The following biography
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Clinton "Clint" Eastwood,
Jr. (born May 31, 1930) is an American film actor, director, producer,
composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a
supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide (1959–1965). He rose to
fame for playing the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy
of spaghetti westerns (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) during the 1960s, and as San Francisco
Police Department Inspector Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry films
(Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, and The Dead
Pool) during the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, along with several others
in which he plays tough-talking no-nonsense police officers, have made
him an enduring cultural icon of masculinity.
Eastwood won Academy Awards for
Best Director and Producer of the Best Picture, as well as receiving nominations
for Best Actor, for his work in the films Unforgiven (1992) and Million Dollar
Baby (2004). These films in particular, as well as others including Play Misty
for Me (1971), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Pale Rider (1985), In the Line of
Fire (1993), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), and Gran Torino (2008), have
all received commercial success and critical acclaim. Eastwood's only comedies
have been Every Which Way but Loose (1978), its sequel Any Which Way You Can
(1980), and Bronco Billy (1980); despite being widely panned by critics, the
"Any Which Way" films are the two highest-grossing films of his career after
adjusting for inflation.
In addition to directing most of
his own star vehicles, Eastwood has also directed films in which he did not
appear, such as Mystic River (2003) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), for which
he received Academy Award nominations, and Changeling (2008). He has received
considerable critical praise in France in particular, including for several of
his films which were panned in the United States, and was awarded two of
France's highest honors: in 1994, he received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
medal and in 2007, was awarded the Légion d'honneur medal. In 2000, he was
awarded the Italian Venice Film Festival Golden Lion for lifetime achievement.
Since 1967, Eastwood has run his
own production company, Malpaso, which has produced all except four of his
American films. He also served as the nonpartisan mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea,
California, from 1986 to 1988, with an eye for small business interests on the
one hand and conservation on the other. Eastwood has seven children by five
different women and he has married twice.
Clinton Eastwood, Jr.
May 31, 1930 (age 81)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Actor, director, producer, and
Maggie Johnson (1953–84; two
Dina Ruiz (1996–present; one child)
Eastwood was born in San Francisco
to Clinton Eastwood, Sr. (1906–70), a steelworker and migrant worker, and
Margaret Ruth (née Runner; 1909–2006), a factory worker. He was nicknamed
"Samson" by the hospital nurses as he weighed 11 pounds 6 ounces (5.2 kg) at
birth. After his father died in 1970, Eastwood's mother remarried to
John Belden Wood (1913–2004) in 1972, and they remained married until his death
32 years later. Eastwood is of English, Irish, Scottish, and Dutch
ancestry and was raised in a middle class home with his younger sister,
Jean (born 1934). His family relocated often as his father worked at
different jobs along the West Coast, including at a pulp mill. The
family settled in Piedmont, California, where Eastwood attended Piedmont Junior
High School and Piedmont Senior High School, taking part in sports such as
basketball, football, gymnastics, and competitive swimming. He later
transferred to Oakland Technical High School where the drama teachers encouraged
him to enroll in school plays, but he was not interested. As his family moved to
different areas he held a series of jobs including lifeguard, paper carrier,
grocery clerk, forest firefighter, and golf caddy.
In 1950, Eastwood began a one-year
stint as a lifeguard for the United States Army during the Korean War and
was posted to Fort Ord in California. While on leave in 1951 Eastwood was a
passenger onboard a Douglas AD bomber that ran out of fuel and crashed into the
ocean near Point Reyes. After escaping from the sinking aircraft he and
the pilot swam 3 miles (5 km) to safety.
Eastwood later moved to Los Angeles
and began a romance with Maggie Johnson, a college student. He managed an
apartment house in Beverly Hills by day and worked at a gas station by
night. He enrolled at Los Angeles City College and married Johnson shortly
before Christmas 1953 in South Pasadena.
According to the CBS press release
for Rawhide, Universal Studios, known then as the Universal-International film
company, was shooting in Fort Ord when an enterprising assistant spotted
Eastwood and arranged a meeting with the series' director. According to
Eastwood's official biography the key figure was a man named Chuck Hill, who was
stationed in Fort Ord and had contacts in Hollywood. Later, in Los Angeles,
Hill became reacquainted with Eastwood and managed to sneak him into one of
Universal's studios, where he showed him to cameraman Irving Glassberg.
Glassberg arranged for an audition with Arthur Lubin who, although impressed
with Eastwood's appearance and 6-foot-4-inch (1.93 m) frame, initially
questioned his acting skills remarking, "He was quite amateurish. He didn't know
which way to turn or which way to go or do anything". Lubin suggested he
attend drama classes and arranged for his initial contract in April 1954 at $100
(US$817 in 2012 dollars) per week. After signing Eastwood was initially
criticized for his stiff manner, his squint and with hissing his lines through
his teeth, a feature that would become a life-long trademark.
In May 1954 Eastwood auditioned for
his first role in Six Bridges to Cross, but was rejected by Joseph Pevney.
After many unsuccessful auditions he eventually landed a minor role as a
laboratory assistant in director Jack Arnold's Revenge of the Creature, a sequel
to The Creature from the Black Lagoon. He then worked for three weeks on
Lubin's Lady Godiva of Coventry in September 1954, then won a role in February
1955, as a sailor in Francis in the Navy as well as appearing uncredited in
another Jack Arnold film, Tarantula, in which he played a squadron
pilot. In May 1955, Eastwood had a brief appearance in the film Never
Say Goodbye, during which he shared a scene with Rock Hudson. Universal
presented him with his first television role on July 2, 1955, in NBC's Allen in
Movieland, which starred Tony Curtis and Benny Goodman. Although he
continued to develop as an actor Universal terminated Eastwood's contract on
October 23, 1955.
Eastwood then joined the Marsh
Agency and although Lubin landed him his biggest role to date in The First
Traveling Saleslady (1956) and later hired him for Escapade in Japan, without a
formal contract Eastwood struggled. He met financial advisor Irving Leonard,
who would later arguably take most responsibility for launching his career in
the late 1950s and 1960s, whom Eastwood described as being "like a second father
to me". On Leonard's advice Eastwood switched talent agencies to the
Kumin-Olenick Agency in 1956, and to Mitchell Gertz in 1957. He landed several
small roles in 1956, as a temperamental army officer for a segment of ABC's
Reader's Digest series, and as a motorcycle gang member on a Highway Patrol
episode. Eastwood had a minor uncredited role as a ranch hand in his first
western film, Law Man, in June 1956. The following year he played a cadet in
the West Point television series and a suicidal gold prospector in Death Valley
Days. In 1955, he played a Navy lieutenant in a segment of Navy Log and in
early 1959, he made a notable guest appearance on Maverick, opposite James
Garner, as a cowardly villain intent on marrying a rich girl for money.
Eastwood had a small part as an aviator in the French picture Lafayette
Escadrille and took on a major role as an ex-Confederate renegade in Ambush at
Cimarron Pass, a film which Eastwood viewed as disastrous and the lowest point
of his career.
