Kevin Michael Costner is an American actor, singer, musician, producer, director, and businessman. He has been nominated for three BAFTA Awards, won two Academy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards. Costner’s roles include Lt. John J. Dunbar in the film Dances with Wolves, Jim Garrison in JFK, Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams, Robin Hood in , The Mariner in Waterworld, Robert Haynes in A Perfect World and Eliot Ness in The Untouchables.
Costner was born in Lynwood, California, the youngest of the three sons of Sharon Rae, a welfare worker, and William Costner, an electrician and later utilities executive. He has German, Irish and Cherokee ancestry. Costner was raised Baptist. He attended Cabrillo Middle School and Villa Park High School. A poor student, Costner enjoyed sports, took piano lessons, wrote poetry and sang in the First Baptist Choir.
Spending his teenage years in various parts of California as his father’s career progressed, Costner lived in Orange County, then in Visalia, attending Mt. Whitney High School, and then back to Orange County, graduating from Villa Park High School in Villa Park, California, in 1973. He went on to earn a B.A. in business from California State University, Fullerton, in 1978.
Kevin Costner became interested in acting while in college, and on graduation married Cindy Silva. The couple honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta and on the return plane journey had a chance encounter with actor and fellow passenger Richard Burton, who had purchased all the seats around him for solitude. Burton agreed to speak to Costner after he finished his book. Costner, who had been taking acting classes, but had not told his wife about his desire to be an actor, watched Burton closely and approached when Burton gestured him to. Costner told Burton that he would prefer that his life was not filled with the type of drama that had followed Burton and asked if he would have to tolerate that if he became an actor. Burton replied, “You have green eyes. I have green eyes. I think you’ll be fine.” After landing, Burton’s limousine pulled up to the curb where Costner and Cindy were waiting for a taxi, where Burton wished Costner luck. Costner would never see Burton again, but credits Burton with partially contributing to his career.