Kevin Costner advertises the Apple Lisa


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Many film celebrities get their start with television commercials. Before Rain Man and Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman hawked for Volkswagen.

Ant Man Paul Rudd shilled the Super Nintendo.

And before he heard a voice whisper "If you build it, he will come", Kevin Costner advertised the Apple Lisa.

I've seen practically every Apple II commercial with their everyday families and dramatic voiceovers. Many are clever and memorable, but I don't know of any that feature the era's contemporary or nascent stars.

I suppose an early Apple Computer Inc. didn't have the budget to afford recognizable talent. The Apple II was released in 1977, with Apple's IPO happening 3.5 years later, on December 12, 1980. By the time the Apple Lisa debuted in January 1983, the company was comfortably profitable with more of a marketing budget.

Or maybe it's just the unpredictable vagaries of Hollywood. By the time Kevin Costner was advertising the Lisa, he'd been in only a half-dozen movies, none of them blockbuster films or starring roles such as "Frat Boy No. 1" in Ron Howard's Night Shift. Who knew that this commercial actor would grow up to be in The Postman, Waterworld, Tin Cup, and Man of Steel?

What a missed opportunity for him to have returned to his roots and make a cameo in any of the many Steve Jobs films!

(Hat tip to Cody Combs)