Clint Eastwood

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Clint Eastwood

Take Pride in America Spokesman Clint Eastwood in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California on May 24, 2005
Birth name Clinton Eastwood, Jr.
Born May 31, 1930 (age 76)
Flag of United States San Francisco, California, USA
Spouse(s) Dina Ruiz (March 31, 1996 - present) 1 child

Maggie Johnson (December 19, 1953 - 1978) (divorced) 2 children

Notable roles Man with No Name in

A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
'Dirty' Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971) and sequels

Academy Awards
Best Director

1992 Unforgiven
2004 Million Dollar Baby
2003 Mystic River
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima
Best Picture
1992 Unforgiven
2004 Million Dollar Baby
2003 Mystic River
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima
Best Actor
1992 Unforgiven

2004 Million Dollar Baby
Golden Globe Awards
Best Director - Motion Picture

1988 Bird
1992 Unforgiven
2004 Million Dollar Baby
Best Foreign Language Film
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima
Best Motion Picture - Drama
1992 Unforgiven
2003 Mystic River

2004 Million Dollar Baby
BAFTA Awards
Best Film
1992 Unforgiven
César Awards
Best Foreign Film
2003 Mystic River
2004 Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood (born Clinton Eastwood, Jr. on May 31, 1930) is an iconic American actor, composer, and Academy Award-winning film director and film producer. While his recent work as a director, on films like Million Dollar Baby and Letters from Iwo Jima, is consistently praised by critics, Eastwood is perhaps most famous for his tough guy, anti-hero acting roles, including Inspector 'Dirty' Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry series and the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns.


[edit] Biography

Born in San Francisco in 1930, Eastwood moved often as a child as his father worked a variety of jobs along the West Coast. The family settled in Oakland during his teens, and he graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 1949. He subsequently served in the United States Army before seeking an acting career in the early 1950s.

[edit] Film career

Eastwood began work as an actor, making brief appearances in B-films such as Revenge of the Creature, Tarantula and Francis in the Navy. In 1959, he got his first break with the long-running television series, Rawhide. As Rowdy Yates (whom Eastwood would later refer to in interviews as "the idiot of the plains"), he made the show his own and became a household name across the country.

Eastwood found lead roles as the mysterious Man with no name in Sergio Leone's loose trilogy of westerns A Fistful of Dollars / Per un pugno di dollari (1964), For a Few Dollars More / Per qualche dollaro in più (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo (1966). Although the first of these was evidently a tribute to Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Leone used his innovative style to depict a wilder, more lawless and desolate world than traditional westerns. All three films were hits, particularly the third, and Eastwood became an instant international star, redefining the traditional image of the American cowboy (though his character was actually a gunslinger rather than a traditional hero).

Stardom brought more roles, though still in the "tough guy" mold. In Where Eagles Dare (1968) he had second billing to Richard Burton but was paid $800,000. In the same year, he starred in Don Siegel's Coogan's Bluff, in which Eastwood was a lonely sheriff who came to the big city of New York to enforce the law in his own way. The film was controversial for its straightforward portrayal of violence, but it launched a more than ten-year collaboration between Eastwood and Siegel and set the prototype for the macho cop hero that Eastwood would play in the Dirty Harry series of films. In the next year Eastwood began to branch out. Paint Your Wagon (1969) was a western, but also a musical. Kelly's Heroes, (1970) combined tough-guy action with offbeat humor. Clint made a western with Shirley McLaine in Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970). In The Beguiled, directed again by Siegel, he played a villain. 1971 proved to be the biggest year yet for his career. He directed and starred in the thriller Play Misty for Me, but it was his portrayal of the hard-edged police inspector Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry that propelled Siegel's most successful movie at the box-office and arguably established Eastwood's most memorable character. The film has been credited with inventing the "loose-cannon cop genre" that is imitated to this day. Eastwood's tough, no-nonsense cop touched a cultural nerve with many who were fed up with crime in the streets. Dirty Harry led to four sequels: Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), Sudden Impact (1983), and The Dead Pool (1988), as well as sparking numerous imitators such as Death Wish (1974), which had four sequels of its own.

Clint Eastwood in a classic shot from The Outlaw Josey Wales, a Revisionist Western.
Clint Eastwood in a classic shot from The Outlaw Josey Wales, a Revisionist Western.

