Name:
Kevin Costner
Birth Date:
January 18, 1955
Birth Place:
Lynwood, California, USA
Height:
6' 1''
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
His role as Crash Davis in 'Bull Durham' (1988)
Profession:
Actor, Producer, Director
Education:
Villa Park High School in California
BIOGRAPHY
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Dances with Wolves

Background:

"This is a bonding film for all. You could put it anywhere in history--the Berlin Wall, Kuwait." Kevin Costner on Dances with Wolves American film actor and director Kevin Costner acquired his superstardom status with the 1990’s multi Oscar-winning film Dances with Wolves, in which he served as a director, an actor and a producer. Due to his fantastic work, Costner was highly praised with two Academy Awards, a Directors Guild Award, and two awards from the National Board of Review, a Golden Globe Award, a Berlin Film Festival Award, a PGA Golden Laurel Award, a Robert Festival Award and a Guild of German Art House Cinemas Award. Also rising to prominence with such sport-theme films as 1988’s Bull Durham and 1989’s Field of Dreams, Costner received mixed feedback and took home three Razzie Awards for his work in the blockbuster hit Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), the western film Wyatt Earp (1994) and The Postman (1997).

In the following years, Costner won overwhelmingly positive reviews for his performances in Message in a Bottle (1999), For Love of the Game (1999), 13 Days (2001), 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), and Open Range (2003), convincing critics and audiences alike that he was back in the saddle again. Recently, the 50-year-old actor costarred with Joan Allen, Keri Russell and Alicia Witt in Mike Binder's drama The Upside of Anger (2005), and will play roles in three upcoming films, the comedy Rumor Has It (2005, starring with Jennifer Anniston), the action film The Guardian (2006, alongside Omari Hardwick and Ashton Kutcher) and the drama The Tortilla Curtain (2006, opposite Meg Ryan).

Off screen, Kevin Costner was named one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” (in 1990 and 1991), was ranked the 87th of Empire magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” (1995) and the 27th of Empire magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” (1997). A box-office movie star, Costner has a 165 acre ranch outside of Aspen, Colorado. He also co-owns the Midnight Star casino in Deadwood, South Dakota, which exhibits several of his movie memorabilia. In 2003, he opened the Tatanka Interpretive site in Deadwood. The site features a bronze statue representing the Lakota Sioux buffalo hunt. There is also a gift shop, a museum and living history of the Lakota Sioux tribe.

As for his private life, Costner has been married twice in his life. He first tied the knot with restaurateur Cindy Silva in 1978, but they divorced after sixteen years of marriage. He has three children from Silva, two daughters, Annie Costner (born in 1985) and Lily Costner (born in 1987), and a son named Joe Costner (born in 1988). Two years after the separation, he had a new relationship with Bridget Rooney, with whom he has a son named Liam Rooney (born in 1996). Costner married his four-year-girlfriend Christine Baumgarter in 2004 at his Aspen Colorado ranch. Recently, the actor reportedly said that his grown-up children find it hard to accept his new wife into the family.

Arsenal Admirer

Childhood and Family:

Kevin Michael Costner was born on January 18, 1955, in Lynwood, California, to German, Irish, and Native American descendant parents. Born to a blue collar, California household, Kevin’s father is Bill Costner, a power-company worker, and his mother is Sharon Costner, a welfare worker. Kevin is the third son of the Costner family. His oldest brother named Dan was born in 1950, while his middle brother passed away at birth three years later. As a child, Kevin was forced to move frequently due to his father’s occupation, which caused Costner to feel like an “Army kid,” always a new child at school, and later turned him into a daydreamer. In his teenage years, he performed with a Baptist church choir, wrote poetry and attended writing classes to perfect his skills.

Graduating from Villa Park High School in Villa Park, California, in 1973, Kevin continued his studies at California State University in Fullerton, and received a B.A. degree in Business Administration and Marketing five years later. During that period, he was bit by the acting bug and decided to take drama lessons five nights a week. He also participated in some plays with the Community Theater. Upon graduation, however, he opted to get a job in his chosen profession instead. After a month working with Orange Country, a California marketing firm, and an opportunity encounter with actor Richard Burton, Kevin made up his mind to give acting a more serious try.