In a long sought-after career
breakthrough, Eastwood was cast as Rowdy Yates for the CBS hour-long western
series Rawhide in 1958, although he was not especially happy with his
role. By now, aged almost 30, he felt that his character Rowdy was too young and
too cloddish for him to feel comfortable with the part. Filming began in
Arizona in the summer of 1958 and on release it took just three weeks for
Rawhide to reach the top 20 in the TV ratings. Although the series never won an
Emmy it was a major success for several years, reaching its peak at number six
in the ratings between October 1960 and April 1961. The Rawhide years
(1959–65) were some of the most grueling of Eastwood's career. He often filmed
for six days a week at an average of twelve hours a day, yet some directors
still criticized him for not working hard enough. By late 1963 Rawhide's
popularity had declined. Lacking freshness in the scripts, it was canceled in
the middle of the 1965–66 television season. Eastwood made his first attempt
at directing when he filmed several trailers for the show, although he was
unable to convince producers to let him direct an episode. In the show's
first season Eastwood earned $750 (US$5,697 in 2012 dollars) an episode. At
the time of its cancellation he received a $119,000 (US$828,341 in 2012
dollars) compensation package.
In late 1963 Eastwood's co-star on
Rawhide, Eric Fleming, rejected an offer to star in an Italian-made western
called A Fistful of Dollars, to be directed in a remote region of Spain by
Sergio Leone, who was relatively unknown at the time. Other actors,
including Charles Bronson, Steve Reeves, Richard Harrison, Frank Wolfe, Henry
Fonda, James Coburn, and Ty Hardin, were also considered for the role. Knowing
that he could play a cowboy convincingly Harrison suggested Eastwood, who in
turn saw the film as an opportunity to escape from Rawhide. He signed a contract
for $15,000 (US$106,211 in 2012 dollars) in wages for eleven weeks' work
with a bonus of a Mercedes automobile upon completion and arrived in Rome in May
1964 Eastwood later spoke about the transition from a television western
to A Fistful of Dollars: "In Rawhide I did get awfully tired of playing the
conventional white hat. The hero who kisses old ladies and dogs and was kind to
everybody. I decided it was time to be an anti-hero." Eastwood was
instrumental in creating the Man with No Name character's distinctive visual
style and, although a non-smoker, Leone insisted he smoke cigars as an essential
ingredient of the "mask" he was attempting to create with the loner
Some interior shots for A Fistful
of Dollars were done at the Cinecittà studio on the outskirts of Rome, before
production moved to a small village in Andalusia, Spain. The film became a
benchmark in the development of spaghetti westerns, with Leone depicting a more
lawless and desolate world than in traditional westerns; meanwhile challenging
stereotypical American notions of a western hero by replacing him with a morally
ambiguous antihero. The film's success meant Eastwood became a major star in
Italy and he was re-hired by Leone to star in For a Few Dollars More (1965),
the second film of the trilogy. Through the efforts of screenwriter Luciano
Vincenzoni, the rights to the film and the final film of the trilogy (The Good,
the Bad and the Ugly) were sold to United Artists for roughly $900,000 (US$6.26
million in 2012 dollars).
In January 1966 Eastwood met with
producer Dino De Laurentiis in New York City and agreed to star in a non-western
five-part anthology production named Le streghe ("The Witches") opposite De
Laurentiis' wife, actress Silvana Mangano. Eastwood's nineteen-minute
installment only took a few days to shoot but his performance did not go down
well with the critics, with one saying "no other performance of his is quite so
'un-Clintlike' ". Two months later Eastwood began work on the third Dollars
film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in which he again played the mysterious
Man with No Name. Lee Van Cleef returned to play a ruthless fortune seeker,
while Eli Wallach portrayed the cunning Mexican bandit Tuco. The storyline
involves the search for a cache of Confederate gold buried in a cemetery. One
day during filming of a scene where a bridge was to be dynamited Eastwood,
suspicious of explosives, urged Wallach to retreat to the hilltop saying, "I
know about these things. Stay as far away from special effects and explosives as
you can." Minutes later crew confusion, over the word "Vaya!", resulted in a
premature explosion which could have killed the co-star, while necessitating
rebuilding of the bridge.
The Dollars trilogy was not shown
in the United States until 1967 when A Fistful of Dollars opened in January, For
a Few Dollars More in May, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in December.
All the films proved successful in cinemas, particularly The Good, the Bad and
the Ugly which eventually earned $8 million (US$52.6 million in 2012
dollars) in rental earnings and turned Eastwood into a major film star.
All three films received generally bad reviews and marked the beginning of
Eastwood's battle to win the respect of American film critics. Judith Crist
described A Fistful of Dollars as "cheapjack", while Newsweek considered For
a Few Dollars More as "excruciatingly dopey". Renata Adler of The New York
Times remarked that The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was "the most expensive,
pious and repellent movie in the history of its peculiar genre", despite the
fact that it is now widely considered one of the finest films in the history of
cinema. Time magazine highlighted the film's wooden acting, especially
Eastwood's, although critics such as Vincent Canby and Bosley Crowther of The
New York Times praised Eastwood's coolness in playing the tall, lone
stranger. Leone's unique style of cinematography was widely acclaimed, even
by some critics who panned the acting.
Stardom brought more "tough guy"
roles for Eastwood. He signed for the American revisionist western Hang 'Em High
(1968), in which he featured alongside Inger Stevens, Pat Hingle, Dennis Hopper,
Ed Begley, Bruce Dern, and James MacArthur. A cross between Rawhide and
Leone's westerns, the film brought him a salary of $400,000 (US$2.53 million in
2012 dollars) and 25 percent of its net earnings. He plays a man who
seeks revenge after being lynched by vigilantes and left for dead. Using
money earned from the Dollars trilogy Leonard helped establish Eastwood's
production company, Malpaso Productions, named after the Malpaso Creek on
Eastwood's property in Monterey County, California. Leonard arranged for Hang
'Em High to be a joint production with United Artists and, when it opened in
July 1968, the film became the biggest United Artists opening in history — its
box office receipts exceeding all the James Bond films of the time. It
was widely praised by critics; including Archer Winsten of the New York Post who
described Hang 'Em High as, "a western of quality, courage, danger and
Before the release of Hang 'Em High
Eastwood had already begun work on the film Coogan's Bluff, about an Arizona
deputy sheriff tracking a wanted psychopathic criminal (Don Stroud) through the
streets of New York City. He was reunited with Universal Studios for the project
after receiving an offer of $1 million (US$6.58 million in 2012
dollars)—more than double his previous salary. Jennings Lang arranged
for Eastwood to meet Don Siegel, a Universal contract director who later became
one of Eastwood's close friends, with the two forming a close partnership that
would last for more than ten years over five films. Filming began in
November 1967, before the full script had been finalized. The film was
controversial for its portrayal of violence, with Eastwood's role
creating the prototype for what would later become the macho cop of the Dirty
Harry films. Coogan's Bluff also became the first collaboration with Argentine
composer Lalo Schifrin, who would later compose the jazzy score to several of
Eastwood's films in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly the Dirty Harry film
Eastwood was paid $850,000 (US$5.37
million in 2012 dollars) in 1968, for the war epic Where Eagles Dare,
about a World War II squad parachuting into a Gestapo stronghold in the
mountains. Richard Burton played the squad's commander with Eastwood as his
right-hand man. He was also cast as Two-Face in the Batman television show, but
the series was canceled before filming could commence.
Eastwood then branched out to star
in the only musical of his career, Paint Your Wagon (1969). Eastwood and fellow
non-singer Lee Marvin play gold miners who share the same wife (portrayed by
Jean Seberg). Bad weather and delays plagued the production while its budget
eventually exceeded $20 million (US$120 million in 2012 dollars), extremely
expensive for the time. The film was not a critical or commercial success,
although it was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture –
Musical or Comedy.