Eastwood directed two important, morality play westerns during the 1970s, High Plains Drifter (1973) and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976).

In 1974, Eastwood teamed with a young actor named Jeff Bridges in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. The movie was written and directed by Michael Cimino, who had previously written only the Dirty Harry sequel Magnum Force (and would win an Oscar for directing The Deer Hunter four years later). Critics and the public alike loved the sexual chemistry between Eastwood and Bridges, making the film one of the biggest hits of 1974.

In 1975, Eastwood brought another talent to the screen: rock climbing. In The Eiger Sanction, in which he directed and starred, Eastwood - a 5.9 climber - performed his own rock climbing stunts. This film has become a cult classic in the rock climbing community. This film was done before the advent of CGI, so everything you see is real.

In 1978, he starred in Every Which Way But Loose which was an uncharacteristic and offbeat comedy role, as Philo Beddoe, a trucker and brawler roaming the American West in search of a lost love while accompanied by his brother/manager Orville and his pet orangutan, Clyde. Panned by critics, the movie went on to become an enormous success and became, along with its 1980 sequel Any Which Way You Can, the two highest grossing Eastwood movies.

In 1979 Eastwood played another memorable role as the prison escapee Frank Morris in the fact-based movie Escape from Alcatraz. Morris was an escape artist who was sent to Alcatraz in 1960, which was, at the time, one of the toughest prisons in America. Morris devised a carefully thought out plan to escape from "The Rock" and, in 1962, he and two other prisoners broke out of the prison and entered San Francisco Bay. They were never seen again, and although the FBI believes that the escapees drowned, to this day their actual fate is unknown.

Inspector Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry
Inspector Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

It was the fourth Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact (1983), that made Eastwood a viable star for the '80s. President Reagan used his famous "make my day" line in one of his speeches. Eastwood revisited the western genre directing and starring in Pale Rider (1985), paying homage to the western film classic Shane which was rehearsed at the Cannes Film Festival. His fifth and final Dirty Harry movie, The Dead Pool (1988), was a success overall, but it did not have the box office punch his previous films had achieved. Eastwood alternated between more mainstream comedic films (if not particularly successful) such as Pink Cadillac (1989), and The Rookie (1990) and more personal projects, such as directing Bird (1988), a biopic of Charlie "Bird" Parker,which gave him the nomination for Golden Palm in the Cannes Film Festival and also starring in and directing White Hunter, Black Heart (1990), an uneven, loose biography of John Huston, which received some critical acclaim, although Katharine Hepburn contested the veracity of much of the material.

Eastwood rose to prominence yet again in the early 1990s. He directed and starred in the revisionist western Unforgiven in 1992, taking on the role of an aging ex-gunfighter long past his prime. The film, also starring such heavyweight actors as Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and Richard Harris, laid the groundwork for such later westerns as Deadwood by reenvisioning established genre conventions in a more ambiguous and unromantic light. A great success both in terms of box office and critical acclaim, it was nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Actor for Eastwood, and won four, including Best Picture and Best Director for Eastwood.

The following year, Eastwood played a guilt-ridden Secret Service agent in the thriller In the Line of Fire (1993) directed by Wolfgang Petersen. This film was a blockbuster and among the top 10 box-office performers in that year. Eastwood directed and starred with Kevin Costner in A Perfect World in the same year. He continued to expand his repertoire by playing opposite Meryl Streep in the love story, The Bridges of Madison County (1995). Based on a best-selling novel, it was also a hit at the box-office. Afterward, Eastwood turned to more directing work--much of it well received--including Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), Mystic River (2003), and Million Dollar Baby (2004), but he also acted in the last of these and garnered another Best Actor nomination.

[edit] Directing

Eastwood has developed directing as a second career, and has generally received greater critical acclaim for his directing than he ever did for his acting. Eastwood has become known for directing high-quality but pessimistic dramas such as Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, and Letters from Iwo Jima. However, he has chosen a wide variety of films to direct, some clearly commercial, others highly personal. Articles about Eastwood often neglect to mention that he has directed 27 films (as of 2006). Many actors direct now and then, but Eastwood is as distinguished as many more famous directors. (See Awards.)

