The Truth About Kevin Costner's Marriage

Just like his career, Kevin Costner's love life has had its ups and downs. During his rise to Hollywood Golden Boy status, the actor was married to fellow CSU Fullerton student Cindy Silva, also the mother of his first three kids. But as hits such as "Bull Durham," "Dances with Wolves," and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" gave way to flops such as "Waterworld," "The War," and "The Postman," Costner found himself a divorcee.

In 1994, the Oscar winner officially split from his wife of 16 years. And although relationships with activist Birgit Cunningham, model Elle Macpherson, and socialite Bridget Rooney followed — the latter of whom he shares a son with — Costner didn't walk down the aisle again until 2004, by which point his everyman charm had fallen back in favor.

Christine Baumgartner, a designer of handbags and former model, was the woman who became the second Mrs. Costner, with the pair going on to have three children. Still happily married nearly two decades on, and at a time when Costner is starring in one of the most-watched dramas on American TV, here's a look at what makes their relationship tick.

They married at home

As with seemingly every other series regular on Paramount Network's western hit "Yellowstone," Kevin Costner enjoys the western style of living away from the cameras, too. Per People, the actor has his very own 165-acre Aspen ranch, and in 2004 it became the wedding venue for his second trip down the aisle.

Yes, Costner said "I do" to Christine Baumgartner on the ranch having arrived to the Wild West-themed ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage and vintage pickup truck, respectively. After exchanging their vows next to a private lake, the couple decided to, as the Evening Standard noted, hit the waters in a two-person kayak before heading for a nearby tent where they partied into the night with family and friends including fellow Hollywood stars Don Johnson and Mary McDonnell.

Per Today, Baumgartner sported a white strapless Monique Lhuillier gown, and Costner dressed in an immaculate Ralph Lauren suit. Their reception was filled with monochromatic photographs of the pair horse riding, hitting the golf course and fishing.

Kevin Costner isn't afraid to say sorry

Kevin Costner has been offered several public apologies over the years. As the Los Angeles Times recounted in 2007, Madonna once took some time in the middle of a concert to express remorse for humiliating the actor in her behind the scenes documentary "Truth or Dare." And in 2020, Stephen Colbert told his audience that the whole world should say sorry to the star for sleeping on his 1997 box office flop "The Postman."

But the Academy Award winner isn't averse to the humble mea culpa himself. In fact, he credits his and wife Christine Baumgartner's ability to atone for their sins as the key to their long-lasting marriage. After being asked about the key to their success during a 2012 chat with Parade magazine, Costner replied, "Maybe it's the ability to say you're sorry. I know that sounds so simple. If you're willing to tell somebody that you love them, are you also willing to say you're sorry? You need to, even when you think you're in the right."

They are both keen golfers

In a look back at the 1996 golf hit "Tin Cup," Golf Digest noted that star Kevin Costner "wasn't really a seasoned golfer" before he signed on. "I didn't really play golf—maybe once a year with my father-in-law," he said in Golf. "On the first tee, I tended to hit three or four balls, all to the right, and I wasn't too f***ing impressive."

However, you know what is impressive? While hitting the links one fateful day in the late '80s, he happened to meet his future second wife — but according to People, they wouldn't get together for another decade. 

After walking down the aisle in 2004, Hello! shared that the pair celebrated by spending their honeymoon at St. Andrews' Royal and Ancient Course in Scotland. Costner didn't just enjoy the views, either: He was one of the A-listers who participated in the Dunhill Tournament that's staged every year. And the pair seem determined to pass on their love of the sport to their kids, too. In 2011, Costner was pictured showing his young sons Hayes and Cayden how to tee off at California's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am celebrity challenge.

They briefly split up over the issue of having children

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner first became parents together in 2007 with the birth of son Cayden before welcoming son Hayes two years later, and then a sister named Grace in 2010. But having already fathered four children before, the "Dances with Wolves" star was initially reluctant to go through the process of changing nappies again.

In fact, Costner was so adamant that he didn't want another kid that he and Baumgartner briefly ended splitting up, as he told Closer Weekly in 2018: "Fear kept me from marrying Christine. [She] wanted a child, but I was afraid I couldn't be an effective father." Luckily, the Californian changed his mind before it became too late. He added, "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?' That's all it took. Sometimes you learn the thing you're most afraid of will save your life."

Ahead of Cayden's birth, he told Good Housekeeping he was excited to once again experience "the little moments" that come with raising young children. "People talk about how, when they have kids again later in life, they are so much better at it," he said. "But I feel really good about the kind of dad I was the first time around."

Kevin Costner initially played it cool

A full ten years after they first met at a golf course, Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner ended up bumping into each other again at a restaurant. And the former's circumstances, in particular, were very different. While the "Draft Day" star was very much a married man back in 1988, he'd subsequently become a divorcee of four years. And yet the actor didn't exactly strike while the iron was hot.

