By Pat Harvey

LOS ANGELES ( — You probably saw the all-star tribute to Whitney Houston on CBS Friday evening.

Few performers got to know Whitney the way Academy Award winner Kevin Costner did. Her “The Bodyguard” co-star took an immediate liking to the troubled superstar diva and actress.

Costner sat down recently with CBS2 anchor Pat Harvey to talk about his life, career and his fondness for Whitney.

Like millions in the audience, when he saw her on screen he was captivated. “When I saw this movie, ‘Bodyguard,’ I thought she was the one.”

It was November 1992. Whitney made her acting debut and the movie launched her into super-stardom. Behind-the-scenes, reports Harvey, an unlikely friendship between Costner — the seasoned acting veteran — and Houston, the newcomer, blossomed.

Costner spoke so glowingly of Houston at her funeral, people are still touched by how endearing he was.  He smiles, “I saw her like every red blooded male, I thought she was statuesque. And when she put on that white dress, she was a skinny little girl with a big engine. I said it three times, she was pretty.”

To Costner, however, she was more than just a pretty face.  “I wanted her to be the lead in our movie. We waited a year so she could do it. I just thought she was that right!”

Their bonds were deep. They loved talking about music, family, their church.

He wasn’t sure he wanted to speak at her funeral. But a call from Whitney’s family convinced him it would be the right thing to do. “I didn’t feel qualified,” he said, humbly.

“I talked about what we had in common,” he says, smiling, “which I think when people look at us on paper, they don’t think we had a thing in common. But it was the story of us.”

Pat Harvey’s complete interview with Costner also discusses his “Huckleberry Finn life,” his early break in show business, a chance meeting with Richard Burton that would change his life, his country music band, and his acclaimed Emmy-winning project “Hatfields & McCoys.”


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