The Oscar winner is set to speak at Whitney Houston's funeral on Saturday

By Oliver Jones
Updated February 17, 2012 08:00 PM
Credit: PictureGroup; StarTraks

In the 20 years since Kevin Costner locked lips with Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard, his career has been all over the place: fronting a country band, working on environmental engineering, owning a minor-league baseball team. He’s even done a little acting.

But for Costner, 57, who is scheduled to speak at his late friend’s funeral on Saturday, his biggest recent job has been as a later-in-life dad to three young children, Cayden, 4½, Hayes, 3, and Grace, 20 months.

“It’s noisy, really noisy,” Costner said last year of his family with Christine Baumgartner, whom he married on his Aspen ranch in 2004. “The one thing I pray for in life is not success, but being able to raise my children and that nothing happens to me in the next 20 years.”

Of course, some of the noise around the house has been created by Costner himself. In 2005, at Baumgartner’s urging, the Oscar-winning director of Dances with Wolves started a country rock band called Kevin Costner and Modern West. The group is scheduled to kick off a 15-date tour in Lakeland, Fla., on March 28.

In addition, Costner is producing and starring in the cable miniseries The Hatfield and McCoys: An American Vendetta for History channel, which begins airing Memorial Day.

Aside from entertainment, Costner’s investment in technology that separates oil from water came to national attention after the tragic oil spill off the Gulf Coast.

But in the hearts of many fans, Costner will always be Frank, the intrepid bodyguard sworn to defend Rachel, the pop star in peril played by Houston. Costner fought for Houston to be in the movie, and even suggested that she try the Dolly Parton chestnut “I Will Always Love You” for the soundtrack.

“She got enormous support from Kevin on the set, the film’s director Mick Jackson told PEOPLE this week, “[With] The Bodyguard, we were able to catch her at the peak of her life and the peak of her ability. We caught the person and we caught what she does best.

The Associated Press will stream Whitney Houston’s private funeral service Saturday on its Livestream site, which will be available on