‘Yellowstone’ Star Kevin Costner Starred in One of First Apple Computer TV Ads Before Big Break

by Jon D. B.

A time before John Dutton and Yellowstone? Dances With Wolves? Robinhood trading cards? Impossible! Relive the early days of Kevin Costner in his fantastically retro Apple commercial.

Ah, the Apple Lisa. Never heard of it? Don’t be upset if you haven’t. These early personal computers from Apple were – to put it lightly – a massive flop for the tech giant. Still lightyears away from what they would become, Apple’s innovation in the early 1980s would eventually lead to incredible successes – but the Lisa wasn’t it.

Despite this decidedly moody ad featuring a spry, handsome young Kevin Costner, the Apple Lisa would only sell around 10,000 units over its two-year shelf life. We’d say ‘ouch,’ but it’s hard to imagine the masses being able to afford a $10,000 computer. You read that right – each Lisa cost $10,000 in 1982-83, which is a small fortune four decades ago.

But we’re not here to rehash Apple, are we? No, the focus is on the young man you see below. Look at that fresh yet stoic face! It’s hard to fathom a time before Kevin Costner was famous. While this spot was surely a nice payday for the up-and-comer, the Yellowstone actor would spend years working small parts and commercials like this one. It wasn’t until his turn as Elliot Ness in 1987’s The Untouchables that Costner would become the actor we know today.

Kevin Costner’s Moody Apple Add Resurfaces

It’s almost jarring to see Kevin Costner A.) This young, and B.) In such a pedestrian commercial. Yet here we are. The dark, slow-burn add is all about atmosphere, and features a slogan that is honestly very telling for Apple’s future:

“Soon there may be just two kinds of people,” the ending narration states. “Those who use computers and those who use Apples.”

In an era of “Apple vs PC” and “iPhone vs Android” users on the market, how prophetic was that? Give the spot a watch below and transport yourself back to 1983 with Cosnter & the Apple Lisa:

“A short piece introducing the Apple Lisa computer, with actor Kevin Costner late 1982 or early 1983 video by Apple featuring the Lisa 1.”

Mac History

Plenty of Kevin Costner fans will remember his rise to fame in the 1980s, his untouchable string of Hollywood hits, and then the unbelievably odd taste Waterworld left in everyone’s mouths. The following 20 years would be full of on and off successes for the A-lister. No one, however, could’ve prepared him – or us – for the success of Yellowstone.