Indeed, as he recalled to People in 2003, Costner very nearly destroyed any chance of a relationship with Baumgartner when he decided to play it cool. He said, "We exchanged numbers, and I told her that I would — did she mind if I called her in two weeks. I did not realize that was like an insult to a woman." Thankfully, the Emmy Award winner was forgiven for his lack of urgency and the pair went on to date for six years before tying the knot at a Wild West-themed ceremony at Costner's Aspen home in 2004.

The pandemic has made them stronger

While many relationships have floundered during the stresses and strains of the pandemic, others have thrived. Take Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner, for example. In a 2020 interview with People, the former revealed that his marriage was stronger than ever: "Our partnership has really come into focus about what we do for each other and how we deal with our family."

The "Message In a Bottle" star then went all metaphorical, adding, "Our house is like a river: You've just got to get into the flow of it. And whatever you thought it was going to be, maybe it still can, but it's going to have to work with what the day brings."

Costner also spoke fondly of his wife for her skills in one particular area — homeschooling their three kids Cayden, Hayes and Grace: "I'm computer illiterate. I'm so thankful for Christine as a partner. Because they would look at me ... and I wouldn't be that guy. And I want to be that guy for the people that love me." But the Golden Globe winner did find another calling during the early stages of the coronavirus, and one that was more to do with pancakes than Pythagoras: making the family breakfast.

Christine Baumgartner encouraged Kevin Costner's musical career

You might not be aware that as well as maintaining a decades-long career as Hollywood's ultimate everyman, Kevin Costner also has a sideline in country rock. Yes, since 2007, the multi-talent has fronted the imaginatively titled Kevin Costner and Modern West, with their debut album, "Untold Truths," charting at No.61 on the Billboard Top Country Albums.

And you have Costner's wife to thank for the group's formation. The "Field of Dreams" star had already played in a group titled Roving Boy before he became an Academy Award-winning Hollywood megastar, but he became disillusioned with his musical endeavors when they failed to take off. However, after Christine Baumgartner encouraged him to give his rock star ambitions another go, Costner did just that. In 2014, the double threat told The Roanoke Times, "I kind of hemmed and hawed about all of it and kind of avoided it. For two years she kept after me to do it because she saw how much I enjoyed doing it. And finally, I said that I would." The band has since released four albums including a 2012 collection of tunes from and inspired by Costner's first big Western TV show, "Hatfield and McCoys."

Kevin Costner tries to stay relevant for sake of marriage

You might remember the most famous time that Kevin Costner tried to act down with the kids. And it did not go well. As he told the Los Angeles Times, he "was embarrassed" and "kind of hurt" when,  after describing Madonna's show as "neat" in her warts and all documentary "Truth or Dare," the Material Girl stuck her tongue out in disgust.

But that hasn't stopped Costner from attempting to keep up with today's trends, as he explained to Mirror in 2019. While promoting his Bonnie and Clyde drama "The Highwaymen," the star admitted that he has an ulterior motive, too. He doesn't want his wife Christine Baumgartner to get bored and begin to stray. Costner said, "I try to stay relevant because I have three kids I play with. I play hard and I try to take care of myself. I have a beautiful wife and I don't want her to look anywhere else. I want to be something for her. I want to stay interested in life."

They have a shark tale

In 2016, Bild am Sonntag reported that Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner had experienced a close encounter with a great white shark while out snorkeling in Santa Barbara. According to the German newspaper, the couple were enjoying the open waters when a 15-foot long shark suddenly came into vision. Costner, who apparently then began shouting at the "monster" while underwater to stop it from heading toward Baumgartner, was even quoted as saying, "I was in panic. I barely made it to shove Christine aside and to hit the shark."

But the plot thickened when a rep for Costner confirmed to The Wrap that no such man versus shark battle had taken place and that their client hadn't even said a word to the original source. Rather embarrassingly, Germany's most authoritative 24-hour news channel had already broadcast the tale as fact.

However, there was at least some truth to the story. In a chat with Extra, Costner revealed that Baumgartner did nearly come face to face with a shark but when he was in London on a movie shoot: "My wife was on a paddle board with a friend about seven months ago and a big 12-footer came at her about 30 yards off our beach ... It came by her about a foot off the side. She said it displaced the water and lifted her ... and Christine went in to shore and was just really shaken."

Kevin Costner didn't plan on getting married again

After divorcing his first wife of 16 years, Cindy Silva, Kevin Costner had little intention of making it down the aisle again. Relationships with activist Birgit Cunningham, model Elle Macpherson and mother of his fourth child Bridget Rooney followed without even the faintest sound of wedding bells. And it took a while for the "Open Range" star's stance on getting hitched to change after Christine Baumgartner came back into his life, too.

In a 2020 interview with TV Guide (via Australia's The Daily Telegraph), Costner explained, "I fell in love with my wife because she's kind and beautiful. I've been married once before and I wasn't planning on it a second time. It took somebody that really caught my attention." The California State University Fullerton graduate went on to admit why he was so cautious about tying the knot again: "I was afraid a little bit. Not afraid to be married again but to be divorced a second time because it was so painful; but I decided to get married because I knew she'd be a wonderful partner. And also, I don't conduct my life out of fear."

