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Kevin Costner Was 'Enthralled' with 1st Wife Yet Had Reputation as 'A Total Hound' & 'True Rogue'

Esther NJeri
Mar 27, 2022
04:20 A.M.
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Actor Kevin Costner did not think he would get the attention of his first wife, Cindy Silva. Luckily she had also been interested in him since their first meeting. Years after they got married, his family-man reputation was in tatters, and he became known as a "true rogue."

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Everyone recognizes Kevin Costner for some of his career-defining roles in "Hidden Figures," "Message in a Bottle," and "Dragonfly," among others. He also plays billionaire ranch owner John Dutton in the ongoing "Yellowstone."

But when the star is not mesmerizing viewers on the big silver screens, he's a loving husband to Christine Baumgartner. However, his marriage to Baumgartner is Costner's second, as he was previously married to Cindy Silva.

Actor Kevin Costner on April 7, 2016 in London, England. [Left] Costner with his first wife Cindy Silva at the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California on November 4 1990 [Right] | Source: Getty Images.

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KEVIN AND CINDY'S LOVE STORY STARTED AS A FAIRY TALE

Costner and Silva met back in 1975 when they were students at California State University. The raven-haired beauty had an uncanny resemblance to Snow White, a character she embodied at Disneyland during summer vacations.

Though tall and handsome, Costner did not think he stood a chance with the beauty. He still considered himself "the little rat from Compton" because his father, a power company lineman, moved a lot for work. He would later confess:

 "I always thought it was remarkable that she would like me."

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Despite the lack of faith in himself, Silva was always enthusiastic about him from the first time they met at a party at the Delta Chi fraternity house. 

Craig Cessna, a college friend of Costner, would say that after meeting, Costner was utterly taken with the beauty and had eyes only for her. The actor would later open up to People, saying:

"[Cindy] has a presence. She was beautiful; she was sweet, she was smarter than me…she represented everything about women that I like." 

Actor Kevin Costner with Cindy Silva at the Westwood Playhouse in Westwood California, on January 13, 1989 | Source: Getty Images

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For their first official date, Costner took Silva to see "Funny Girl," then later took her to meet his parents. He said: "I was just really proud that this girl would go out with me. I wanted to show my parents."

Two and a half years later, in 1978, and in the same year Costner graduated, the lovebirds tied the knot. They had their honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but they ran out of money and skipped the bill. However, years later, Costner would return to the hotel and pay what he owed plus interest.

INSIDE KEVIN'S FIRST MARRIAGE

Actor Kevin Costner and wife Cindy Costner on July 22, 1992 at the Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills, California. | Source : Getty Images

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Their first days of marriage were blissful, and the couple was undoubtedly in love. Cindy, who worked as a marketer for Delta Airlines, always supported her husband and never once doubted that he would make it big as an actor.

She never cared that they were struggling financially at first and was incredibly proud of their union. Costner's architect friend John McInnes would say:

"Cindy took my wife aside once and said, 'You know, Kevin and I are part of the 1 percent that is going to make it.'"

Actor Kevin Costner with Cindy Silva on June 10 1991 at the Mann Village and Bruin Theatres in Westwood California | Source: Getty Images

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Things remained blissful for a while, and as Costner attempted to land his big break in Hollywood, he became a dad. His first daughter, Annie, was born in 1984, and their second, Lily, two years later. 

Costner was crazy about his children and would often say that being a father was essential for his life. However, he was now landing more prominent roles, and sometimes he would be away from home for months. 

Silva continued to be supportive of her husband. When he set out to film "Dances With Wolves," she embarked on making the project a family affair, throwing morale-boosting parties and adding a human touch to the sets. 

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Actor Kevin Costner on a scene of "Field of Dreams" in 1989 | Source: Getty Images

Chris Hippie, a location scout for the film, said of Silva: "She made everyone feel special." Silva and Costner worked as a team, and Floyd Red Crow Westerman, who played a tribal leader in the 1990 film, would say of the couple:

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"They created a real family atmosphere on the set. It didn't seem that she was on the sideline or that she was putting up with his career. They seemed to have a real togetherness."

Unfortunately, despite the united front, things would soon change. As Costner continued to land more roles, rumors of affairs became rife. Silva would soon proffer Costner with an ultimatum — to stop doing steamy scenes or to quit the industry altogether.

