|Clint Eastwood Biography||
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This article refers to the actor/producer/director. For the Gorillaz song named after him, see Clint Eastwood (song).
, California, United States
in Sergio Leone's "Dollars" trilogy
Born at St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco, California to Clinton Eastwood Sr. and Margaret Ruth Runner; the family is of Scottish people, Irish people, Dutch people, and English people descent. Eastwood is a descendant of Mayflower passenger and Plymouth Colony Governor, William Bradford (1590-1657). As a child, Eastwood endured the Great Depression, which in turn left its mark on his later films. Clint Sr., a sometime steel worker in the San Francisco Bay Area, was forced in the 1930s to seek work over a wide area of coastal and inland California. According to film scholar David Kehr, the Eastwoods, with Clint Jr. and sister JeanUser:Rjw6844 03:58, 4 November 2006 (UTC) , spent much of the decade in motion, an experience that would inform such movies as 1982's Honkytonk Man, with its migrant, "Okie" families. From his working-class childhood and upbringing, Eastwood the artist drew upon a perspective that was often far more archetypically middle-American than those of other California-born actors and directors. When he needed a mid-American backdrop from the 1950s for his 1988 film Bird (1988 film), Eastwood used the elm-lined streets of central Sacramento, California, a distinctly un-Hollywood setting which he remembered from living there briefly as a child. That leafy cityscape, with its early 20th century clapboard houses, seems worlds removed from the hilly vistas and intellectual pretentions of the Bay Area and also from the sun-drenched glitz of Los Angeles, California, where Clint Jr. would live as a young man. While attending Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, CA, one of his teachers assigned him a part in a play to try to get him to be less introverted. He did not enjoy the experience. Eastwood was drafted into the Army, apparently in 1951, during the Korean War. He was sent to Fort Ord on the Monterey Bay, California for basic training. He was supposed to be sent to the war in Korea, but on a trip home to Seattle to visit his parents and girlfriend, Eastwood caught a ride aboard a Navy plane at Moffett Field. On the ride back aboard a Navy torpedo bomber, the plane developed engine trouble and was forced to make a water landing off San Francisco. He was forced to swim over a mile through the tide to shore. Because of this, instead of being sent to Korea, he was assigned a job as a swimming instructor and remained at Ft. Ord. He worked nights and weekends as a bouncer at the NCO club. It was while on duty at Ft. Ord that Eastwood met fellow soldiers and future TV actors Martin Milner ("Route 66" and "Adam-12"), David Janssen ("The Fugitive" and "Harry O"), and Richard Long ("The Big Valley" and "77 Sunset Strip"). After his discharge in 1953, Eastwood moved to Southern California and attended Los Angeles City College, studying drama and business administration under the G.I. Bill.
Eastwood began work as an actor, appearing in B-movies such as Revenge of the Creature, Tarantula (film) and Francis in the Navy. In 1959, he got his first break with the long-running television series, Rawhide (television series). 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. But Eastwood found lead roles as the mysterious man with no name with Sergio Leone loose trilogy of westerns A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Although the first of which was evidently a tribute to Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo. Leone used his skill to depict a wilder,more lawless and desolate world than traditional Western movie. 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 instead of 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. At 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 in great dispute for its straighforward painting of violence. But it did make the base for the over 10 years cooperation between Eastwood and Siegel and foster the rudiment of macho cop hero Dirty Harry. In the next year Eastwood also began to branch out. Paint Your Wagon (1969) was a western, but a Musical theater. Kelly's Heroes (1970) combined tough-guy action with offbeat humor. In The Beguiled directed by Siegel , he played a villain. 1971 proved to be a big year for his career. He directed and starred in the thriller Play Misty for Me (1971), but it was his role that year as the hard-edged police inspector Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry which was Siegel's most successful work too that gave Eastwood one of his most memorable roles. The film has been credited with inventing the "loose-cannon cop genre" that remains imitated to this day. Eastwood's portrayal of the tough, no-nonsense cop touched a cultural nerve with many who were just plain fed up with crime in the streets, sparking numerous imitators such as Death Wish, and four sequels: Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976 film) (1976), Sudden Impact (1983), and The Dead Pool (1988). Eastwood directed two important westerns during the revisionist '70s period in American filmmaking, 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 chemistry between Eastwood and Bridges, making the film one of the biggest hits of 1974. As the late '70s approached, he found more solid work in comedy such as Every Which Way But Loose (1978). In 1975, Eastwood brought another talent to the screen: rock climbing. In The Eiger Sanction (film), in which he directed and starred, Eastwood - a Grade (climbing) 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 Computer-generated imagery, so everything you see is real. It was the fourth Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact (1983), that made Eastwood a viable star for the '80s. President of the United States Ronald Reagan even 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 in the Cannes Film Festival and brought some hope to the dying Western after waterloo of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate. 