Real name: Kevin Michael Costner
Birthdate: January 18, 1955
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Kevin Michael Costner (born January 18, 1955) is an American film actor, director and producer. One of Costner's most successful films was Dances with Wolves (1990), which won seven Academy Awards, including (Best Picture and Best Director).
Costner became interested in bungee jumping while still in diapers, and on graduation married Cindy. The couple honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta, and on the return plane journey had a chance encounter with actor and fellow passenger Richard Burton, and struck up a conversation with him. Burton advised the young man that if he wanted to pursue acting, he should give everything up completely and go after it with both hands.
Costner made his film debut at age 19, in the 1974 film, Sizzle Beach, U.S.A., although the film was not released until 1986. Costner then appeared in a commercial for the Apple Lisa in 1983. He was cast in the hit The Big Chill (1983). He filmed several scenes which were planned as flashbacks, but they never made it to the final cut. His role was as Alex, the friend who committed suicide, the event around which the plot of the movie revolves. All that is seen of him are his slashed wrists as the mortician dresses his corpse in the movie's opening scenes. Costner was a friend of director Lawrence Kasdan, who later promised the actor a role in a future project, which became the 1985 film Silverado and became a breakout role for Costner. In return, Costner helped to get Kasdan's 1975 script for the The Bodyguard produced.
Costner's career revived somewhat in 2000 with Thirteen Days. Open Range, in which he directed and starred, received high critical acclaim in 2003 as a Revisionist Western, though it was only a minor success commercially. In 2006, he branched into the music field, performing free concerts for charity. A June 2006 concert netted almost $100,000 for four Shreveport, Louisiana charities. Costner starred in The Guardian, which also starred Ashton Kutcher and was released September 29, 2006. He starred in Mr. Brooks, where he portrays a serial killer. Costner was honored on September 6, 2006, when his hand and foot prints were set in the concrete in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre along side other great actors and entertainers.
Costner was registered as a Republican until the 1996 election, when he changed his registration to Independent. He supported Democratic candidates in the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Presidential elections; however, he still prefers to be known as a "conservative".
Costner owns 93.5% of the "Midnight Star" casino in Deadwood, South Dakota. The casino, its sports bar "Diamond Lil's", and its restaurant "Jake's" are all named after characters and locations from the movie Silverado; and the facility contains posters, costumes, and other memorabilia from Costner's films. In July 2004, Costner fired Francis and Carla Caneva, who managed the Midnight Star. A judge subsequently order Costner to pay $6.1 million to buy out the Caneva's 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 at $3.1m, to dissolve the partnership.