In 1970, Eastwood starred in the
western Two Mules for Sister Sara with Shirley MacLaine and directed by Don
Siegel. The film follows an American mercenary who gets mixed up with a whore
disguised as a nun and ends up helping a group of Juarista rebels during the
reign of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico. Eastwood once again played a
mysterious stranger—unshaven, wearing a serape-like vest, and smoking a
cigar. Although the film received moderate reviews the film is
listed in The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made. Later
the same year Eastwood starred as one of a group of Americans who steal a
fortune in gold from the Nazis in the World War II film Kelly's Heroes with
Donald Sutherland and Telly Savalas. Kelly's Heroes was the last film in which
Eastwood appeared that was not produced by his own Malpaso Productions.
Filming commenced in July 1969 on location in Yugoslavia and in London. The
film received mostly a positive reception and its anti-war sentiments were
recognized. In the winter of 1969–70, Eastwood and Siegel began planning his
next film, The Beguiled, a tale of a wounded Union soldier held captive by the
sexually repressed matron of a southern girl's school. Upon release the film
received major recognition in France and is considered one of Eastwood's finest
works by the French. However, it grossed less than $1 million (US$5.66
million in 2012 dollars) and, according to Eastwood and Lang, flopped due to
poor publicity and the "emasculated" role of Eastwood.
Eastwood's career reached a turning
point in 1971. Before Irving Leonard died he and Eastwood had discussed the
idea of Malpaso producing Play Misty for Me, a film that was to give Eastwood
the artistic control he desired and his debut as a director. The script was
about a jazz disc jockey named Dave (Eastwood) who has a casual affair with
Evelyn (Jessica Walter), a listener who had been calling the radio station
repeatedly at night asking him to play her favorite song—Erroll Garner's
"Misty". When Dave ends their relationship the fan becomes violent and
murderous. Filming commenced in Monterey in September 1970 and included
footage of that year's Monterey Jazz Festival. The film was highly
acclaimed with critics such as Jay Cocks in Time, Andrew Sarris in the Village
Voice, and Archer Winsten in the New York Post all praising the film, as well as
Eastwood's directorial skills and performance. Walter was nominated for a
Golden Globe Best Actress Award (Drama) for her performance in the film.
The script for Dirty Harry (1971)
was written by Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink. It is a story about a
hard-edged New York City (later changed to San Francisco) police inspector named
Harry Callahan who is determined to stop a psychotic killer by any means.
Dirty Harry is arguably Eastwood's most memorable character and has been
credited with inventing the "loose-cannon cop genre", which is still imitated to
this day. Author Eric Lichtenfeld argues that Eastwood's role as Dirty
Harry established the "first true archetype" of the action film genre. His
lines (quoted at left) have been cited as among the most memorable in cinematic
history and are regarded by firearms historians, such as Garry James and Richard
Venola, as the force which catapulted the ownership of .44 Magnum pistols to
unprecedented heights in the United States; specifically the Smith & Wesson
Model 29 carried by Harry Callahan. Dirty Harry proved a phenomenal
success after its release in December 1971, earning some $22 million (US$119
million in 2012 dollars) in the United States and Canada alone. It was
Siegel's highest-grossing film and the start of a series of films featuring the
character of Harry Callahan. Although a number of critics praised his
performance as Dirty Harry, such as Jay Cocks of Time magazine who described him
as "giving his best performance so far, tense, tough, full of implicit
identification with his character", the film was widely criticized and
accused of fascism.
Following Sean Connery's
announcement that he would not play James Bond again Eastwood was offered the
role but turned it down because he believed the character should be played by an
English actor. He next starred in the loner Western Joe Kidd (1972), based
on a character inspired by Reies Lopez Tijerina who stormed a courthouse in
Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico, in June 1967. Filming began in Old Tucson in
November 1971 under director John Sturges. During the filming, Eastwood suffered
symptoms of a bronchial infection and several panic attacks. Joe Kidd
received a mixed reception, with Roger Greenspun of The New York Times writing
that the film was unremarkable, with foolish symbolism and sloppy editing,
although he praised Eastwood's performance.
In 1973, Eastwood directed his
first western, High Plains Drifter, in which he starred alongside Verna Bloom,
Marianna Hill, Billy Curtis, Rawhide's Paul Brinegar and Geoffrey Lewis. The
film had a moral and supernatural theme, later emulated in Pale Rider. The plot
follows a mysterious stranger (Eastwood) who arrives in a brooding Western town
where the people hire him to defend the town against three felons who are soon
to be released. There remains confusion during the film as to whether the
stranger is the brother of the deputy, whom the felons lynched and murdered, or
his ghost. Holes in the plot were filled with black humor and allegory,
influenced by Leone. The revisionist film received a mixed reception from
critics, but was a major box office success. A number of critics thought
Eastwood's directing was "as derivative as it was expressive", with Arthur
Knight of the Saturday Review remarking that Eastwood had "absorbed the
approaches of Siegel and Leone and fused them with his own paranoid vision of
society". John Wayne, who had declined a role in the film, sent a letter of
disapproval to Eastwood some weeks after the film's release saying that "the
townspeople did not represent the true spirit of the American pioneer, the
spirit that made America great".
Eastwood next turned his attention
towards Breezy (1973), a film about love blossoming between a middle-aged man
and a teenage girl. During casting for the film Eastwood met Sondra Locke for
the first time, an actress who would play major roles in many of his films for
the next ten years and would become an important figure in his life. Kay
Lenz was awarded the part of Breezy because Locke, at 28, was considered too
old. The film, shot very quickly and efficiently by Eastwood and Frank Stanley,
came in $1 million (US$4.94 million in 2012 dollars) under budget and was
finished three days ahead of schedule. Breezy was not a major critical or
commercial success; it barely reached the Top 50 before disappearing and was
only made available on video in 1998.
Once filming of Breezy had
finished, Warner Brothers announced that Eastwood had agreed to reprise his role
as Detective Harry Callahan in Magnum Force (1973), a sequel to Dirty Harry,
about a group of rogue young officers (among them David Soul, Robert Urich and
Tim Matheson) in the San Francisco Police Force who systematically exterminate
the city's worst criminals. Although the film was a major success after
release, grossing $58.1 million (US$287 million in 2012 dollars) in the
United States alone and a new record for Eastwood, it was not a critical
success. The New York Times critic Nora Sayre panned the often
contradictory moral themes of the film, while the paper's Frank Rich called it
"the same old stuff".
In 1974, Eastwood teamed up with
Jeff Bridges and George Kennedy in the buddy action caper Thunderbolt and
Lightfoot, a road movie about a veteran bank robber Thunderbolt (Eastwood) and a
young con man drifter, Lightfoot (Bridges). On its release, in spring 1974, the
film was praised for its offbeat comedy mixed with high suspense and tragedy but
was only a modest success at the box office, earning $32.4 million (US$144
million in 2012 dollars). Eastwood's acting was noted by critics but
was overshadowed by Bridges who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best
Supporting Actor. Eastwood reportedly fumed at the lack of Academy Award
recognition for him and swore that he would never work for United Artists
Eastwood's next film The Eiger
Sanction (1975) was based on Trevanian's critically acclaimed spy novel of the
same name. Eastwood plays Jonathan Hemlock in a role originally intended for
Paul Newman, an assassin turned college art professor who decides to return to
his former profession for one last sanction in return for a rare Pissarro
painting. In the process he must climb the north face of the Eiger in
Switzerland under perilous conditions. Once again Eastwood starred alongside
George Kennedy. Mike Hoover taught Eastwood how to climb during several weeks of
preparation at Yosemite in the summer of 1974 before filming commenced in
Grindelwald on August 12, 1974. Despite prior warnings about the
perils of the Eiger the film crew suffered a number of accidents, including one
fatality. In spite of the danger Eastwood insisted on doing all his
own climbing and stunts. Upon its release in May 1975 The Eiger Sanction was a
commercial failure, receiving only $23.8 million (US$97.1 million in 2012
dollars) at the box office, and was panned by most critics. Joy Gould
Boyum of the Wall Street Journal dismissed the film as "brutal
fantasy". Eastwood blamed Universal Studios for the film's poor
promotion and turned his back on them to make an agreement with Warner Brothers,
through Frank Wells, that has lasted to the present day.
