After winning the heart of the movie-going public with his wholesome sexiness and deadpan delivery, Kevin Costner went on to become a major player in Hollywood with the colossal success of his directorial debut, Dances With Wolves. He has continued to delight audiences with memorable performances and has won admiration for his persistence and his creative ambition. These days he is excelling in key character roles in movies such as Hidden Figures.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kevin became infatuated with the movie industry at a young age. After receiving a degree in marketing from Cal State Fullerton, he was cast in a local production of Rumpelstiltskin. The experience left him wanting more. He decided to pursue a career as a professional actor and, for the next few years, accepted small roles in meager films. After his performance in Lawrence Kasdan’s 1983 hit The Big Chill wound up on the cutting room floor, he landed the role of Jake the batty gunfighter in the 1985 hit Silverado and went on to cement his reputation as a popular romantic lead and rising star with solid performances in The Untouchables and No Way Out. Two baseball flicks, Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, made him a mega-celebrity and landed him on the cover of Time.
Not content with his reputation as a Hollywood heartthrob, this golden boy decided to prove his worth and took on the challenge of producing, directing and starring in the epic Western Dances With Wolves. It was a surprise blockbuster hit and a landmark in Hollywood’s depiction of Native Americans, and it firmly established Kevin as a major box-office draw.
Full name: Kevin Costner
Date of Birth: January 18, 1955
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, Calif.
Education: Graduated in 1978 from California State Fullerton with a B.A. in Business Administration and Marketing.
Big break: The role of charismatic gunfighter Jake in the action-packed Western Silverado. The movie was a hit and made Kevin a rising star who was soon hailed as the next Jimmy Stewart.
Defining role: Kevin put his Hollywood clout to the test in 1990 by going against industry advice and producing, directing and starring in the sprawling neo-Western Dances With Wolves. It was a box-office smash, won seven Oscars – including Best Picture and Best Director – and made Kevin one of the hottest stars of the decade.
Incidental/Fun Facts: Owned a racehorse named Proudtobetogether.
Became a member of the Sioux Nation while filming Dances with Wolves.
Three of his children appeared in Dances with Wolves and The Postman.
Runs own production company, TIG Productions Inc.
On being heckled while filming For Love of the Game:
“After about 15 days of filming, somebody yelled something, and I snapped. I lost it. I don’t remember what they said, but it was something that I didn’t like. I stopped in the middle of the scene, walked off the mound right to the stands and said, “You…!” Everybody got really quiet, especially the person who got my goat. As I’m walking back, I’m thinking, ‘What a jerk you are, Kevin.’ It’s like we had these great days together, and I am giving a whole baseball stadium full of fans one incident that’s going to be in their minds forever.” – E! Online
“When it comes to making movies, I remain ferocious, because the movies you see me in would be really different if I wasn’t ferocious. Maybe you won’t like my movies, but somebody has to fight for stuff, and believe me, it’s a fight. A movie is like a salmon headed upstream. There are a lot of things that are trying to keep it from getting there. That’s not to say that I’m infallible, I’m the one that knows best, but somebody has to have a point of view and stand up for it.” – E! Online