Bodyguard cast then and now as Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner film turns 30

Bodyguard cast then and now as Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner film turns 30

11/25/2022

It has been 30 years since the release of smash-hit romantic drama thriller The Bodyguard, starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.

The 1992 film, despite its lowly 38% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes (outrageous), was the second-biggest hit of the year and became the tenth highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release.

As well as a weepy melodrama that many have enjoyed watching over the past three decades, The Bodyguard also blessed us with some of Houston’s defining hits, including I Have Nothing, Run to You and – of course – her stunning cover of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You.

Unsurprisingly, noting the powerhouse singer’s stunning vocals and the enduring success of those songs, The Bodyguard’s soundtrack remains the best-selling soundtrack of all time, having shifted over 45 million copies.

Looking back from 2022, what has become of the movie’s star cast, 30 years later?

Whitney Houston

People forget, but Houston actually made her acting debut as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard, an Oscar-winning actress and musical superstar being sent death threats by a stalker.

She reluctantly accepts the presence of hired security officer Frank Farmer (Costner) to begin with, but of course they grow closer after he proves his worth in a dangerous situation.

The Grammy-winner went on to act in Waiting to Exhale as well as Cinderella, where she starred as the Fairy Godmother.

The singer largely kept her career focused on music, mixed in with behind-the-scenes producing work, while she grappled with addiction issues and a turbulent relationship with ex-husband Bobby Brown.

After a six-year break from recording, her final studio album I Look to You was released in 2007.

She made her last onscreen appearance in Sparkle in 2012, alongside Jordin Sparks, Carmen Ejogo and Derek Luke.

This posthumous release came after Huston died at the age of 48, having accidentally drowned in her bathtub just hours ahead of the 54th Grammy Awards at which she was due to appear.

Co-star Costner spoke at her funeral, having forged a close friendship with the late star.

The iconic entertainer is soon ro receive her own biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, starring Naomi Ackie.

Kevin Costner

Costner played the titular bodyguard of the film, Frank Farmer, who reluctantly accepts the job working for Rachel Marron, who he initially considers a spoiled diva.

Of course, sparks fly, and they eventually enter into a doomed romance.

The Academy Award -winning actor made his film debut in the early 1980s with Sizzle Beach, USA. His breakout role came in 1985’s Silverado, directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who coincidentally penned The Bodyguard way back in 1977, years before it was eventually made.

His A-list credentials were further boosted by the likes of The Untouchables, Field of Dreams and the epic 12-time Oscar-nominated Dances with Wolves.

Off the back of this, it was into Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and then The Bodyguard.

Costner remains a Hollywood star in demand today, following a dry spell later into the 1990s and the 2000s.

In 2012, his three-part Western mini-series for the History Channel broke a viewership record, and nabbed him an Emmy and a Golden Globe. Since then, he’s appeared in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Hidden Figures and Molly’s Game with Jessica Chastain.

His current major success is TV series Yellowstone, which he has starred in and produced since 2018.

Gary Kemp

British singer, actor and Spandau Ballet member Gary Kemp made his Hollywood debut in The Bodyguard, starring as Rachel’s money-minded music PR, Sy Spector (boo hiss).

Initially a child actor, Kemp veered away into music as a teenager, founding what would go onto be incredibly popular New Romantic band Spandau Ballet with brother Martin Kemp, Tony Hadley, John Keeble and Steve Norman.

They hit peak popularity in 1983 with hit single and album, True, as well as follow-up Gold.

After the band split in 1990, he and brother Martin starred as Ronald and Reggie Kray respectively in The Krays.

Since The Bodyguard, Kemp has popped up in acting roles in TV, film and on stage, including in the Pinter at the Pinter season in the West End in 2018-19.

Spandau Ballet reformed in 2009, following up with two world tours. Kemp has released solo albums, including in 2021, and also co-hosts the podcast Rockonteurs with Guy Pratt.

Debbie Reynolds

Reynolds appeared as herself in The Bodyguard, helping to add to the starry element of Rachel’s life.

A legend of the Hollywood Golden Age, Reynolds got her big break in the 1952 movie musical, Singin’ in the Rain, alongside Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor.

She followed up with films including Susan Slept Here, The Tender Trap with Frank Sinatra, and How the West Was Won. Perhaps her most iconic role was in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, for which she was nominated for an Oscar.

Reynolds kept working in film and TV throughout the following decades, popping up in Will & Grace and Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra in later years.

She was also a popular and very successful performer onstage, appearing in Vegas a well as on her own tours.

She died aged 84 on December 28, 2016, just a day after the sudden death of her Star Wars actress daughter Carrie Fisher, aged only 60.

Bill Cobbs

Cobbs appears in The Bodyguard as Bill Devaney, Rachel’s concerned manager. It is his idea to hire Frank Farmer as her professional bodyguard.

Born in 1934, Cobbs served in the United States Air Force for eight years before moving to New York to seek work as an actor in 1970.

He hit the stage first before making his film debut in classic crime drama The Taking of Pelham One Two Three in 1974.

He’s also appeared in Trading Places, Silkwood and The Colour of Money.

Post-The Bodyguard, he’s popped up in Air Bud, The Sopranos, The West Wing and Night at the Museum in 2006 as Reginald.

The now 88-year-old is still acting today, with multiple films in production, including Oz the Great and Powerful 2.

Ralph Waite

Waite starred as Frank’s father Herb, who offers Rachel and her family and team refuge in his lakefront cabin in the mountains.

Born in 1928, Waite has several stone-cold classic films on his acting resume, including Cool Hand Luke, Five Easy Pieces and Lawman.

A military veteran and ordained minister, Waite was perhaps best known to audience as John Walton Sr on TV series The Waltons.

He also had recurring roles on NCIS and Bones, after three unsuccessful runs for Congress in the 1990s.

He died aged 85 in 2014.

Mike Starr

Starr played Rachel’s existing security officer in The Bodyguard, Tony, who resents Frank’s presence and ultimately ends up in a fistfight with him in the kitchen.

Born in 1950, Starr has been onscreen since the late 1970s. Often cast as tough guys, mobsters and police officers, the prolific actor has almost 250 credits to his name.

Some of the most famous movies he has been in include Goodfellas, Miller’s Crossing, Ed Wood and Dumb and Dumber, as well as James and the Giant Peach.

He’s also made multiple guest appearances on TV shows like Shameless, Ray Donovan, The Office, House and Scrubs.

DeVaughn Nixon

Nixon appeared as Rachel’s son Fletcher, a pivotal role that ends up revealing her own sister Nicki’s (Michele Lamar Richards) involvement in a plot to kill her.

He was just nine at the time of The Bodyguard’s release, but had already appeared in Terminator 2: Judgment Day the year before.

He also appeared on popular kids’ shows Lizzie McGuire and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Other projects include The Secret Life of the American Teenager, as well as Marvel’s Runaways.

In 2022, he’s been seen in Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty as his own father, former basketball player Norm Nixon, as well as FX crime drama Snowfall.

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