Kevin Costner

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Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner 2014.jpg
BornKevin Michael Costner
(1955-01-18) January 18, 1955 (age 59)
Lynwood, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, filmmaker, singer
Years active1974–present
  • Cindy Silva (m. 1978–94)
    Christine Baumgartner (m. 2004)
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Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner 2014.jpg
BornKevin Michael Costner
(1955-01-18) January 18, 1955 (age 59)
Lynwood, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, filmmaker, singer
Years active1974–present
  • Cindy Silva (m. 1978–94)
    Christine Baumgartner (m. 2004)

Kevin Michael Costner (born January 18, 1955) is an American actor, filmmaker, and singer. He has won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and one Emmy Award, and has been nominated for three BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards. Costner's notable roles include Eliot Ness in The Untouchables, Crash Davis in Bull Durham, Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams, Lt. John J. Dunbar in Dances with Wolves, Jim Garrison in JFK, Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Frank Farmer in The Bodyguard and Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel. Less well-liked were the science fiction-post-apocalyptic epics Waterworld (1995) and The Postman (1997), the latter starring, directed and produced by Costner.

He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie for his role as Devil Anse Hatfield in Hatfields & McCoys.

Early life[edit]

Costner was born in Lynwood, California and grew up in Compton, California. He is the youngest of three boys (the middle of whom died at birth). His mother, Sharon Rae (née Tedrick), was a welfare worker, and his father, William Costner, was an electrician and later utilities executive at Southern California Edison.[1][2] Costner's patrilineal heritage originates with German immigrants to South Carolina in the 1700s;[3] he also has English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and other German, ancestry.[4][5][6] Costner was raised Baptist.[7][8] He attended, Buena High School, and Villa Park High School. Costner was not academically inclined. Rather, he enjoyed sports, took piano lessons, wrote poetry, and sang in the First Baptist Choir.[1][9] He has stated that a viewing of the 1962 film How the West Was Won at the age of seven had "formed" his childhood.[3]

Spending his teenage years in various parts of California as his father's career progressed,[3] Costner has described this as a period when he "lost a lot of confidence", having to make new friends often.[3] Costner lived in Orange County, then in Visalia (Tulare County), attending Mt. Whitney High School, and then back to Ventura, graduating from Villa Park High School in 1973. He went on to earn a BA in marketing and finance from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) in 1978.[3] While at CSUF, he was a fraternity brother in Delta Chi.



Costner at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

Costner allegedly made his film debut in the film Sizzle Beach, U.S.A. Although a biography claims it was actually filmed in the winter of 1978–79, the film was not released until 1986. Costner made a very brief appearance in the 1982 Ron Howard film Night Shift. He is listed in the credits as 'Frat Boy No. 1' and appears at the climax of a frat-style, blow-out party in the New York City morgue, when the music is suddenly stopped by a frantic Henry Winkler. Costner can be seen holding a beer and looking surprised at the sudden halt of celebration.

He appeared in a commercial for the Apple Lisa and Table for Five in 1983, and, the same year, had a small role in the nuclear holocaust film Testament. Later, he was cast in The Big Chill and filmed several scenes that were planned as flashbacks, but they were removed from the final cut.[3] His role was that of Alex, the friend who committed suicide, the event that brings the rest of the cast together. All that is seen of him are his hair and his slashed wrists as the mortician dresses his corpse in the movie's opening scenes.[10] Costner was a friend of director Lawrence Kasdan, who promised the actor a role in a future project.[3] That became 1985's Silverado and a breakout role for Costner.[3] He also starred that year in the smaller films Fandango and American Flyers and appeared alongside Kiefer Sutherland in a one-hour long special episode of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories.[11]

Full-blown movie star status for Costner arrived in 1987, when he starred as federal agent Eliot Ness in The Untouchables and in the leading role of the thriller No Way Out.[3] He solidified his A-list status in the baseball-themed films Bull Durham (1988) and Field of Dreams (1989).[3] Costner's next success came with the epic Dances with Wolves (1990).[3] He directed and starred in the film and served as one of its producers.[3] The film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven, including two for him personally (Best Picture and Best Director).[3] The same year saw the release of Revenge, in which he starred along with Anthony Quinn and Madeleine Stowe, directed by Tony Scott (Costner had wanted to direct it himself).

