Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood was an iconic American film actor, director and producer who over the course of his 60-plus year career in show business, built a legendary body of work nearly unmatched in American filmmaking. Born in San Francisco in 1930, Eastwood moved all across the West Coast with his family throughout the 1930s. His family eventually settled in Piedmont, California in 1940, and it's there the young Clint would remain throughout his teens. A rebellious youth, Eastwood got into a lot of trouble during high school, and it remains unknown whether or not he officially graduated. After high school Eastwood worked a series of odd jobs, including golf caddy and grocery store clerk, before being drafted into the United States Army. Despite being drafted during the Korean War, Eastwood never saw any action overseas, and worked as a lifeguard while stationed in Fort Ord in California. It was at Fort Ord that Eastwood met a director for Universal Pictures named Arthur Lubin. Lubin asked Eastwood to audition for him, and despite being unimpressed with his acting abilities, signed the aspiring young actor to a contract with the studio for $100 a week. From there Eastwood started auditioning for films and TV shows. He nabbed small parts in B monster movies like "Revenge of the Creature" (1955) and "Tarantula" (1955), as well as guest spots on shows like "West Point" (CBS/ABC, 1956-57) and "Maverick" (ABC, 1957-62). Eastwood's first big break came in 1958 when he was cast as the valiant cowboy Rowdy Yates on the western series "Rawhide" (CBS, 1959-65). Although Eastwood appeared in all 217 episodes of the series over eight seasons, over time he grew bored with the part and yearned to do something different. He would have that opportunity in 1964 when he starred in Italian director Sergio Leone's "A Fistful of Dollars." Eastwood played the lead character in the film, an anti-hero known as the "Man with No Name," and would go on to make two more films with Leone, "For a Few Dollars More" (1965) and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966), thus forming the groundbreaking trilogy of "Spaghetti Westerns" known as the Dollars Trilogy. After "Rawhide" was cancelled in 1965, and having already starred in two of Leone's Westerns, Eastwood put TV aside to focus on films. By the 1970s he had become one of the biggest box office draws in Hollywood with his memorable performances in films like "Dirty Harry" (1971), "High Plains Drifter" (1973), "The Outlaw Josey Wales" (1976), and "Escape from Alcatraz" (1979). The 70s was also the decade Eastwood began his foray into film directing, making his debut with the dark thriller "Play Misty for Me" in 1971. He would eventually go on to direct a number of films in the 70s and 80s, including "The Gauntlet" (1977), "Sudden Impact" (1983), and "Bird" (1988). By the early 90s, Eastwood had already achieved American icon status. But as it turns out, his career was only getting started. In 1993 Eastwood won two Oscars, Best Picture and Best Director, for directing the western "Unforgiven" (1992). Eastwood also starred in the film and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Eastwood continued working steadily as an actor/director throughout the 90s and 2000s, most notably with the films "The Bridges of Madison County" (1995), "Space Cowboys" (2000), and "Blood Work" (2002). His acting output began to slow by the mid-2000s, while his work behind the camera only intensified. Beginning in 2003, Eastwood directed a number of highly successful films that were either nominated or won Academy Awards: "Mystic River" (2003), "Million Dollar Baby" (2004), "Letters from Iwo Jima" (2006), and "American Sniper" (2014). Eastwood won the Oscar for Best Picture for "Million Dollar Baby" - his second Best Picture winner. In 2018, at the age of 88, Eastwood returned to film acting with the crime thriller "The Mule," which he also directed. In May of 2019 it was announced that Eastwood would direct the historical film "The Ballad of Richard Jewell," which was based on a suspect in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta.