Exemplifying the sort of integrity he has often portrayed in movies like “The Untouchables”, “Bull Durham”, “Field of Dreams”, “Message In a Bottle”, and “For the Love of the Game”, Costner has had sharp ups and downs during his career, but has maintained faith in his own abilities. While still a struggling actor in the early 1980s he refused to speak his only line of dialogue even though it would have earned him the Screen Actors Guild Card he had sought for five years – he didn’t believe the line was appropriate for his character. He’s as proud of his commercial and critical failures – like “Wyatt Earp” and “The Postman” – as he is of his better-known pictures.
Costner had a typical middle class upbringing in California, where his father worked for the electric utility and his mother worked at the state welfare department. As a college senior at Cal State Fullerton he was rejected for a role in the school’s production of “Rumpelstiltskin.” He was considered something of a joke in Hollywood after he was edited out of his first major role in “The Big Chill”.
He married his college sweetheart, Cindy Silva, in 1978; they divorced in 1994. He has three children from that marriage and a fourth child from another relationship. He hoped at one time to become a professional baseball player – that may account for the fact that several of his movies are centered around the sport.