He followed this with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), the Oliver Stone-directed JFK (1991), The Bodyguard (1992), and Clint Eastwood's A Perfect World (1993), all of which provided box office or critical acclaim.[3] He then took the title role in the biopic Wyatt Earp (1994), directed by Kasdan. It received mixed reviews and flopped[citation needed] at the box office. The War, also made in 1994, seemed to gain little attention. The science fiction-post-apocalyptic epics Waterworld (1995) and The Postman (1997), the latter of which Costner also directed, were both commercial disappointments and both largely regarded by critics as artistic failures.[3] However, The Postman results were worse than Waterworld and ended up "winning" five Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor and Worst Director for Costner.[12] Costner then starred in the golf comedy Tin Cup (1996) for Ron Shelton, who had previously directed him in Bull Durham.[3] He developed the film Air Force One and was set to play the lead role of the President, but ultimately decided to concentrate on finishing The Postman instead. He personally offered the project to Harrison Ford.

Costner visiting Andrews Air Force Base in July 2003.

His career revived somewhat in 2000 with Thirteen Days, in which he portrayed a top adviser to John F. Kennedy. The western Open Range, which he directed and starred in, received critical acclaim in 2003, and was a surprise success commercially. He received some of his best reviews for his supporting role as retired professional baseball player Denny Davies in The Upside of Anger, for which he received a nomination from the Broadcast Film Critics Association and won the San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor. After that, Costner starred in The Guardian and in Mr. Brooks, in which he portrayed a serial killer. In 2008, Costner starred in Swing Vote. Costner was honored on September 6, 2006 when his hand and foot prints were set in concrete in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre alongside those of other celebrated actors and entertainers. In 2010, he appeared in The Company Men alongside Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper. It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, and received good reviews. It was released in cinemas worldwide in January 2011. The film was considered to be an Oscar contender, but did not get a nomination.

Costner announced that he would be returning to the director's chair for the first time in seven years in 2011 with A Little War of Our Own. The film is about a local sheriff who must keep his town from erupting into violence during World War II. The other lead role is that of a German U-boat captain. The screenplay is by Dan Gordon, who co-wrote another sheriff movie for Costner, 1994's Wyatt Earp. In January 2012 Costner had to admit funding did not come through, and that he still hopes to make it in 2013. He was also about to team up again with director Kevin Reynolds in Learning Italian. Costner would play a CIA agent stationed in a coastal Italian town in order to keep an eye on a KGB operative. However, the movie did not get past pre-production phase because Costner and Reynolds could not raise the money required.

He also appears, as a special cameo, in Funny or Die's "Field of Dreams 2: Lockout". Costner portrayed Jonathan Kent in the rebooted Superman film, Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder.[13] Costner was going to have a role in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained,[14] but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.

Costner starred in the three-part miniseries Hatfields and McCoys, which premiered on May 28, 2012 on the History Channel. It immediately broke a record by pulling 13.9 million viewers. The miniseries tells the true American story of a legendary family feud – one that spanned decades and nearly launched a war between Kentucky and West Virginia. The role earned Costner a 2012 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.[15] He also won the Golden Globe for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

In 2014, Costner appeared in the spy movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, as Thomas Harper, a mentor for the series' title character. The same year, he starred in the thriller 3 Days to Kill and the drama Draft Day.

Country music[edit]

Costner on stage in July 2010

Costner is the singer in Kevin Costner & Modern West, a country rock band which he founded with the encouragement of his wife Christine. They began a worldwide tour in October 2007, which included shows in Istanbul and Rome. The group also performed at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.

The band released a country album, Untold Truths, on November 11, 2008 on Universal South Records. The album peaked at No. 61 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and No. 35 on the Top Heatseekers chart. Three singles ("Superman 14", "Long Hot Night" and "Backyard") have been released to radio, although none have charted. The single "Superman 14" has been made into a live music video.

In 2009, they went on tour with opening act The Alternate Routes. In August, at the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, Alberta, Costner and the band were scheduled next on stage when a severe thunderstorm struck, collapsing the stage and stands on the main stage. One person was reported dead and forty injured.[16] Later, an auction was held to raise money for the two young sons of the woman killed. A dinner with Costner was auctioned off for $41,000. Two guitars, one autographed by Costner, helped raise another $10,000 each.[17]

A second Kevin Costner and Modern West album, Turn It On, was released in February 2010 in Europe[18] and was supported by a European tour.[19] In July 2012, the band performed in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the 20th annual Telus World Skins Game in support of the IWK Health Centre Foundation, donating a guitar personally autographed by Costner.[20]

Other ventures[edit]


Several of Costner's films have included a baseball theme. They include Chasing Dreams, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game and The Upside of Anger, in which his character is a former pro baseball player.

