Personal detailsName: Kevin Costner
Born: 18 January 1955 (Age: 59)
Where: Lynwood, California, USA
Height: 6' 1"
Awards: Won 2 Oscars, 1 Golden Globe. Nominated for 3 BAFTAs
All about this star
Having apparently peaked at the age of 35 by directing and starring in Dances With Wolves, snapping up two major Oscars for his efforts, Kevin Costner would spend the next two decades on a professional rollercoaster. His ups have been giddying, and his downs, well, few in Hollywood can rightfully claim to have gone lower. The man's a genuine maverick, a loose cannon. Like Spielberg he's obsessive in his attempts to create new screen legends. And sometimes, sometimes, he manages to pull off that magical stunt.
He was born Kevin Michael Costner on the 18th of January, 1955 in Lynwood, California. His father, Bill, was a ditch-digger who was later to service electricity lines for Edison of Southern California. His mother, Sharon, bore two other boys - Dan, who was born in 1950, and another who died at birth three years later. Bill's work made family life somewhat nomadic and, denied a settled upbringing, Kevin became a dreamer, writing poetry. He also possessed a great interest in and affection for American history and the natural wilderness, which would later bring about Dances With Wolves, and which saw him, at 18, construct his own canoe and follow Lewis and Clark's river-route out to the Pacific.
In his teens Costner sang in the Baptist school choir and attended writing classes, specialising in poetry. Also, despite only being 5' 2" when he graduated from Villa Park High School (he later sprouted to a hefty 6' 1"), he was keen and adept at most sports, starring at basketball, baseball and football. Again, this early penchant for sport, with all its mythologies and internal and external conflicts, would fuel his later work - like Bull Durham, Tin Cup, Field Of Dreams and For The Love Of The Game.
In 1973, Costner attended the California State University at Fullerton, eventually graduating with a business degree. He immediately married his college belle, Cindy Silva (she would bear him three children - Annie, Lily and Joe), and took a marketing job in Orange County. Throughout his college career though, he'd been studying acting, five nights a week, and he continued to pursue his Hollywood dream in his spare time. Then came a life-changing moment. On a plane returning from Mexico, he found himself chatting to screen legend Richard Burton who advised him that his best chance lay in giving up all other distractions and concentrating on acting full-time. Costner followed his promptings, upped sticks and moved to Los Angeles where, in order to feed himself and his wife, he worked as a truck-driver, a deep sea fisherman and as a guide on bus-tours round the homes of the rich and famous. He also captained the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, where Cindy would play Snow White.
Roles were hard to come by.