The actor has had his share of ups and downs, but he finally found the woman who made him want to be a better person. It's been 15 years and they're still going strong.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on May 29, 2020. It has since been updated.
On-screen, actor Kevin Costner has had his fair share of action and off-screen he's had some action too — in his love life. From finding love to being divorced and going through heartbreak to being alone, he's been through it all. But despite all the pain, he managed to find love again — with model and handbag designer, Christine Baumgartner. And this time, it seems to be a lasting one.
It all began in 1994. Though he hadn't met Baumgartner at the time, it was the start of his journey to find her and love her. At the time, he had been going through a painful divorce and it was especially devastating as his 16 years of marriage and three kids to college sweetheart, Cindy Silva, was dissolving. They had released a statement saying, “After 16 years together, we are ending our marriage. We have amicably resolved all issues regarding our children and financial affairs and a full marital settlement has been reached," according to Hyperactivz.
From then on, it seemed like The Bodyguard star was unable to maintain loving, long-term relationships with women, no matter how hard he tried. At least until 1999, when he met Baumgartner on a golf course. "When I met Christine, I wasn’t prepared to be in love again,” said Kevin Costner, as reported by Hooch. But when he started dating her, it was like all the broken parts of him were mending themselves.
However, though the relationship was great and the couple was happy, they hit a bump in the road that would separate them for a while.
Costner was still not ready to get married because they had differing opinions when it came to children. “Fear kept me from marrying Christine. [She] wanted a child, but I was afraid I couldn’t be an effective father," the actor had admitted. With four children from other women already, he was just not ready to commit to the idea. This led to their brief break-up after four years of dating in 2002, according to Country Living.
But the 64-year-old actor couldn't just let her go. After all, she was the love of his life. “She said, ‘I’m going to wait for you, but not long. When you come to your senses, come back to me,’” he told Parade 2012. “And I did.”
“[One day] 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,” he said, according to People. “I decided that I was not going to miss out on love.”
After the couple got back together, they were engaged in 2003 before they tied the knot at his palatial ranch outside Aspen in 2004. They were even toasted by Costner's two daughters from his first marriage. “It’s obvious that they’re a united family,” said one guest. “Their speeches came from the soul.”
As for the ceremony, “It was intimate, very romantic and beautiful,” said one of the attendees, according to People. “The highlight for me was the look Kevin had as he watched Christine walk toward him. They’re madly in love and it showed.”
The Yellowstone actor may have balked at the idea of having children again but with Baumgartner, he had no issues. Though they spent the first three years of their wedded life with just one another, it was in 2007 that everything changed with the arrival of their first son, Cayden. And according to Drivepedia, he seemed to disappear from the spotlight... to focus on his family.
Not long after, the couple welcomed two more children, Hayes, born in 2009, and Grace, born in 2010. And every day he proves how much of a doting and loving father he is. In an interview with HuffPost, when he was asked what the one thing he hoped his kids would remember about him was, he replied, "I think that I played with them. That I didn’t talk down to them. That I was on ground-level with them. That their dad wasn’t afraid of anything."
15 years after marrying Baumgartner, he states that "playing hard" for his family only makes him fall in love with life and his wife even more, according to Mirror UK. “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," he said. “I want to be something for her. I want to stay interested in life.”
And as for what keeps their marriage strong, he said, according to Parade, "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."
The couple has had their ups and downs, break-ups and make-ups, but it has not stopped them from being there for each other, loving each other and respecting each other. What started 20 years ago doesn't seem like it's going to slow down.