He has a home in Austin and sometimes appears at Texas Longhorns baseball practices and games. Costner is a close friend of Longhorns baseball coach Augie Garrido from Garrido's days coaching at Cal State Fullerton, the actor's alma mater. He cast Garrido to play the role of the Yankee manager in For Love of the Game. He tries to attend every College World Series game that CSUF Titans plays in Omaha, Nebraska. Costner walked-on for a try-out, but did not make the team early in his time at the university.

Costner was a partial owner of the Zion, Illinois-based Lake County Fielders independent baseball team in the North American League. The Fielders name was an homage to Field of Dreams, with the logo showing a ballplayer standing amid a field of corn.[21][22]

Business interests[edit]

In July 2004, Costner fired Francis and Carla Caneva, who managed the Midnight Star casino in Deadwood, South Dakota. A judge subsequently ordered Costner to pay a percentage of $6.1 million to buy out the Canevas as his business partners. In October 2006, Costner asked the South Dakota Supreme Court to re-examine the ruling, as an accountant hired by the actor had determined the market value of the casino to be $3.1 million.[23]

On June 6, 2004 Costner opened "Tatanka: The Story of the Bison" one mile south of Deadwood SD on Highway 85, for what Kevin Costner hopes will be an educational and emotional place for people to learn about America's westward expansion. Promoters stated in a news release that the $5 million attraction has a new, 3,800-square-foot interactive interpretive center featuring exhibit, retail, and food and beverage areas, as well as offices and a small orientation theater. The visitor center features graphics, photographs and text describing how bison came to North America and how American Indian tribes used the animals for food, clothing, shelter and many other needs. Other displays show how the American westward expansion threatened the buffalo populations and how the bison herds have since recovered under managed care to number about 400,000. The centerpiece is a bronze sculpture depicting a buffalo jump commonly used by Plains Indians to kill and process large numbers of animals on which they depended for survival. Hill City artist Peggy Detmers created 14 bronze bison in the act of running from their pursuers and three bronze Lakota riders on horseback. Three of the massive bison are posed in midair, cascading over the face of a cliff. Costner commissioned the work in 1994 from Detmers. The five-fourths-scale bronzes, each weighing between 2,500 and 8,000 pounds, were cast at Eagle Bronze Foundry in Lander, Wyo. Another aspect is an 1845 Lakota encampment. The encampment will feature living Lakota interpreters of history, dressed in period attire and settled among their teepees.[24]

In 1995, Costner began developing oil separation machines based on a patent he purchased from the US government. The machines developed by the company were of little commercial interest until the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, when BP took six of the machines from a company in which Costner owned an interest, Ocean Therapy Solutions, for testing in late May 2010.[25] On June 16, 2010 BP entered into a lease with Ocean Therapy Solutions for 32 of the oil-water separation devices.[26] Although Spyron Contoguris and Stephen Baldwin previously sold their interests in Ocean Therapy Solutions in mid-June to another investor in the company, they filed a lawsuit in Louisiana District Court claiming $10.64 million for securities fraud and misrepresentation. The suit claimed that Costner kept a meeting with BP secret from them, and the secret meeting resulted in an $18 million down payment on a $52 million purchase and that after the down payment but before any announcement another investor used part of the downpayment to buy out their shares, thus excluding them from their share of the profits from the total sale.[27] The suit claimed that, despite public statements by Costner, Ocean Therapy Solutions, BP and others to the contrary, Baldwin and Contogouris were told that BP was still testing the machines and had not yet committed to lease the machines from Ocean Therapy Solutions and that the other investor in Ocean Therapy Solutions purchased their shares for $1.4 million to Baldwin and $500,000, to Contogouris.[28] In June 2012, a federal jury in Louisiana deliberated for less than 2 hours before completely rejecting Baldwin's and Contogouris' claims in the multi-million dollar oil clean-up case, and the court ordered Baldwin and Contogouris to reimburse Costner and the other defendants in the case for their costs.[29]


Costner serves on an honorary board for The National World War I Museum in Kansas City. In spring 2011, he recorded two radio spots for the museum that were aired on Kansas City Royals Radio Network.[30]


Costner was named ceremonial Grand Marshal of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series' Auto Club 500 which took place on February 25, 2007, at the California Speedway.[31] In 2008, he worked with the NASCAR Media Group and CMT Films to help produce the NASCAR Documentary, The Ride of Their Lives which would be released in 2009[dated info]. Costner would be the narrator for that documentary. Also in 2009, he was named the spokesman for NASCAR Day which took place on 15 May. The next day, 16 May, he and his country music band would perform in the infield of Lowe's Motor Speedway as well as participate as a judge in the 2nd annual Pennzoil Victory Challenge before the 25th Running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

Personal life[edit]


Costner in 2013 with Christine Baumgartner.