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), a
western inspired by Asa Carter's eponymous 1972 novel, has lead character
Josey Wales (Eastwood) as a pro-Confederate guerilla who refuses to surrender
his arms after the American Civil War and is chased across the old southwest by
a group of enforcers. Eastwood cast his young son Kyle Eastwood, Chief Dan
George, and Sondra Locke for the first time, against the wishes of director
Philip Kaufman. Kaufman was notoriously fired by producer Bob Daley under
Eastwood's command, resulting in a fine reported to be around $60,000
(US$231,484 in 2012 dollars) from the Directors Guild of America—who
subsequently passed new legislation reserving the right to impose a major fine
on a producer for discharging a director and taking his place. The film was
pre-screened at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities in Idaho
during a six-day conference entitled Western Movies: Myths and Images. Invited
to the screening were: some 200 esteemed film critics, including Jay Cocks and
Arthur Knight; directors such as King Vidor, William Wyler, and Howard Hawks;
along with a number of academics. Upon release in August 1976 The Outlaw
Josey Wales was widely acclaimed, with many critics and viewers seeing
Eastwood's role as an iconic one that related to America's ancestral past and
the destiny of the nation after the American Civil War. Roger Ebert
compared the nature and vulnerability of Eastwood's portrayal of Josey Wales
with his Man with No Name character in the Dollars westerns and praised the
film's atmosphere. The film would later appear in Time's "Top 10 Films of
Eastwood was then offered the role
of Benjamin L. Willard in Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now, but declined as he
did not want to spend weeks on location in the Philippines. He also
refused the part of a platoon leader in Ted Post's Vietnam War film Go Tell the
Spartans and instead decided to make a third Dirty Harry film The Enforcer.
The film had Harry partnered with a new female officer (Tyne Daly) to face a San
Francisco Bay area group resembling the Symbionese Liberation Army. The film,
culminating in a shootout on Alcatraz island, was considerably shorter than the
previous Dirty Harry films at 95 minutes, but was a major commercial
success grossing $100 million (US$386 million in 2012 dollars) worldwide to
become Eastwood's highest-grossing film to date.
In 1977, he directed and starred in
The Gauntlet opposite Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, and Mara
Corday. He portrays a down-and-out cop who falls in love with a prostitute that
he is assigned to escort from Las Vegas to Phoenix, to testify against the mob.
Although a moderate hit with the viewing public critics had mixed feelings about
the film, with many believing it was overly violent. Eastwood's longtime nemesis
Pauline Kael called it "a tale varnished with foul language and garnished with
violence". Roger Ebert, on the other hand, gave it three stars and called it
"...classic Clint Eastwood: fast, furious, and funny." In 1978, Eastwood
starred in Every Which Way but Loose alongside Locke, Geoffrey Lewis, Ruth
Gordon and John Quade. In an uncharacteristic offbeat comedy role, Eastwood
played Philo Beddoe, a trucker and brawler who roams the American West searching
for a lost love accompanied by his brother and an orangutan called Clyde. The
film proved a surprising success upon its release and became Eastwood's most
commercially successful film at the time. Panned by the critics it ranked high
amongst the box office successes of his career and was the second-highest
grossing film of 1978.
Eastwood starred in the atmospheric
thriller Escape from Alcatraz in 1979, the last of his films to be directed by
Don Siegel. It was based on the true story of Frank Lee Morris who, along with
John and Clarence Anglin, escaped from the notorious Alcatraz prison in 1962.
The film was a major success and marked the beginning of a period of praise for
Eastwood from the critics; Stanley Kauffmann of The New Republic lauding it as
"crystalline cinema" and Frank Rich of Time describing it as "cool,
Eastwood directed the 1980 comedy
Bronco Billy as well as playing the lead role in alongside Locke, Scatman
Crothers, and Sam Bottoms. His children, Kyle and Alison, also had small
roles as orphans. Eastwood has cited Bronco Billy as being one of the most
affable shoots of his career and biographer Richard Schickel has argued that the
character of Bronco Billy is Eastwood's most self-referential work.
The film was a commercial failure but was appreciated by critics. Janet
Maslin of The New York Times believed the film was "the best and funniest Clint
Eastwood movie in quite a while", praising Eastwood's directing and the way he
intricately juxtaposes the old West and the new. Later in 1980, Eastwood
starred in Any Which Way You Can, the sequel to Every Which Way but Loose. The
film received a number of bad reviews from critics, although Maslin described it
as "funnier and even better than its predecessor". The film became another
box office success and was among the top five highest-grossing films of the
In 1982, Eastwood directed and
starred alongside his son Kyle in Honkytonk Man, based on the eponymous Clancy
Carlile's depression-era novel. Eastwood portrays a struggling western singer
Red Stovall who suffers from tuberculosis, but has finally been given an
opportunity to make it big at the Grand Ole Opry. He is accompanied by his young
nephew (Kyle) to Nashville, Tennessee where he is supposed to record a song.
Only Time gave the film a good review in the United States, with most reviewers
criticizing its blend of muted humor and tragedy. Nevertheless the film
received critical acclaim in France, where it was compared to John Ford's The
Grapes of Wrath, and it has since acquired the very high rating of 93
percent on Rotten Tomatoes. In that same year Eastwood directed, produced,
and starred in the Cold War-themed Firefox alongside Freddie Jones, David
Huffman, Warren Clarke and Ronald Lacey. Based on a 1977 novel with the same
name written by Craig Thomas, the film was shot before Honkeytonk Man but was
released after it. Russian filming locations were not possible due to the Cold
War, and the film had to be shot in Vienna and other locations in Austria to
simulate many of the Eurasian story locations. With a production cost of $20
million (US$45.5 million in 2012 dollars) it was Eastwood's highest budget
film to date. People magazine likened Eastwood's performance to "Luke
Skywalker trapped in Dirty Harry's Soul".