Eastwood also produces many of his movies, and is well known in the industry for his efficient, low-cost approach to making films. Over the years, he has developed relationships with many other filmmakers, working over and over with the same crew, production designers, cinematographers, editors and other technical people. Similarly, he has a long-term relationship with the Warner Bros. studio, which finances and releases most of his films (although, in a 2004 interview appearing in The New York Times, Eastwood noted that he still sometimes has difficulty convincing the studio to back his films). In more recent years, Eastwood also has begun writing music for some of his films.

[edit] Awards and nominations

Eastwood has been nominated for the Academy Award for directing and producing eight times, winning for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby (his other nominations come for Mystic River and Letters from Iwo Jima), and twice for acting (Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby), though he has not won an Academy Award for acting. He is one of only three living directors (along with Miloš Forman and Francis Ford Coppola) to have directed two Best Picture winners, Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby, the second of which earned him his second Best Director Oscar.[1] At age 74, he was the oldest director to achieve this distinction.

Eastwood has received numerous other awards, including an America Now TV Award as well as one of the 2000 Kennedy Center Honors. He also received an honorary degree from University of the Pacific in 2006. In 1994 He received the honorary Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in acting.[2] In 2006, he received a nomination for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for Million Dollar Baby. In 2007, Eastwood will be the first recipient of the Jack Valenti Humanitarian Award, an annual award presented by the MPAA to individuals in the motion picture industry whose work has reached out positively and respectfully to the world. Eastwood will receive the award for his work on the 2006 films Flags of Our Fathers and the Academy Award-nominated Letters from Iwo Jima.[3]

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".[4]

[edit] Current projects

Eastwood has been announced to direct Universal Pictures' The Changeling, a period thriller from noted writer J. Michael Straczynski and producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Angelina Jolie has been slated to star in the film, with production set to start later in 2007.[5]

Eastwood and Warner Bros. have also purchased the movie rights to James Hansen's First Man, the authorized biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong. No production date has been announced.

In early 2007, Eastwood announced that he will produce a Bruce Ricker documentary about jazz legend Dave Brubeck. The film is tentatively titled "Dave Brubeck – In His Own Sweet Way." It will trace the development of Brubeck’s latest composition, the Cannery Row Suite. This work was commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival and premiered at the 2006 festival. Eastwood’s film crews have already captured early rehearsals, sound checks and the final performance. Ricker and Eastwood are currently working on a documentary about Tony Bennett titled "The Music Never Ends."[6]

[edit] Political life

Eastwood made one successful foray into elected politics, becoming the Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea (Carmel), California (population 4000), a wealthy small town and artist community on the Monterey Peninsula, for one term. Frustrated with what he perceived to be the bureaucracy in Carmel's politics, he ran a last-minute, small scale campaign emphasizing better relations between the residential and business communities. On election day, April 8, 1986, with double the voter turnout, Eastwood garnered 72.5% of the vote and was elected to a position that paid $200 per month. During his tenure he tried to balance the rights of preservationists and develop the town for local business. Eastwood decided not to run for a second term due to the number of small scale decisions required of the mayor in such a small town. During his tenure he completed Heartbreak Ridge and Bird.[1] On a lighter note, as mayor he repealed a municipal law that forbade anyone from eating ice cream on the sidewalk.

Eastwood has been registered as a Republican since 1951, and was a supporter of Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. He describes himself as a libertarian, describing his philosophy as "Everyone leaves everyone else alone." [2] He voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger as Governor of California in 2003 and 2006.

[edit] Personal life

Eastwood, who has been married twice, has five daughters and two sons by five different women: Kimber (born 1964), with Roxanne Tunis; Kyle (born in 1968) and Alison (born on May 22, 1972), with ex-wife Maggie Johnson; Scott (born March 21, 1986) and Kathryn (born February 2, 1988), with airline hostess Barrett Stone; Francesca Ruth (born August 7, 1993), with Frances Fisher, his co-star in Unforgiven; and Morgan (born December 12, 1996), with current wife Dina Ruiz. Clint Eastwood lived with actress Sondra Locke from 1976 to 1988. The relationship produced no children.

Eastwood remains a sex symbol for many. He once said, "I like to joke that since my children weren't making me any grandchildren, I had two of my own. It is a terrific feeling being a dad again at my age. I am very fortunate. I realize how unfair a thing it is that men can have children at a much older age than women." He has two grandchildren, Clinton (born 1984) and Graylen (born 1994) of Kimber and Kyle, respectively.