While in college, Costner was a member of Delta Chi fraternity at the Cal State Fullerton (CSUF).[1] He started dating fellow student Cindy Silva in March 1975, and their subsequent marriage three years later produced three children: Anne "Annie" Clayton (born on April 15, 1984), Lily McCall (born on August 4, 1986) and Joseph "Joe" Tedrick (born on January 31, 1988). The couple divorced in 1994 after 16 years of marriage. He has a son, Liam (born in 1996), with Bridget Rooney, with whom he had a brief relationship following his divorce.[32]

In 1996, he lived with supermodel Elle Macpherson.[33]

On September 25, 2004, Costner married his girlfriend of four years, German-American model and handbag designer Christine Baumgartner,[34] at his ranch in Aspen, Colorado. Their first child, Cayden Wyatt Costner, was born on May 6, 2007 at a Los Angeles hospital.[35] Their second son, Hayes Logan, was born on February 12, 2009,[36] and their third child, a daughter named Grace Avery, was born on June 2, 2010.[37]


The actor plays regularly in celebrity golf tournaments, including the PGA Tour's annual pro-am at Pebble Beach, California and the BMW Pro-Am held each April in Greenville County, South Carolina. Costner is a member at Birnam Wood Golf Club in California. Costner is a fan of the London football team Arsenal F.C. While filming Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, he attended a match and has followed the team ever since.[38]

Political activism[edit]

Since 1992, Costner has financially supported a variety of Democratic Party politicians, including Al Gore and Tom Daschle, but also made contributions to the Republican Party's Phil Gramm as late as 1995.[39] He said publicly in 2008 that he has no ambition to run for political office, adding "I've lived quite a colorful life."[40]

In the final days before the 2008 election, Costner campaigned for Barack Obama, visiting various places in Colorado—a state in which he has a home. In his speech, Costner stated the need for young voters to get to the polls, early and with enthusiasm. "We were going to change the world and we haven't," Costner said at a Colorado State University rally. "My generation didn't get it done, and we need you to help us."[41]

In October 2014, Costner sent a tribute to British troops serving around the world thanking them for their work.[42]


Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
1990National Board of ReviewBest DirectorDances with WolvesWon
1991Academy AwardsBest ActorNominated
Best DirectorWon
Best PictureWon
Chicago Film Critics Association AwardsBest ActorNominated
Best DirectorNominated
David di Donatello AwardsBest Foreign ActorNominated
Best Foreign FilmNominated
Directors Guild of AmericaBest DirectorWon
Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – DramaNominated
Best Director – Motion PictureWon
1992BAFTA AwardsBest Actor in a Leading RoleNominated
Best DirectionNominated
Cinema of FranceBest Foreign FilmNominated
Cinema of GermanyBest Foreign FilmWon
Cinema of JapanBest Foreign Language FilmWon
Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – DramaJFKNominated
MTV Movie AwardsMost Desirable MaleRobin Hood: Prince of ThievesNominated
Best On-Screen Duo (with Morgan Freeman)Nominated
Best Male PerformanceNominated
Razzie AwardsWorst ActorWon
Saturn AwardsBest ActorNominated
1993MTV Movie AwardsMost Desirable MaleThe BodyguardNominated
Best On-Screen Duo (with Whitney Houston)Nominated
Best Male PerformanceNominated
Razzie AwardWorst ActorNominated
1996Worst ActorWaterworldNominated
1997Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – Musical or ComedyTin CupNominated
1998Saturn AwardsBest ActorThe PostmanNominated
Razzie AwardWorst PictureWon
Worst ActorWon
Worst DirectorWon
2000Blockbuster Entertainment AwardsFavorite Actor – Drama or RomanceMessage in a BottleNominated
2005San Francisco Film Critics CircleBest Supporting ActorThe Upside of AngerWon
Satellite AwardsBest Supporting Actor – Motion PictureNominated
2006Broadcast Film Critics Association AwardsBest Supporting ActorNominated
2012Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Movie/Miniseries ActorHatfields & McCoysNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a MovieWon
Satellite AwardsBest Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmNominated
2013Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmWon
Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television MovieWon