Sudden Impact, the fourth Dirty
Harry film, was shot in the spring and summer of 1983 and is widely considered
to be the darkest and most violent of the series. By this time Eastwood
received 60 percent of all profits from films he starred in and directed, with
the rest going to the studio. Sudden Impact was the last film which he
starred in with Locke. She plays a woman raped, along with her sister, by a
ruthless gang at a fairground and seeks revenge for her sister's now vegetative
state by systematically murdering her rapists. The line "Go ahead, make my day",
uttered by Eastwood during an early scene in a coffee shop, is often cited as
one of cinema's immortal ones; famously quoted by President Ronald Reagan in a
speech to Congress and used during the 1984 presidential
elections. The film was the highest-earning of all the Dirty
Harry films earning $70 million (US$154 million in 2012 dollars). It
received rave reviews with many critics praising the feminist aspects of the
film, through its explorations of the physical and psychological consequences of
Tightrope (1984) had Eastwood
starring opposite his daughter Alison, Geneviève Bujold, and Jamie Rose in a
provocative thriller, inspired by newspaper articles about an elusive Bay Area
rapist. Set in New Orleans, to avoid confusion with the Dirty Harry films,
Eastwood played a single-parent cop drawn into his target's tortured psychology
and fascination for sadomasochism. He next starred in the period comedy
City Heat (1984) alongside Burt Reynolds, a film about a private eye and his
partner who get mixed up with gangsters in the prohibition era of the 1930s. It
grossed around $50 million (US$106 million in 2012 dollars) domestically,
but was overshadowed by Eddie Murphy's Beverly Hills Cop and failed to meet
Eastwood made his only foray into
TV direction with the 1985 Amazing Stories episode "Vanessa In The Garden",
which starred Harvey Keitel and Sondra Locke. This was his first collaboration
with Steven Spielberg, who later co-produced Flags of Our Fathers and Letters
from Iwo Jima. Eastwood revisited the western genre when he directed and
starred in Pale Rider (1985) opposite Michael Moriarty and Carrie Snodgress. The
film is based on the classic 1953 western Shane and follows a preacher
descending from the mists of the Sierras to side with the miners during the
California Gold Rush of 1850. The title is a reference to the Four Horsemen
of the Apocalypse, as the rider of the pale horse is Death, and shows
similarities to Eastwood's 1973 western High Plains Drifter in its themes of
morality and justice as well as its exploration of the supernatural. Pale
Rider became one of Eastwood's most successful films to date. It was hailed as
one of the best films of 1985 and the best western in years with Gene Siskel of
the Chicago Tribune remarking, "This year (1985) will go down in film history as
the moment Clint Eastwood finally earned respect as an artist".
In 1986, Eastwood co-starred with
Marsha Mason in the military drama Heartbreak Ridge, about the 1983 United
States invasion of Grenada. He portrays an aging United States Marine Gunnery
Sergeant and Korean War veteran. The production and filming of Heartbreak Ridge
were marred by internal disagreements, between Eastwood and long-time friend and
producer Fritz Manes as well as between Eastwood and the United States
Department of Defense who expressed contempt for the film. At the time
the film was a commercial rather than a critical success, only becoming viewed
more favorably in recent times. The film was released in 1,470 theaters and
grossed $70 million (US$140 million) domestically.
Eastwood starred in The Dead Pool
(1988), the fifth and final Dirty Harry film in the series. It co-starred Liam
Neeson, Patricia Clarkson, and a young Jim Carrey who plays Johnny Squares, a
drug-addled rock star and the first of the victims on a list of celebrities
drawn up by horror film director Peter Swan (Neeson) who are deemed most likely
to die, the so-called "Dead Pool". The list is stolen by an obsessed fan, who in
mimicking his favorite director, systematically makes his way through the list
killing off celebrities, of which Dirty Harry is also included. The Dead Pool
grossed nearly $38 million (US$70.6 million), relatively low receipts for a
Dirty Harry film and it is generally viewed as the weakest film of the series,
although Roger Ebert perceived it to be as good as the original.
Eastwood began working on smaller,
more personal projects, and experienced a lull in his career between 1988 and
1992. Always interested in jazz he directed Bird (1988), a biopic starring
Forest Whitaker as jazz musician Charlie "Bird" Parker. Alto saxophonist Jackie
McLean and Spike Lee, son of jazz bassist Bill Lee and a long time critic of
Eastwood, criticized the characterization of Charlie Parker remarking that it
did not capture his true essence and sense of humor. Eastwood received two
Golden Globes for the film, the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his lifelong
contribution, and the Best Director award. However, Bird was a commercial
disaster earning just $11 million, which Eastwood attributed to the declining
interest in jazz among black people.
Carrey would again appear with
Eastwood in the poorly received comedy Pink Cadillac (1989) alongside Bernadette
Peters. The film is about a bounty hunter and a group of white supremacists
chasing an innocent woman who tries to outrun everyone in her husband's prized
pink Cadillac. The film was a disaster, both critically and commercially,
earning barely more than Bird and marking the lowest point in Eastwood's career
Eastwood directed and starred in
White Hunter Black Heart (1990), an adaptation of Peter Viertel's roman à clef,
about John Huston and the making of the classic film The African Queen. Shot on
location in Zimbabwe in the summer of 1989, the film received some critical
attention but with only a limited release earned just $8.4 million (US$14.1
million in 2012 dollars). Later the same year Eastwood directed and
co-starred with Charlie Sheen in The Rookie, a buddy cop action film. Critics
found the macho jiving between Eastwood and Sheen unconvincing and passed the
film off as "blatant racial Hispanic stereotyping". An ongoing lawsuit
filed by Stacy McLaughlin resulted in no Eastwood films showing in cinemas in
1991—the third time in his career. The suit was in response to Eastwood
allegedly ramming McLaughlin's car while backing out of his parking space at
Malpaso. Eastwood won the suit and agreed to pay McLaughlin's court fees if
she did not appeal.
In 1992, Eastwood revisited the
western genre in the self-directed film Unforgiven, where he played an aging
ex-gunfighter long past his prime opposite Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard
Harris, and his then girlfriend Frances Fisher. Scripts existed for the film as
early as 1976 under titles such as The Cut-Whore Killings and The William Munny
Killings but Eastwood delayed the project, partly because he wanted to wait
until he was old enough to play his character and to savor it as the last of his
western films. By re-envisioning established genre conventions in a more
ambiguous and unromantic light the picture laid the groundwork for later
westerns such as Deadwood. Unforgiven was a major commercial and critical
success, with nominations for nine Academy Awards including Best Actor for
Eastwood and Best Original Screenplay for David Webb Peoples. It won four,
including Best Picture and Best Director for Eastwood. Jack Methews of the Los
Angeles Times described it as "the finest classical western to come along since
perhaps John Ford's 1956 The Searchers. In June 2008 Unforgiven was
acknowledged as the fourth best American film in the western genre, behind
Shane, High Noon, and The Searchers, in the American Film Institute's "AFI's 10
Top 10" list.
Eastwood played Frank Horrigan in
the Secret Service thriller In the Line of Fire (1993) directed by Wolfgang
Petersen and co-starring John Malkovich and Rene Russo. Horrigan is a
guilt-ridden Secret Service agent, haunted by his failure to react in time to
save John F. Kennedy's life. As of 2011, it was the last time he acted in a
film that he did not direct himself. The film was among the top 10 box office
performers in that year, earning a reported $200 million (US$304 million in 2012
dollars) in the United States alone. Later in 1993, Eastwood directed
and co-starred with Kevin Costner in A Perfect World. Set in the 1960s,
Eastwood plays a Texas Ranger in pursuit of an escaped convict (Costner) who
hits the road with a young boy (T.J. Lowther). Janet Maslin of The New York
Times remarked that the film was the highest point of Eastwood's directing
career and it has since been cited as one of his most underrated
At the May 1994 Cannes Film
Festival Eastwood received France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal
then on March 27, 1995, he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at
the 67th Academy Awards. His next appearance was in a cameo role as himself
in the 1995 children's film Casper and continued to expand his repertoire by
playing opposite Meryl Streep in the romantic picture The Bridges of Madison
County in the same year. Based on a best-selling novel by Robert James Waller
and set in Iowa, The Bridges of Madison County relates the story of Robert
Kincaid (Eastwood), a photographer working for National Geographic, who has a
love affair with middle-aged Italian farm wife Francesca (Streep). The film was
a hit at the box office and highly acclaimed by critics, despite unfavorable
views of the novel and a subject deemed potentially disastrous for film.