Eastwood owns the exclusive Tehama Golf Club located in Carmel within Monterey County. The invitation-only club reportedly has around 300 members and a joining price of $500,000. Eastwood is also the owner of the Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant, located in Carmel as well.

Clint Eastwood is also an audiophile, known for his love of jazz. He owns an extensive collection of LPs which he plays on a Rockport turntable. His interest in music was passed on to his son Kyle, now a jazz musician.

It is also stated that Eastwood is a descendent of William Bradford, a pilgrim that sailed to American on the ship, The Mayflower. Hugh Hefner is also stated as a descendant.

[edit] Trivia

  • In 2002 he sued a biographer for publishing allegations that he physically abused Sondra Locke during their relationship, and forced her to have several abortions.
  • Two actors (Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman) have won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in consecutive years for playing characters in Eastwood's movies. Robbins won in 2003 for Mystic River while Freeman won in 2004 for his role in Million Dollar Baby.
  • Jokingly threatened to kill Michael Moore at the National Board of Review awards dinner in January, 2005. Eastwood was quoted as saying "Michael Moore and I actually have a lot in common, we both appreciate living in a country where there's free expression... but, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera - I'll kill you." This was presumably in reference to Moore's controversial interview with Eastwood's friend Charlton Heston in the movie Bowling for Columbine.
  • Claims to have "developed his distinctive manner of speech by studying the breathy whisper of Marilyn Monroe."
  • His mother, Margaret Ruth Runner, died on February 7, 2006, aged 97.
  • One anagram from his name is "Old West Action."
  • One recurrent rumor has it that Eastwood is the son (legitimate or otherwise) of British comic actor Stan Laurel. This is untrue, although a passing facial resemblance to the comedian (plus the fact that Eastwood was born on the same day as one of Laurel's children) has ensured that the legend often resurfaces. [3]
  • He has his own Warner Bros. Records-distributed imprint, Malpaso Records, as part of his deal with Warner Bros. This deal was left intact when Warner Music Group was sold by Time Warner to private investors. Malpaso has released all of the scores of Eastwood's films from The Bridges of Madison County onward. It also released the album of a 1996 jazz concert he hosted, titled Eastwood after Hours—Live at Carnegie Hall.
  • A physical fitness fanatic, he has never smoked, except in some of his movies.

[edit] Eastwood in popular culture

[edit] Filmography

For more details on this topic, see Clint Eastwood filmography.
Preceded by
Jonathan Demme
for The Silence of the Lambs
Academy Award for Best Director
for Unforgiven
Succeeded by
Steven Spielberg
for Schindler's List
Preceded by
Peter Jackson
for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Academy Award for Best Director
for Million Dollar Baby
Succeeded by
Ang Lee
for Brokeback Mountain
Preceded by
Steven Spielberg
AFI Life Achievement Award
Succeeded by
Martin Scorsese

[edit] Discography

  • "Unknown Girl" (single, 1961)
  • "Rowdy" (single)
  • "For You, For Me, For Evermore" (single)
  • Rawhide's Clint Eastwood Sings Cowboy Favorites (LP)
  • Paint Your Wagon
  • Kelly's Heroes
  • "Cowboy in a Three Piece Suit" (single, 1981)
  • "Make My Day" (single, 1984) with T.G. Sheppard
  • Eastwood After Hours: Live At Carnegie Hall

[edit] References

  1. ^ Clint Eastwood Awards Retrieved 6 January 2007.
  2. ^ Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 6 January 2007.
  3. ^ Eastwood tapped first recipient of MPAA's Valenti honor Retrieved 2 February 2007
  4. ^ Eastwood Receives French Honour Retrieved 17 February 2007.
  5. ^ Garrett, Diane; Fleming, Michael (2007-03-08). Eastwood, Jolie catch 'Changeling' — Grazer, Howard to produce pic. Variety. Retrieved on 2007-03-09.
  6. ^ University of the Pacific Media Relations (2007-03-14). Clint Eastwood and Other Illustrious Artists Honor Jazz Legend Dave Brubeck. University of the Pacific. Retrieved on 2007-03-15.

[edit] External links

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NAME Eastwood, Clint
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Eastwood, Clinton, Jr.
SHORT DESCRIPTION Actor, Director, film producer
DATE OF BIRTH May 31, 1930
PLACE OF BIRTH San Fransisco, California, USA