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Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood Through the Years: Look Back at His Life in Photos

Actor-director-producer-composer-politician Clint Eastwood was born on May 31, 1930 in San Francisco and has a career that spans six decades and counting. The nurses at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital nicknamed him “Samson” because he weighed a whopping 11 pounds 6 ounces at birth. Eastwood is a descendant of William Bradford, a Mayflower passenger who went on to serve as governor of the Plymouth Colony. Through this bloodline, Eastwood is the 12th generation born in North America.

How much do you know about the Oscar-winning director of Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby? Make our day and keep reading to see photos of Clint Eastwood from the 1950s to today.

1950s

After being discovered in the 1950s and struggling in B movies such as Revenge of the Creature, Eastwood got his big break as Rowdy Yates on the TV Western Rawhide (pictured). During the show’s first season, Eastwood earned $750 an episode.

1960s

Eastwood’s Rawhide costar Eric Fleming turned down the lead role in Sergio Leone’s now-iconic spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars, which gave Eastwood the opening to play the “Man with No Name” character in that movie and the sequels For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

1970s

With his iconic role as police inspector Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry, E astwood helped create the wild card-cop archetype that you’ve seen in dozens of subsequent movies. Eastwood played Harry again in four sequels. He also almost played James Bond, believe it or not. After Sean Connery announced that he would no longer play Bond, Eastwood was offered the role. He turned it down because he said that 007 should be played by an English actor. Other 1970s movies of note by Eastwood include Play Misty for Me, Any Which Way but Loose and Escape from Alcatraz.

1980s

Eastwood directed and starred in the 1985 Western Pale Rider, the title of which is a reference to the Four Horsemen of t he Apocalypse. It is considered one of the best films of 1985 and is the movie that started to earn Eastwood the respect he deserves as a creative force. Some of his other movie highlights of the 1980s include Firefox, Bronco Billy and Sudden Impact. In 1986, he was elected mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California and served for two years.

1990s

Eastwood is the oldest director to have helmed two or more Best Picture winners. He won Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. He was 74 when he won for the latter, making him the oldest director to have won Oscars for two or more Best Picture winners. In the 1990s, he also starred in In the Line of Fire and The Bridges of Madison County, the latter of which he also directed. In 1997, he directed the acclaimed mystery-thriller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

2000s

Clint Eastwood’s son Scott (pictured, left) was born in 1986 and bears a remarkable resemblance to his father. Scott has starred in movies such as The Fate of the Furious, Snowden and Pacific Rim: Uprising. He made a brief appearance in 2008’s Gran Torino, which was directed by his father. During the aughts, Clint Eastwood directed and/or starred in Space Cowboys, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Changeling, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.

2010s

Eastwood is an avid golfer and owns Tehàma Golf Club in Carmel, California. He is pictured above at a charity fundraising event in 2015. Eastwood did a lot more than golf in the 2010s and was anything but retired. He directed J. Edgar, Jersey Boys, American Sniper, Sully and The Mule during the decade, to name a few.

2020s

Despite a worldwide pandemic, Eastwood is a nonagenarian that shows no sign of slowing down. He appeared in the 2021 neo-Western Cry Macho, a movie in which he starred, directed and produced. Beginning with 1974’s Play Misty for Me, Eastwood has directed over 30 movies and isn’t done yet. He has been married twice, divorced twice, has eight children, and currently lives with his girlfriend 33 years his junior in Carmel, California. Keep making our day, Clint!

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Clint Eastwood

The Actor Who Almost Replaced Clint Eastwood In The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

If Clint Eastwood passed on The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, Charles Bronson may have stepped into the Man with No Name’s poncho. Clint Eastwood was best known as a TV actor when he appeared in the 1964 Italian Western A Fistful Of Dollars. During this time, Eastwood was best known as Rawhide’s Rowdy Yates, but his Fistful Of Dollars role would prove a major breakthrough for the young star. He would return for two sequels, which would help solidify his screen persona.

Eastwood also became one of the last Western movie stars. In contrast to the films of John Wayne – who passed on an Eastwood collaboration – Clint’s Westerns tended to be more cynical and violent. The Outlaw Josey Wales and Unforgiven are considered to be two of his best films in the genre, and he retired from Westerns after the latter. His 2021 movie Cry Macho was something of a comeback, with the ’70s set neo-Western casting Eastwood as a faded rodeo star.

The Man with No Name remains one of Clint Eastwood’s most beloved roles. However, he initially wasn’t sold on returning for 1966’s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, and considered passing on it. Reports on the film have stated that Charles Bronson – future star of the Death Wish movies – was considered by Leone to play either Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) or Tuco (Eli Wallach), but he was unavailable due to filming The Dirty Dozen. However, according to co-writer Luciano Vincenzoni, had Clint Eastwood passed on the Dollars movie trilogy closer The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, Leone wanted Charles Bronson for the role.

According to an interview with Vincenzoni at fansite Fistful Of Leone, the director was mad at Eastwood and wanted Bronson to replace him in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Apparently, Steve McQueen was also discussed, but Eastwood soon agreed to return for a percentage of the movie’s profits. It’s hard to imagine anybody else playing the Man with No Name beside Eastwood, but when it comes to actors famous for their stoic, ice-cool screen personas, Bronson would have been a great second choice.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly proved to be a major success and had a profound impact on future Westerns. Leone would later get his wish of replacing Eastwood with Charles Bronson with Once Upon A Time In The West. Eastwood was first offered the lead in the Sergio Leone movie, but when he passed, Bronson got the part instead, which is one of his most iconic characters.