They know how to keep the romance alive

It seems as though Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner are one of those long-term couples who still know how to keep the romance alive. The pair have regularly been pictured on a date night together, such as the time in 2013 when Daily Mail shared that they enjoyed a meal at a swanky Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, or the time a year later when they took a "romantic stroll" around the New York neighborhood of Soho.

Costner and Baumgartner aren't averse to putting on public displays of affection on the red carpet, either. Ahead of their tenth wedding anniversary in 2014, the Daily Mail noted that they were spotted arm in arm at a special charity screening of the actor's film "Black and White." And that same year Costner couldn't stop gushing about his other half at the premiere of another film, "3 Days to Kill."

The leading man told Extra, "I love it when Christine gets to dress up. I really do ... she still takes my breath away. I come around the corner and it doesn't matter if it's a sweatshirt or something dazzling like this." Referring to Baumgartner's J. Mendel outfit, Costner added, "This is really cut perfectly, just cut perfectly, don't you agree? I'm sorry, but it is."

Kevin Costner was the ideal father-to-be

Ahead of the birth of her first child with Kevin Costner in 2007, Christine Baumgartner talked to In Touch (via People) about her experience of pregnancy. And she couldn't have spoken any higher of her husband's bedside manner. The mom-to-be said, "Kevin takes great care of me. If I would have known earlier, I'd have gotten pregnant years ago. He's pleased as punch and has already bought all the baby stuff. Toys, clothes, pacifiers, a little baby bed ... everything a baby needs."

Baumgartner also revealed that she wanted to have enough children to fill an entire football team. Of course, following the arrival of son Cayden, the pair did welcome two more tots into the world, Hayes and Grace, but that still leaves them eight short of a future NFL line-up.

Costner already had three children from his first marriage to Cindy Silva and another from his brief relationship with Bridget Rooney. But he told (via Closer Weekly) that he had more than enough love to spread around: "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. There's so much room. And that's the way it is with children, and 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."

Christine Baumgartner isn't fazed by his acting career

From "The Bodyguard" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" to "Field of Dreams" and "Dances with Wolves," Kevin Costner starred in some of the biggest box office hits of the late '80s and early '90s. Of course, his second wife Christine Baumgartner was still in her teenage years during this period, which perhaps explains why the actor's career — to paraphrase Shania Twain — don't impress her much.

Luckily, instead of being insulted, Costner appears to find this rather endearing. Discussing their relationship on the promotional trail for 2016 movie "Criminal," the Oscar winner told Express, "Christine, who was not involved in the film business at all, has been most comfortable for me to be with despite the age difference. She had no knowledge of other actors or my movies. That was refreshing. At that point I was a guy who made a movie six days a week with 17-hour days, who had no time for anything else."

Baumgartner obviously made quite the impact as Costner soon gave up this workaholic approach to spend more time with her and their three kids. He added, "I didn't make a film for four years during and after the births of my second family. I am less concerned with success on screen than being around for the next 20 years to take care of them."

They have a net worth of $250 million

Ahead of the new millennium, Kevin Costner became box office gold. "Bull Durham," "Field of Dreams," "Dances with Wolves," "The Bodyguard" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" are just a handful of the hits that made the actor one of the most bankable and highest-paid stars of the era. In fact, he earned at least $40 million from the latter swashbuckler alone.

It's little surprise, therefore, to learn that Costner and wife Christine Baumgartner have a reported net worth of $250 million. Of course, that money isn't just as a result of the Oscar winner's body of acting work. Costner is also a shrewd businessman having invested in everything from oil separation machines and educational centers to casinos and travel apps.

The couple are also pretty canny when it comes to the real estate market. According to Mansion Global, they scooped up a — you guessed it — mansion in Carpinteria, California, in 2006 for just under $29 million. A little over a decade later, it was up for sale for twice that amount. And when they're not staying at their 160-acre ranch in Colorado they rent it out for a colossal $30,000 per night, according to Dirt. Not exactly dirt cheap digs, to say the least. 

Christine Baumgartner filed for divorce

On May 2, 2023, TMZ broke the news that Christine Baumgartner and Kevin Costner are headed for divorce. According to the publication, Baumgartner decided to put an end to their 18-year-long union on the grounds that they have irreconcilable differences. "It is with great sadness that circumstances beyond his control have transpired which have resulted in Mr. Costner having to participate in a dissolution of marriage action," Costner's spokesperson told the publication."We ask that his, Christine's, and their children's privacy be respected as they navigate this difficult time."

The report further indicated that the couple is seeking shared custody of their three teenage children. While Baumgartner is said to not be demanding alimony in her papers as of this writing, a filing by Costner's camp reveals that it's covered in a prenuptial agreement.

The agreement also warrants the "Hidden Figures" sensation complete control of his real estate portfolio, with a clause that guarantees Baumgartner's exit from his residence in the event of a split. Per TMZ, the divorce papers are a punch in the gut according to sources closer to the couple, one which caught Costner by complete surprise.