The same year Kevin graduated from college, in 1978, he married his college sweetheart Cindy Silva, with whom he shares three children, one son named Joe Costner (born in 1988) and two daughters, Annie Costner (born in 1985) and Lily Costner (born in 1987). Kevin and his wife of 16 years became estranged in 1994 and eventually divorced. On September 25, 2004, he began a new family and tied the knot with fiancée Christine Baumgarter. The couple first met in 2000 and became engaged on June 26, 2003. On their wedding day, there were reportedly about 500 guests attending the party, including Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Tim Allen, Don Johnson, Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones. Aside from the three children from his first marriage, Kevin also has one son named Liam Rooney (born in 1996) from his previous relationship with Bridget Rooney.

Outside the spotlight, Kevin is a big supporter of the British soccer team Arsenal. Commenting about being a fan of the team, he said, "My first introduction to English football was in 1990 when I was over here making Robin Hood and I got invited to an Arsenal game. Having watched sports all my life in America, there was no comparison in terms of the emotion that was in the stadium that day. And I really never forgot it."

Bull Durham

Career:

California native actor Kevin Costner became interested in acting while he was a college student. Attending acting classes five nights a week, participating in a few productions with the local theater, as well as an ill-fated 1975 film debut in Sizzle Beach, USA/Malibu Hot Summer (released in 1986) did not give him enough confidence to enter the entertainment industry, and with a degree in business in his pocket, 20-year-old Costner briefly worked for a marketing firm in California. Encouraged by actor Richard Burton, whom he accidentally met on a flight from Mexico, Costner subsequently left his job and decided to pursue acting more professionally. Theater workshops, temporarily odd jobs like driving a truck, working on fishing boats, giving tours of star’s Hollywood homes, and auditions kept Costner busy as he made his way into films.

Seven years after his film debut, Costner tried to break into Hollywood with small roles in movies like Chasing Dreams (1982), Night Shift (1982), Frances (1982), Table for Five (1983), Stacy's Knights (1983), Testament (1983), The Gunrunner (1984), Fandango (1985) and American Flyers (1985). Costner’s breakout role arrived when director Lawrence Kasdan cast him in the sizable supporting role of Jake in the Western film Silverado (1985, starring Kevin Kline and Scott Glenn). In 1987, Costner earned positive reviews for his fine performance in two foremost films, The Untouchables (1987) and No Way Out (1987). He combined the success with a 1987 NATO/ ShoWest award for Star of Tomorrow.

The following years, Costner received his star status with his portrayal of veteran baseball player Crash Davis in Ron Shelton’s Bull Durham (1988, starring with Susan Sarandon) and as a cultivator who creates a baseball diamond in his Iowa cornfield in Field of Dreams (1989, opposite Amy Madigan). Both baseball-themed movies became box office smash hits. Also in 1988, he co-found TIG Productions with director Jim Wilson.

In the early 1990s, with his production company, Costner produced, as well as starred in, the motion picture Revenge (1990, also starring screen legend Anthony Quinn and beauty Madeleine Stowe), but his biggest break arrived with his directorial debut Dances with Wolves (1990), in which he also played the leading role of Lt. John Dunbar and served as one of two producers. In addition to the huge success of the adventure film being one of the highest grossing films of the year, it was also nominated for a dozen categories at the Academy Awards, and won seven, including two for Costner in the categories of Best Director and Best Picture. Moreover, Costner’s spectacular work handed him several awards like a Directors Guild, a National Board of Review and a Golden Globe for Best Director, as well as a National Board of Review for Best Picture, a Berlin Film Festival for Outstanding Single Achievement (Actor, Producer, Director), a PGA Golden Laurel for Motion Picture Producer of the Year, a Robert Festival for Best Foreign Film and a Guild of German Art House Cinemas for Foreign Film.