Roger Ebert remarked that "Streep and Eastwood weave a spell, and it is based on
that particular knowledge of love and self that comes with middle age." The
Bridges of Madison County was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture and
won a César Award in France for Best Foreign Film. Streep was also nominated for
an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
As well as directing the 1997
political thriller Absolute Power, Eastwood once again appeared alongside
co-star Gene Hackman. Eastwood played the role of a veteran thief who witnesses
the Secret Service cover up of a murder. The film received a mixed reception
from critics and was generally viewed as one of his weaker efforts.
Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide remarked, "The plot turns are no more ludicrous
than those of the average political thriller, but the slow pace makes their
preposterousness all the more obvious. Eastwood's acting limitations are also
sorely evident, since Luther is the kind of thoughtful thief who has to talk,
rather than maintaining the enigmatic fortitude that is Eastwood's forte.
Disappointing." Later in 1997, Eastwood directed Midnight in the Garden of
Good and Evil, based on the novel by John Berendt and starring John Cusack,
Kevin Spacey, and Jude Law, a film which received a mixed response from
Eastwood directed and starred in
True Crime (1999), which also featured his young daughter Francesca
Fisher-Eastwood. He plays Steve Everett, a journalist recovering from alcoholism
given the task of covering the execution of murderer Frank Beechum (Isaiah
Washington). The film received a mixed reception with Janet Maslin of The New
York Times writing, "True Crime is directed by Mr. Eastwood with righteous
indignation and increasingly strong momentum. As in A Perfect World, his
direction is galvanized by a sense of second chances and tragic
misunderstandings, and by contrasting a larger sense of justice with the
peculiar minutiae of crime. Perhaps he goes a shade too far in the latter
direction, though." If some reviews for True Crime were positive,
commercially it was a box office bomb—earning less than half its $55 million
(US$72.5 million in 2012 dollars) budget—and easily became Eastwood's worst
performing film of the 1990s aside from White Hunter Black Heart, which only had
In 2000 Eastwood directed and
starred in Space Cowboys alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James
Garner as one of a group of veteran "ex-test pilots" who are sent into space to
repair an old Soviet satellite. The original music score was composed by
Eastwood and Lennie Niehaus. Space Cowboys was well-received and holds a 79
percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The film received a moderately favorable
review from Roger Ebert, "it's too secure within its traditional story structure
to make much seem at risk — but with the structure come the traditional
pleasures as well." The film grossed over $90 million in its United States
release, more than Eastwood's two previous films combined. The following
year he played an ex-FBI agent on the track of a sadistic killer (Jeff Daniels)
in the thriller Blood Work, loosely based on the 1998 novel of the same name by
Michael Connelly. The film was a failure, grossing just $26.2 million (US$32
million in 2012 dollars) on an estimated budget of $50 million (US$61
million in 2012 dollars), and received mixed reviews with a consensus at
Rotten Tomatoes calling it "well-made but marred by lethargic pacing".
Eastwood did, however, win the Future Film Festival Digital Award at the Venice
Eastwood directed and scored the
crime drama Mystic River (2003), a film about murder, vigilantism, and sexual
abuse, set in Boston. Starring Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and Tim Robbins, Mystic
River was lauded by critics and viewers alike. The film won two Academy Awards,
Best Actor for Penn and Best Supporting Actor for Robbins, with Eastwood
garnering nominations for Best Director and Best Picture. Eastwood was
named Best Director of the Year by the London Film Critics Circle and the
National Society of Film Critics. The film grossed $90 million (US$107 million
in 2012 dollars) domestically on a budget of $30 million (US$35.8 million in
The following year Eastwood found
further critical and commercial success when he directed, produced, scored, and
starred in the boxing drama Million Dollar Baby, playing a cantankerous trainer
who forms a bond with female boxer (Hilary Swank) who he is persuaded to train
by his lifelong friend (Morgan Freeman). The film won four Academy Awards: Best
Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Swank), and Best Supporting Actor
(Freeman). At age 74 Eastwood became the oldest of eighteen directors to
have directed two or more Best Picture winners. He also received a
nomination for Best Actor and a Grammy nomination for his score. A. O.
Scott of The New York Times lauded the film as a "masterpiece" and the best film
of the year.
In 2006 Eastwood directed two films
about World War II's Battle of Iwo Jima. The first, Flags of Our Fathers,
focused on the men who raised the American flag on top of Mount Suribachi and
was followed by Letters from Iwo Jima, which dealt with the tactics of the
Japanese soldiers on the island and the letters they wrote home to family
members. Letters from Iwo Jima was the first American film to depict a war issue
completely from the view of an American enemy. Both films received praise
from critics and garnered several nominations at the 79th Academy Awards,
including Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Original Screenplay for Letters
from Iwo Jima. At the 64th Golden Globe Awards Eastwood received nominations for
Best Director in both films. Letters from Iwo Jima won the award for Best
Foreign Language Film.
Eastwood next directed Changeling
(2008), based on a true story set in the late 1920s. Angelina Jolie stars as a
woman who is reunited with her missing son only to realize that he is an
impostor. After its release at several film festivals the film grossed over
$110 million (US$112 million in 2012 dollars), the majority of which came
from foreign markets. The film was highly acclaimed, with Damon Wise of
Empire describing Changeling as "flawless". Todd McCarthy of Variety
described it as "emotionally powerful and stylistically sure-handed" and stated
that Changeling was a more complex and wide-ranging work than Eastwood's Mystic
River, saying the characters and social commentary were brought into the story
with an "almost breathtaking deliberation". Film critic Prairie Miller said
that, in its portrayal of female courage, the film was "about as feminist as
Hollywood can get" whilst David Denby argued that, like Eastwood's Million
Dollar Baby, the film was "less an expression of feminist awareness than a case
of awed respect for a woman who was strong and enduring." Eastwood received
nominations for Best Original Score at the 66th Golden Globe Awards, Best
Direction at the 62nd British Academy Film Awards and director of the year from
the London Film Critics' Circle.
After four years away from acting
Eastwood ended his "self-imposed acting hiatus" with Gran Torino, which he
also directed, produced, and partly scored with his son Kyle and Jamie Cullum.
Biographer Marc Eliot called Eastwood's role "an amalgam of the Man with No
Name, Dirty Harry, and William Munny, here aged and cynical but willing and able
to fight on whenever the need arose." Eastwood has said that the role will
most likely be the last time he acts in a film. It grossed close to $30
million (US$30.6 million in 2012 dollars) during its wide release opening
weekend in January 2009, the highest of his career as an actor or director.
Gran Torino eventually grossed over $268 million (US$274 million in 2012
dollars) in theaters worldwide becoming the highest-grossing film of
Eastwood's career so far, without adjustment for inflation.
His 30th directorial outing came
with Invictus, a film based on the story of the South African team at the 1995
Rugby World Cup, with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as rugby
team captain François Pienaar. Freeman had bought the film rights to John
Carlin's book on which the film is based. The film met with generally
positive reviews; Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars and described it as
a "very good film... with moments evoking great emotion", while Variety's
Todd McCarthy wrote, "Inspirational on the face of it, Clint Eastwood's film has
a predictable trajectory, but every scene brims with surprising details that
accumulate into a rich fabric of history, cultural impressions and
emotion." Eastwood was nominated for Best Director at the 67th Golden Globe
In 2010, Eastwood directed the
drama Hereafter, again working with Damon, who portrayed a psychic. The film had
its world premiere on September 12, 2010 at the 2010 Toronto International Film
Festival and was given a limited release on October 15, 2010.