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Clint Eastwood

‘Gran Torino’: Clint Eastwood Co-Star Bee Vang Blames the Film for ‘Mainstreaming Anti-Asian Racism’

Clint Eastwood‘s Gran Torino earned praise from critics and audiences. Many criticized the Awards for not nominating the film at the ceremony. However, some folks came forward to condemn Eastwood’s film regarding its use of racial slurs. Gran Torino star Bee Vang came forward to criticize the film for “mainstreaming anti-Asian” racism.

Bee Vang starred in Clint Eastwood’s ‘Gran Torino’ as Thao Vang Lor

'Gran Torino' Bee Vang, Clint Eastwood, Ahney Her smiling with Eastwood's arms around Vang and Her

L-R: Bee Vang, Clint Eastwood, Ahney Her | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Gran Torino follows Walt Kowalski (Eastwood), who is a widow and Korean War veteran. His family alienates him and he’s angry at the world. Walt’s young neighbor, Thao Vang Lor (Vang), tries to steal Walt’s 1972 Ford Torino to impress a local gang, but Walt ultimately develops a close relationship with Thao and his family.

Vang earned a role in Eastwood’s Gran Torino. However, he wanted to elevate the movie and breathe authenticity into it. “During the shooting of the film, I tried to stay true to the script,” Vang wrote in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “But as a Hmong person, I also tried to do justice to my own life and to that of others like me.”

Bee Vang blames Clint Eastwood’s ‘Gran Torino’ for ‘mainstreaming anti-Asian racism’

Vang wrote a piece on NBC News that outlines anti-Asian racism in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic era. He reflected back on starring in Eastwood’s Gran Torino and how it connects with the modern social and political climate.

“At the time, there was a lot of discussion about whether the movie’s slurs were insensitive and gratuitous or simply ‘harmless jokes,’” Vang wrote. “I found it unnerving, the laughter that the slurs elicited in theaters with predominantly white audiences. And it was always white people who would say, ‘Can’t you take a joke?’”

However, Vang looks back at Gran Torino with a different perspective, especially regarding the anti-Asian racism spreading around the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Gran Torino may have elided the crisis in Asia that birthed our diaspora and many others across the Pacific,” Vang wrote. “But more concerning was the way the film mainstreamed anti-Asian racism, even as it increased Asian American representation. The laughter weaponized against us has beaten us into silent submission.”

Vang continued: “To this day, I am still haunted by the mirth of white audiences, the uproarious laughter when Eastwood’s curmudgeonly racist character, Walt Kowalski, growled a slur … It’s a ‘harmless joke,’ right? Until it’s not just a joke, but rather one more excuse for ignoring white supremacy and racism.”

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic overtly perpetuates anti-Asian racism

Vang uses Eastwood’s Gran Torino as an example of how anti-Asian racism becomes integrated into mainstream culture. It’s not simply a joke to Vang when it has real-world ramifications. The 2008 film is not harmless content for Vang and many folks who spoke against the movie’s use of anti-Asian racism.

“In times of crisis, solidarity requires a collective commitment to justice,” Vang wrote in NBC News. “We cannot lose sight of this, or it will become impossible to imagine a new and better world. And I no longer wonder what people mean when they ask me why I can’t take a joke. Covid-19 has removed all doubt.”

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Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood Once Said We’re in a ‘P**** Generation’: ‘Everybody’s Walking on Eggshells’

Clint Eastwood is a legendary name in Hollywood. He remains one of the biggest western movie stars of all time. However, the world also knows him for his particularly conservative values and beliefs. Some audiences applaud him for his social and political stance, while others criticize him for it. Eastwood once explained what the “p**** generation” is and how it impacts him.

Clint Eastwood is an actor and director

Clint Eastwood in article about new generation smiling in front of AFI Fest step and repeat

Clint Eastwood | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Eastwood’s first acting role was an uncredited part in 1955’s Revenge of the Creature. However, he truly hit the big time by playing the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy. The franchise consists of 1964’s A Fistful of Dollars, 1965’s For a Few Dollars More, and 1966’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. His legacy continues to live on through its impact on modern cinema.

Eastwood stepped behind the camera for the first time with 1971’s Play Misty for Me. He didn’t stop acting, but his passion certainly pushed him to continue making movies. At the time of writing, Eastwood earned four Academy Awards for films including Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby.

Clint Eastwood said that we’re in a ‘p**** generation’

Esquire interviewed Eastwood and his son, Scott to discuss their experiences in Hollywood and their personal beliefs and ideals. The social and political climate entered the conversation, resulting in his discussion of Donald Trump and people’s level of sensitivity to specific topics.

“But he’s [Trump] onto something, because secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up,” Eastwood said. “That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a p**** generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff.”

Eastwood continued: “When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist. And then when I did Gran Torino, even my associate said, ‘This is a really good script, but it’s politically incorrect.’ And I said, ‘Good. Let me read it tonight.’ The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, ‘We’re starting this immediately.’”

He described the “p**** generation” by saying, “All these people that say, ‘Oh, you can’t do that, and you can’t do this, and you can’t say that.’ I guess it’s just the times.”

Eastwood further described the generation as one where, “Nobody wants to work.”

‘Gran Torino’ continues to divide audiences

Eastwood’s conversation comments previously offended some audiences. However, his films also speak for themselves. Gran Torino star Bee Vang spoke out about the film, accusing it of “mainstreaming anti-Asian racism.” The film includes slurs against Asian people and turns them into a joke for mainstream audiences to laugh at. Vang and other critics raise the problems that arise with such casual racism.

Eastwood most recently made Cry Macho. He also starred in the lead role. He currently doesn’t have any films set for the new year, although he doesn’t show any sign of slowing down and retiring. Stay tuned for more information on Eastwood’s next project.

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