain smoking, eye-patch wearing badass named Snake Plissken–the Escape From New York character that forever changed the way a generation of guys look at movie heroes. And the way they look at us, whether they have one working eye or two.
Daring director John Carpenter gives Kurt Russell a lot of credit for helping to create Snake Plissken as the cynical, anti-hero who fought his way through Escape from New York and the lesser (but still fun) Escape from L.A. Snake was never just another clever pun-spewing renegade who answered every question by firing a high caliber weapon. He had a clever wit to match his adeptness at hand-to-hand combat. Kurt Russell created a guy who was–and still is–the personification of the word “badass.”
So even though Kurt Russell has done all kinds of great work (including another fine cultish turn with Carpenter in Big Trouble in Little China), there’s only one way to celebrate the Great Man’s birthday. Check out some amazing animated GIFs from Russell’s most famous and beloved character…