Reviews on Costner (since the highly acclaimed Dances with Wolves) have been mixed, although Costner had several hits on his hands. He played the title character in the 1991 successful costume epic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, in which his acting won a Razzie for Worst Actor. Costner scored another hit with Oliver Stone's JFK (1991) and gained his next blockbuster exposure in Lawrence Kasdan-scripted The Bodyguard (1992, opposite Whitney Houston). In the following years, however, he suffered from box-office failures, including Clint Eastwood’s A Perfect World (1993), the 1994 Western Wyatt Earp and his 1995 epic sci-fi adventure Waterworld. In Wyatt Earp, Costner also took home a second Razzie for Worst Remake or Sequel. He rebounded with the romantic comedy Tin Cup (1996), which was well-received by audiences and critics alike.

In 1997, Costner was back in the director’s chair to helm the epic film version of author David Brin's The Postman (also starred as the title role). Unfortunately, his behind-the-screen efforts received negative response from both the public and film critics. Additionally, his mixed performance in the film won him a third Razzie for Worst Actor in 1998. At the end of decade, his career gained some revival with the romantic drama Message in a Bottle (1999, alongside Robin Wright Penn). The same year, he also received phrase with his return to the baseball-theme in Sam Raimi's drama For Love of the Game (1999).

The actor gained further recognition in the new millennium. Portraying presidential advisor Kenny O'Donnell, opposite Bruce Greenwood, in the Cuban missile crisis era Thirteen Days (2000), Costner won praise and critical accolades. The film itself was well-received at the box office. In the subsequent year, Costner teamed with Kurt Russell for director Demian Lichtenstein’s thriller 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), in which he also received positive reviews. He next starred as Doctor Joe Darrow, whose deceased wife communicates with him through dying patients, in the sentimental supernatural drama Dragonfly (2002). The film was penned by many critics as a cheap clone of Bruce Willis’ The Sixth Sense. In 2003, Costner’s tried his next behind-the-camera effort as a director, as well as starred in the western drama Open Range, which received much better feedback than Waterworld and The Postman.

While taking a year hiatus from film, Costner was honored with a Career Achievement Award in the Art of Cinema at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2004. He made his return to the cinematic industry in 2005 with Mike Binder's drama The Upside of Anger, costarring with Joan Allen, Keri Russell and Alicia Witt. Costner will soon star as Jennifer Anniston’s love interest in director/writer Ted Griffin's comedy/romance Rumor Has It (2005). He is also scheduled to play a role opposite Omari Hardwick and Ashton Kutcher in director Andrew Davis’s action The Guardian (2006) and portray Delaney Mossbacher in the drama The Tortilla Curtain (2006, also starring Meg Ryan), a film based on the adaptation of T. Coraghessan Boyle’s novel.

Awards:

  • Palm Springs International Film Festival: Career Achievement in the Art of Cinema Award, 2004
  • Razzie: Worst Actor, The Postman, 1998
  • Razzie: Worst Remake or Sequel, Wyatt Earp, 1995
  • Razzie: Worst Actor, Robin Hood: Price of Thieve, 1992
  • Guild of German Art House Cinemas: Guild Film Award - Gold - Foreign Film, Dances with Wolves, 1992
  • Robert Festival: Best Foreign Film, Dances with Wolves, 1992
  • PGA Golden Laurel: Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award, Dances with Wolves, 1991
  • 1991: Berlin Film Festival: Outstanding Single Achievement (Actor, Producer, Director), Dances with Wolves
    Golden Globe: Best Director, Dances with Wolves, 1990
  • National Board of Review: Best Picture, Dances with Wolves, 1990
  • National Board of Review: Best Director, Dances with Wolves, 1990
  • Oscar: Best Director, Dances with Wolves, 1990
  • Oscar: Best Picture, Dances with Wolves, 1990
  • Directors Guild: Best Director, Dances with Wolves, 1990
  • NATO/ShoWest: Star of Tomorrow, 1987
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