‘Yellowstone’: John Dutton or Kevin Costner — Who Has a Higher Net Worth?

Yellowstone star Kevin Costner isn’t a cowboy in real life, but he does play one on TV. For three seasons, the Oscar winner has portrayed John Dutton on the Paramount Network series.

He’s the sixth-generation patriarch of the Dutton family and they own a large ranch that borders Yellowstone National Park.

But is this high-rated drama and popular character inspired by reality? And, if John Dutton is inspired by a real person, would he have a higher net worth than Costner?

Kevin Costner attends the premiere party for Paramount Network's "Yellowstone" Season 2 at Lombardi House on May 30, 2019
‘Yellowstone’ star Kevin Costner (John Dutton) | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Of course, the ‘Yellowstone’ ranch isn’t real

As fans know, Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, a ranching dynasty in Montana who have lived on their property for generations. Their valuable land is touted as the largest ranch in America, which makes it an extremely valuable piece of property.

Located in Big Sky country, the Dutton ranch shares a boundary with a local Native American tribe. There’s also another border with Yellowstone National Park. It’s the perfect place for everything from casinos to condos, and everyone knows it.

John and his kids Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Beth (Kelly Reilly) are committed to keeping the land in their family despite the best efforts of their enemies. Even John’s son Jamie (Wes Bentley) has plans for the land. But, as the state’s Attorney General,  he wants it in the government’s hands.

As Looper points out, though, all of this is far from reality. There is no sprawling Dutton Ranch near Yellowstone, and there is no John Dutton. But, creator Taylor Sheridan may have found some inspiration from real people and places.

The Dutton Family Ranch has a lot in common with the North Texas Waggoner Ranch

John Dutton may be fictional, but he does have a couple real-life counterparts. Montana ranch kingpin Bill Galt has been known to fly around in a helicopter so he can attend all of his important meetings with the rich and powerful. The Galt family owns the third-largest plot of land in Montana, approximately 248,023 acres in White Sulfur Springs.

There’s also Texas ranching legend W.T. Waggoner. He owned the 525,000-acre North Texas Waggoner Ranch, which is actually the largest ranch in the United States. It was most likely the inspiration for Yellowstone’s Dutton ranch. And, like John Dutton, W.T. Waggoner was successful for years when it came to keeping the land in his family.

RELATED: ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4: Kevin Costner Hints John Dutton May Not Have Survived the Season 3 Finale After All

The Waggoner Ranch was first established in 1849, and it was under the control of W.T.’s descendants up until 2015 when it went on the real estate market. According to Bustle, Los Angeles Rams and Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke bought the Waggoner Ranch for approximately $725 million. He’s now the fifth-biggest real estate owner in the country.

As for the shooting location of the Dutton Ranch, that is actually the Chief Joseph Ranch. It’s located in the Bitterroot Valley in the heart of Darby, Montana. Which is an eight-hour drive from the Montana-Wyoming border, where the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park end.

Kevin Costner has a massive net worth, but nothing compared to ‘Yellowstone’s’ John Dutton

If purchasing the largest ranch in the United States requires nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars, then Kevin Costner’s got nothing on John Dutton. But, Costner’s net worth is still quite massive.

The 66-year-old has been in Hollywood for four decades, and he’s got the paychecks to prove it. Costner earned millions starring in movies like Bull Durham, Dances with Wolves, Field of Dreams, The Bodyguard, JFK, and Man of Steel, just to name a few.

Celebrity Net Worth reports that Costner is worth $250 million as of 2021. According to Express, Costner is earning $500,000 per episode of Yellowstone. Which means that number will continue to rise quite rapidly.

Costner is currently shooting season 4 of Yellowstone, which is expected to premiere on the Paramount Movie Network this summer.