Hereafter received mixed reviews from critics, with the consensus at Rotten
Tomatoes being, "Despite a thought-provoking premise and Clint Eastwood's
typical flair as director, Hereafter fails to generate much compelling drama,
straddling the line between poignant sentimentality and hokey tedium." In
the same year, Eastwood served as executive producer for a Turner Classic Movies
(TCM) documentary about jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, Dave Brubeck: In His Own
Sweet Way, to commemorate Brubeck's 90th birthday.
Eastwood directed the 2011 biopic
of J. Edgar Hoover, J. Edgar, focusing on the former FBI director's scandalous
career and controversial private life. It starred Leonardo DiCaprio as
Hoover, Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson, and Damon Herriman as Bruno
Hauptmann. In January 2011, it was announced that Eastwood is in talks to direct
Beyoncé Knowles in a third remake of the 1937 film A Star Is Born.
Production has been delayed due to Knowles' pregnancy. In October 2011,
Entertainment Weekly indicated that Eastwood was in talks to star in the
baseball drama Trouble with the Curve, in which he would play a veteran baseball
scout who travels with his daughter for a final scouting trip. Robert Lorenz,
who worked with Eastwood as an assistant director on a few of his films, is in
talks to direct the film.
Beginning with the thriller Play
Misty for Me, Eastwood has directed over 30 films in his career; including
westerns, action films, and dramas. From the very early days of his career,
Eastwood had been frustrated by directors insisting that scenes be re-shot
multiple times and perfected, and when he began as a director in 1971, he made a
conscious attempt to avoid any aspects of directing he had been indifferent to
as an actor. As a result, Eastwood is renowned for his efficient film directing
and ability to reduce filming time and to keep budgets under control. Eastwood
usually avoids actors rehearsing and prefers most scenes to be completed on the
first take. In preparation for filming Eastwood rarely uses
storyboards for developing the layout of a shooting schedule. He
also attempts to reduce script background details on characters to allow the
audience to become more involved in the film, considering their imagination
a requirement for a film that connects with viewers. Eastwood has
indicated that he lays out a film's plot to provide the audience with necessary
details, but not "so much that it insults their intelligence." According to
Life magazine, "Eastwood's style is to shoot first and act afterward. He etches
his characters virtually without words. He has developed the art of underplaying
to the point that anyone around him who so much as flinches looks hammily
Interviewers Richard Thompson and
Tim Hunter note that Eastwood's films are "superbly paced: unhurried; cool; and
[give] a strong sense of real time, regardless of the speed of the
narrative" while Ric Gentry considers Eastwood's pacing to be "unrushed and
relaxed". Eastwood is fond of low-key lighting and back-lighting to give
his movies a "noir-ish" feel.
Eastwood's frequent exploration of
ethical values has drawn the attention of scholars who have explored Eastwood's
work from ethical and theological perspectives, including his portrayal of
justice, mercy, suicide, and the angel of death.
Eastwood registered as a Republican
to vote for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, and supported Richard Nixon's 1968 and
1972 presidential campaigns. He later criticized Nixon's handling of the Vietnam
War and his morality during Watergate. He has disapproved of America's
wars in Korea (1950–1953), Vietnam (1964–1973), and Iraq (2003–2011), believing
that the United States should not be overly militaristic or play the role of
global policeman. He considers himself too individualistic to be either
right-wing or left-wing, describing himself as a "political nothing" and a
"moderate" in 1974 and a "libertarian" in 1997. Eastwood has stated
that he does not see himself as conservative or "ultra-leftist." At times,
he has supported Democrats in California, including Representative Sam Farr in
2002, and Governor Gray Davis, whom he voted for in 1998, and hosted a $5,000
per ticket fundraiser for in 2003. A self-professed "liberal on civil
rights" (see the 1974 Playboy interview), Eastwood has stated that he is
pro-choice on abortion. He has endorsed the notion of allowing gays to
marry and contributed to groups supporting the Equal Rights Amendment for
As a politician Eastwood has made
successful forays into both local and state government. In April 1986 he was
elected mayor for one term in his home town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California – a
small, wealthy town and artist community on the Monterey Peninsula. During
his term he tended towards supporting small business interests and advocating
environmental protection. In 2001 Eastwood was appointed to the California
State Park and Recreation Commission by Governor Davis, then reappointed in
2004 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. As the vice chairman of the
commission, in 2005 along with chairman Bobby Shriver, he led the movement
opposed to a six-lane 16-mile (26 km) extension of California State Route 241, a
toll road that would cut through San Onofre State Beach. Eastwood and Shriver
supported a 2006 lawsuit to block the toll road and urged the California Coastal
Commission to reject the project, which it duly did in February 2008. In
March 2008 Eastwood and Shriver's non-reappointment to the commission on the
expiry of their terms prompted the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC)
to request a legislative investigation into the decision. Governor
Schwarzenegger appointed Eastwood to the California Film Commission in April
2004. He has also acted as a spokesman for Take Pride in America, an agency
of the United States Department of the Interior which advocates taking
responsibility for natural, cultural, and historic resources.
During the 2008 United States
Presidential Election Eastwood endorsed John McCain, whom he has known since
1973, but nevertheless wished Barack Obama well upon his subsequent
victory. In August 2010, Eastwood wrote to the British Chancellor of
the Exchequer George Osborne to protest the decision to close the UK Film
Council, warning that the closure could result in fewer foreign production
companies choosing to work in the UK. When asked his opinion of the 2012
Republican presidential candidates in February 2012, Eastwood replied that Texas
Congressman Ron Paul was "'as good as anybody else' in the race but that he will
decide on a candidate in another month or two after 'listening to all that crap
[Added by PopStarsPlus] There was a
bit of controversy over the Superbowl Half-Time advertisement for Chrysler, in
which Clint Eastwood had appeared. Some called it a pro-Obama ad in
support of his bail-out of the auto industry. Mr. Eastwood responded to
the claims during an interview with Bill O'Reily, stating “I just want to say
that the spin stops with you guys, and there is no spin in that ad — on this I
am certain,” He continued by also stating that “It was meant to be a message
about just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians
will agree with it. I thought the spirit was okay.”
Although reported as being happily
married to his second wife since 1996, Eastwood previously fathered at least
seven children by five different women and has been described as a "serial
womanizer". According to biographers, Eastwood has always had a strong
sexual appetite and particularly so during the 1970s. He allegedly engaged in
affairs with many women, including actresses Catherine Deneuve, Peggy Lipton,
Jean Seberg, Jamie Rose, Inger Stevens, Jo Ann Harris, Jill Banner, script
analyst Megan Rose, and swimming champion Anita Lhoest.
Eastwood married Maggie Johnson on
December 19, 1953, six months after they met on a blind date. While
separated from Johnson, Eastwood had an affair with dancer Roxanne Tunis, with
whom he had his first child, Kimber (born June 17, 1964); he did not publicly
acknowledge her until 1996. After a reconciliation, he had two children
with Johnson: Kyle Eastwood (born May 19, 1968) and Alison Eastwood (born May
22, 1972). Eastwood filed for divorce in 1979, after a long separation, but the
$25 million (US$52.9 million in 2012 dollars) divorce settlement was not
finalized until May 1984.