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 movie) (1990) and more personal projects, such as directing Bird (1988 film) (1988), a biopic of Charlie 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-gunfighting 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 evaluating established genre conventions in more ambiguous and unromantic light. A great success both in terms of box office and critical acclaim, it was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Academy Award for Best Actor for Eastwood, and won four, including Academy Award for Best Picture and Academy Award for Directing for Eastwood. The following year, Eastwood played a guilt-ridden United States 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 with Meryl Streep for the love story, The Bridges of Madison County (1995), which was based on the best selling novel and a great hit too. After that Clint took on more work as director, much of it well received, including Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), Mystic River (movie) (2003), and Million Dollar Baby (2004), for which he won a second Best Director award, and at 74 the oldest director to do so.
Eastwood developed directing as a second career, and has, indeed, generally received much greater critical acclaim for his directing than he ever did for his acting. As a director, Eastwood has become known for high-quality dramas imbued with a pessimistic tone, such as Unforgiven, Mystic River (movie), Million Dollar Baby and Flags of Our Fathers (film). However, he has chosen a wide variety of films to direct, some clearly commercial, others highly personal. Too often articles about Eastwood 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. He, along with Francis Ford Coppola and Miloš Forman, are the only living directors to have directed two Best Picture winners (Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby). 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.
Awards and nominations
Eastwood received numerous awards, including an America Now TV Award as well as one of the 2000 Kennedy Center Honors. He also recieved an honorary degree from University of the Pacific in 2006. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for directing and producting 3 times, winning for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby (he was also nominated for Mystic River (film), but did not win); twice for acting ( Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby) but did not win. He also received the honorary Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in acting. http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/DisplayMain.jsp?curTime=1161236423891 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" http://www.aceshowbiz.com/celebrity/clint_eastwood/nominees.html
Eastwood has recently taken the director's chair for a pair of World War II dramas, Flags of Our Fathers (film) (released in October 2006) and Letters from Iwo Jima (to be released in Japan in late 2006 and in the USA in early 2007). Eastwood and Warner Bros. have purchased the movie rights to James Hansen First Man, the authorized biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Eastwood made one, successful foray into elected politics, becoming the Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California (population 4000), a wealthy small town and artist community on the Monterey Peninsula, for one term between 1986-88. 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 developing the town for local business. Eastwood decided not to run for a second term due to the amount of small scale decisions required of the mayor in such a small town. During his tenure he completed Heartbreak Ridge and Bird.http://www.clinteastwood.net/welcome2.html Although a registered Republican Party (United States) in California, Eastwood describes himself as a Libertarian, describing his philosophy as "Everyone leaves everyone alone".http://www.libertarianrock.com/clint.html He does not follow a strict party line; for example, he hosted a fundraiser for then Governor Gray Davis in the 2003 recall vote and offering to make a commercial for the unpopular Democratic Governor.
Eastwood, who has been married twice, has five daughters and three sons by five different women: Kimber (born 1964), with Roxanne Tunis; Kyle Eastwood (born in 1968) and Alison Eastwood (born on May 22, 1972), with ex-wife Maggie Johnson; Scott (born March 21, 1986) and Kathryn (born February 2, 1988), with airline hostess Jacelyn Reeves; 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 giving 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." This remark seems to ignore his grandchildren, Clinton (born 1984) and Graylen (born 1994) of Kimberly and Kyle, respectively. Eastwood owns the exclusive Tehama Golf Club located in Carmel Valley within Monterey County. The invitation-only club reportedly has around 300 members and a joining price of $500,000.
The 'Stan Laurel' myth
One recurrent rumour 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 http://www.snopes.com/movies/actors/eastwood.asp.
Eastwood in popular culture
Courtesy of: http://www.wikipedia.org/