COSTNER'S REPUTATION, RUMORED AFFAIRS, AND THOUGHTS ABOUT MARRIAGE

Actor Kevin Costner, circa 1992 | Source: Getty Images

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Initially, Costner held a respectable reputation and upheld an enviable family-man image. However, after being in England for four months filming "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," the British tabloids began publishing less-than-pleasant stories about him. 

While Silva stayed home with the kids, Costner reportedly had an affair with a London nightclub receptionist Sheri Stewart. And yet, this would be one of many that would paint him as "a total hound," as one source would call him. 

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Costner would instinctively approach any woman that caught his eye, and anyone that knew him would say he was a "true rogue, who likes all women." Costner defended himself, telling People:

"The package isn't important. I think maybe that comes across. I have a real appreciation for women."

The "Open Range" star would once say that the tales about his affairs were not true, but in the same breath confessed how worried he was of losing what he had, saying: "I worry about the effect of fame on my family and losing what I've got…."

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"I have a big thirst. A big taste for things…. I hate the fact that I've lived by somebody else's rules, and I've somehow missed out on something. The temptations are pretty strong — and there's a hungry world out there waiting for you to fall." He said, adding:

 "So you can't even dabble without paying a huge price. I try to conduct my life with a certain amount of dignity and discretion—but marriage is a hard, hard gig."

As he continued to become famous, Costner was away from home most times, and Silva pleaded with him to spend more time with his family. Unfortunately, after 16 years of marriage, Silva had stuck it out enough.

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The couple finally split in 1994 and shared that the divorce negotiations had been ongoing for several months. Unlike during their first years together when they always held hands, a source who saw them together in the months leading to their divorce would say

 "They didn't act like a family: she was doing her thing, he was doing his. They didn't act close to one another, but they still talked."

KEVIN'S SECOND MARRIAGE AND PARENTING OF OLDEST AND YOUNGEST SETS OF KIDS

Actor Kevin Costner with Christine Baumgartner on May 5 2005 in Madrid Spain | Source: Getty Images

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After his unexpected and shocking split from Silva, Costner lived the typical bachelor lifestyle and admitted that he'd not been ready to love again due to his painful divorce. 

Luckily, he met handbag designer and model Christine Baumgartner and fell in love. However, he was still reserved about having any more kids. Theirs started as an on-and-off relationship, finally breaking up in 2002 because, as Costner shared

"Fear kept me from marrying Christine. [She] wanted a child, but I was afraid I couldn't be an effective father."

Actor Kevin Costner with Christine Baumgartner at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort& Spa on April 5, 2008 in Scottsdale Arizona. | Source: Getty Images

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Costner confesses that Baumgartner gave him an ultimatum, saying she would wait for him but not for long. She told him they would get back together whenever he came back to his senses. And he finally did!

They got back together, and after dating for four years, Costner says: "I woke up and thought, am I going to lose a beautiful woman who is willing to be with me to my very last breath because I am afraid to say yes to a child?"

He had needed a little push all along, and that had been it. Today he and Baumgartner share three children, Grace, Hayes, and Cayden.

Actor Kevin Costner (centre right) with his children, son Joe, daughter Lily and Christine Baumgartner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 25, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

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He is also father to three from his first marriage and one with girlfriend Bridget Rooney, whom he dated after Silva's divorce. And despite his earlier hesitations, he is a proud father and says:

 "Sometimes, you learn the thing you're most afraid of will save your life."

"The Guardian" actor says he has faced challenges with bringing up two "sets" of children, saying: "It almost seemed impossible to love the first [child] any more than you loved them. And then suddenly the second one comes, and you think there's so much room for love."

Actor Kevin Costner with Christine Baumgartner and their children at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood California on February 9, 2015 | Source: Getty Images

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The "Man of Steel" actor says one set of kids always wondered if he cared for them as much as he did the rest. He had to make them understand that loving one did not make him love the others any less. He told them, according to Mom.com:

"The ability to be able to love somebody else doesn't mean there's less love for you."

He also disclosed that there had been instances of "jealousy" among the kids, but he would often remind the older ones that, in the end, they would have had a longer run with their dad, and that seemed to settle things.

Actor Kevin Costner with Christine Baumgartner and their children Grace, Hayes and Cayden at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood California on August 1, 2019 | Source: Getty Images

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"If there was any, perhaps jealousy that existed, I basically reminded [my older kids] that they were going to have twice as long with me on this planet. I said, 'Look, they're not going to have what you had.'" He shared.

His children have since embraced each other. On the other hand, Costner still values his role as a father and says it will be more rewarding for him in the long run than his career.

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