  1. ^ a b c Todd Keith, Kevin Costner: The Unauthorized Biography, Ikonprint Publishers: Southwark, London (1991)
  2. ^'s Guide to Movies
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2001
  4. ^ Barnes, Harper (November 18, 1990). "Costner's Waltz with the West ... He takes the Indians' side in making his directing debut". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved December 9, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Pursuing The Dream", Time Magazine June 26, 1989
  6. ^ Kevin Costner - Biography
  7. ^ "KEVIN COSTNER PLOWS HIS OWN 'Field of Dreams'". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. May 6, 1989. Retrieved December 9, 2007. 
  8. ^ Kempley, Rita (November 9, 1990). "Kevin Costner in the Land of 'Wolves'; The Director: Reclaiming Boyhood Dreams". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 9, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Kevin Costner biography"., The Pierian Press, 2003. videocassette. Traveling Light Media, 2003. Media Review Digest, MRD05052940. May 18, 1743. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  10. ^ The Big Chill at IMDB, trivia
  11. ^ "Amazing Stories; The Mission". Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  12. ^ Internet Movie Database. "18th Annual Golden Raspeberry Awards". Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  13. ^ Kevin Costner Confirmed for Superman! | Superhero Hype
  14. ^ Kit, Borys (July 18, 2011). "Kevin Costner to Train Slaves in 'Django Unchained'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  15. ^ Pennington, Gail (September 24, 2012). "'Homeland' wins big; Hamm loses again at Emmys". St. Louis Post-Dispatch via website. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  16. ^ "1 Dead, 40 Injured in Canada Stage Collapse". AP via The New York Times. August 2, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  17. ^ Lees, Nick (August 12, 2009). "Katz likely culprit behind mystery $41,000 bid". Edmonton Journal. [dead link]
  18. ^ New Album – "Turn It On" – News – Kevin Costner & Modern West[dead link]
  19. ^ New Tour Dates Announced / New Album In the Works – News – Kevin Costner & Modern West[dead link]
  20. ^ Academy Award winner, actor, director and musician, Kevin Costner and Juno Award winner Canadian musician and humanitarian Tom Cochrane to play at 2012 TELUS World Skins [dead link]
  21. ^ Rotenbirk, Lori (April 5, 2009). "Major League Hopes Pinned on the Minors". The New York Times. p. A23. 
  22. ^ "Zion, IL 2010 Northern League Expansion Team Named the Lake County Fielders". Lake County Fielders web site. October 5, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  23. ^ Costner appeals in casino wrangle, BBC
  24. ^ Rapid City Journal, June 6, 2004
  25. ^ Robbins, Liz (May 19, 2010). "If You Build It …". The New York Times. 
  26. ^ "Examiner: Kevin Costner sells 32 oil spill machines to BP to recycle 6 million gallons of water a day (photos)". 
  27. ^ Kate Ward. "Stephen Baldwin spills lawsuit on Kevin Costner". 
  28. ^ Detroit Free Press, Friday, December 24, 2010, page 3C
  29. ^ "Kevin Costner". Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  30. ^ Costner Lends Voice to Museum[dead link]
  31. ^ Kevin Costner Named Grand Marshal[dead link]
  32. ^ Perry, Simon (February 9, 2007). ""Kevin Costner, Wife Christine Are Expecting."]". People. 
  33. ^ Pringle, Gill. (June 3, 1996). "Kevin Costner Gets an Elle of a Girl.". Sunday Mirror. 
  34. ^ Kappes, Serena and Jason Bane "Kevin Costner Marries Girlfriend in Aspen." People. September 26, 2004.
  35. ^ Nudd, Tim. "Kevin Costner, Wife Have a Baby Boy." People. May 7, 2007.
  36. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. "It's Another Boy for Kevin Costner." People. February 13, 2009
  37. ^ Michaud, Sarah (March 17, 2010). "Seventh Child on the Way for Kevin Costner". People. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  38. ^ "Open Range – Kevin Costner Q&A". 
  39. ^ "FreshMeat:Celebrity Donations". 
  40. ^ "Comedy Central:Kevin Costner". August 6, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2009. [dead link]
  41. ^ Trevor Hughes (October 29, 2008). "Celebrities, officials push CSU student vote". Fort Collins Coloradoan. p. A1. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  42. ^ "Kevin Costner pays tribute to British soldiers". October 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]