By Colin Hanlon
In 1992, The Bodyguard became the second highest grossing film of the year earning over $400 million at the box office. Starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, the sizzling romance between the two leads struck a note with millions of moviegoers making the film’s love song ‘I Will Always Love You’ Houston’s signature anthem.
Hollywood star Kevin Costner was born on January 18th, 1955, in Lynwood, California. In school, Costner was not academically inclined and instead enjoyed sports, music and sang in the First Baptist Choir. Studying marketing at California State University, in Fullerton, it was from here that Costner discovered a love for acting.
After graduating in 1978, he decided to pursue a career in acting. Spending the next few years as a struggling actor, Costner supported himself by working as a carpenter before making his big break as a suicide victim in the 1983 film The Big Chill, which starred Glenn Close and William Hurt amongst others.
Unfortunately, from what initially looked like to be his break-through role ended in disappointment for Costner with all his scenes landing on the cutting room floor. However, the film’s director, Lawrence Kasdan, did not forget Costner and in 1985 signed him for the western Silverado.
Although a minor box office hit, Silverado helped springboard Costner up the Hollywood pecking order and in 1987 his career really took off with two massive hit films. A remake of the 1948’s The Big Clock, Costner appeared alongside Gene Hackman in the thriller No Way Out and then played legendary crime fighter Eliot Ness in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, alongside Sean Connery and Robert De Niro.
Steadily becoming Hollywood’s most bankable star, Costner continued his winning streak with Field of Dreams (1989) and Dances with Wolves (1990). A labour of love for the first-time director and star, Costner was duly awarded the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director.
At the dawn of the early 90’s Costner continued to enjoy incredible box office success with Oliver Stone’s JFK and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. However, for all his successes it would be the romantic drama The Bodyguard, in 1992, alongside popstar Whitney Houston that would define his career with millions of fans.
Born on August 9th, 1963, in New Jersey, Whitney Houston seemed destined from birth to be a singer with her mother, Cissy, cousin Dionne Warwick, and godmother, Aretha Franklin, all being famous American soul singers. Joining the New Hope Baptist Church choir, from where her mother was choir master, Houston wowed the congregation with her gospel voice before being discovered by renowned Clive Davis of Arista Records when she was twenty.
Spending two years working on her debut album, her self-titled album Whitney Houston was released in 1985 and became a massive hit. Producing numerous hit singles the album stayed at the top of the charts for fourteen consecutive weeks and went platinum many times over.
In 1992, Houston was the biggest female recording star in the world. Turning everything she touched to gold, Houston decided to progress her career by crossing over to acting and starring alongside Hollywood’s golden boy, Costner, in the romantic drama The Bodyguard.
Originally penned by Lawrence Kasdan in the 70’s as a movie vehicle for Steve McQueen and Diane Ross, Costner instead starred as Frank Farmer a former Secret Service Agent-turned-bodyguard who is hired to protect Houston’s character, Rachel Marron, a famous music star from an unknown stalker. In a nod to Steve McQueen, Costner based Frank Farmer on McQueen and even cut his hair like the late star.
Released on November 22nd, 1992, The Bodyguard became the second-highest grossing film worldwide in 1992 making over $400 million and its soundtrack featuring Houston has become the best-selling soundtrack of all time, selling more than 45 million copies worldwide.
After the success of The Bodyguard Costner’s box office clout began to diminish after the spectacular flop of Waterworld in 1995. Like Costner, Houston’s career began to decline and her turbulent personal life became consumed with drug and health problems.
On Febraury 11th, 2012, the music world lost one of its most legendary stars when Whitney Houston died.