Eastwood entered a relationship
with actress Sondra Locke in 1975 and they lived together for fourteen years
despite the fact that she remained married (in name only) to her gay husband,
Gordon Anderson. They co-starred in six films together: The Outlaw
Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Every Which Way but Loose, Bronco Billy, Any Which
Way You Can, and Sudden Impact. Early on in the relationship, Locke had two
abortions and a subsequent tubal ligation. The couple separated
acrimoniously in 1989; Locke filed a palimony suit against Eastwood after he
changed the locks on the home they shared. She sued him a second time, for
fraud, regarding an alleged phony directing contract he gave her in settlement
of the first lawsuit. Locke and Eastwood went on to resolve the dispute
with a non-public settlement in 1999. Her memoir The Good, the Bad, and the
Very Ugly includes a harrowing account of their years together. Although
Locke settled her cases with Eastwood which meant they never went up on appeal,
the trial court improperly disclosed part of the September 1996 trial of one of
Locke's cases to the public. The Supreme Court of California agreed to review
that issue because of the importance of the constitutional issues at stake, and
ultimately held in 1999, that there is a constitutional right of public access
to judicial proceedings.
During his cohabitation with Locke,
Eastwood had an affair with flight attendant Jacelyn Reeves. According to
biographers they met at the premiere of Pale Rider where they conceived a son,
Scott Reeves (born March 21, 1986). They also had a daughter, Kathryn
Reeves (born February 2, 1988), although neither of them were publicly
acknowledged until years later. Kathryn served as Miss Golden Globe at the
2005 ceremony where she presented Eastwood with an award for Million Dollar
In 1990, Eastwood began living with
actress Frances Fisher, whom he had met on the set of Pink Cadillac (1989).
They co-starred in Unforgiven and had a daughter, Francesca Fisher-Eastwood
(born August 7, 1993). The couple ended their relationship in early
1995, but remain friends and later appeared together in True Crime.
Eastwood subsequently began dating
Dina Ruiz, an anchorwoman 35 years his junior, whom he had first met when she
interviewed him in 1993. They married on March 31, 1996, when Eastwood
surprised her with a private ceremony at his home on the Shadow Creek Golf
Course in Las Vegas. After their wedding, Dina commented "The fact that I
am only the second woman he has married really touches me." The couple has
one daughter, Morgan Eastwood (born December 12, 1996).
Eastwood has two grandchildren:
Clinton (born 1984) and Graylen (born 1994), by Kimber and Kyle
Despite smoking in some of his
films, Eastwood is a life-long non-smoker, has been conscious of his health and
fitness since he was a teenager, and practices healthy eating and daily
Transcendental Meditation. He opened an old English-inspired pub
called the Hog's Breath Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1971. Eastwood
eventually sold the pub and now owns the Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant,
also located in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Eastwood is a keen golfer and owns
the Tehàma Golf Club. He is also an investor in the world-renowned Pebble Beach
Golf Links and donates his time every year to charitable causes at major
tournaments. Eastwood is a licensed pilot and often flies his
helicopter to the studios to avoid traffic.
Eastwood has had a passion for
music all his life. He particularly favors jazz, classic rhythm-and-blues, and
country-and-western music. He is also a pianist and composer. Jazz has
played an important role in Eastwood's life from a young age and, although he
never made it as a professional musician, he passed on the influence to his son
Kyle Eastwood, a successful jazz bassist and composer. Eastwood developed as a
boogie-woogie pianist early on and had originally intended to pursue a career in
music by studying for a music theory degree after graduating from high school.
In late 1959 he produced the album Cowboy Favorites, released on the Cameo
Eastwood has his own Warner Bros.
Records-distributed imprint Malpaso Records, as part of his deal with Warner
Brothers, which has released all of the scores of Eastwood's films from The
Bridges of Madison County onward. Eastwood co-wrote "Why Should I Care" with
Linda Thompson and Carole Bayer Sager, which was recorded by Diana Krall.
Eastwood composed the film scores of Mystic River, Grace Is Gone (2007),
Changeling, and J. Edgar, and the original piano compositions for In the Line of
Fire. He also wrote and performed the song heard over the credits of Gran
Torino. The music in Grace Is Gone received two Golden Globe nominations by
the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the 65th Golden Globe Awards.
Eastwood was nominated for Best Original Score, while the song "Grace is Gone"
with music by Eastwood and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager was nominated for Best
Original Song. It won the Satellite Award for Best Song at the 12th
Satellite Awards. Changeling was nominated for Best Score at the 14th Critics'
Choice Awards, Best Original Score at the 66th Golden Globe Awards, and Best
Music at the 35th Saturn Awards. On September 22, 2007, Eastwood was awarded an
honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music at the
Monterey Jazz Festival, on which he serves as an active board member. Upon
receiving the award he gave a speech claiming, "It's one of the great honors
I'll cherish in this lifetime."
Eastwood has been recognized with
multiple awards and nominations for his work in film, television, and music. His
widest reception has been in film work, for which he has received Academy
Awards, Directors Guild of America Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and People's
Choice Awards, among others. Eastwood is one of only two people to have been
twice nominated for Best Actor and Best Director for the same film (Unforgiven
and Million Dollar Baby) the other being Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait and
Reds). Along with Beatty, Robert Redford, Richard Attenborough, Kevin Costner,
and Mel Gibson, he is one of the few directors best known as an actor to win an
Academy Award for directing. On February 27, 2005, he became one of only three
living directors (along with Miloš Forman and Francis Ford Coppola) to have
directed two Best Picture winners. At age 74, he was also the oldest
recipient of the Academy Award for Best Director. Eastwood has directed five
actors in Academy Award–winning performances: Gene Hackman in Unforgiven, Tim
Robbins and Sean Penn in Mystic River, and Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank in
Million Dollar Baby.
On August 22, 1984, Eastwood was
honored at a ceremony at Grauman's Chinese theater to record his hand and
footprints in cement. Eastwood received the AFI Life Achievement Award in
1996, and received an honorary degree from AFI in 2009. On December 6, 2006,
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted
Eastwood into the California Hall of Fame located at The California Museum for
History, Women, and the Arts. In early 2007, Eastwood was presented with
the highest civilian distinction in France, Légion d'honneur, at a ceremony in
Paris. French President Jacques Chirac told Eastwood that he embodied "the best
of Hollywood". In October 2009, he was honored by the Lumière Award (in
honor of the Lumière Brothers, inventors of the Cinematograph) during the first
edition of the Lumière Film Festival in Lyon, France. This award honors his
entire career and his major contribution to the 7th Art. In February 2010,
Eastwood was recognized by President Barack Obama with an arts and humanities
award. Obama described Eastwood's films as "essays in individuality, hard truths
and the essence of what it means to be American."
Eastwood has also been awarded at
least three honorary degrees from universities and colleges, including an
honorary degree from the University of the Pacific in 2006, an honorary Doctor
of Humane Letters from the University of Southern California on May 27, 2007,
and an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music at the
Monterey Jazz Festival on September 22, 2007.
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
Million Dollar Baby
Million Dollar Baby
Million Dollar Baby
Letters from Iwo Jima
Letters from Iwo Jima
Eastwood has contributed to over 50
films over his career as actor, director, producer, and composer. He has acted
in several television series, most notably starring in Rawhide. He started
directing in 1971, and made his debut as a producer in 1982, with Firefox,
though he had been functioning as uncredited producer on all of his Malpaso
Company films since Hang 'Em High in 1968. Eastwood also has contributed music
to his films, either through performing, writing, or composing. He has mainly
starred in western, action, and drama films. According to the box office-revenue
tracking website, Box Office Mojo, films featuring Eastwood have grossed a total
of more than US$1.68 billion domestically, with an average of $37 million per
I Credited for performing a song in the film
Credited for writing song(s) for the film
Credited for composing song(s) for the film
Credited for original score
Death Valley Days
The West Point Story
Eastwood Meets Mister Ed"
"Vanessa in the Garden"
Mercer: The Dream's On Me
V Executive producer
[Source: Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clint_Eastwood_filmography)
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