Biographic by Steve McGarry for October 14, 2012
BIOGRAPHIC Steve McGarry Clint Eastwood In a stellar career that has spanned more than 50 years, Clint Eastwood has earned a place in movie legend as an iconic superstar actor, a brilliant director, a shrewd and savvy producer and a gifted composer. And somehow, he even found time in the 1980's to serve a term as major of Carmel-By-The-Sea, California. Clinton Eastwood Jr., born in San Francisco on May 31, 1930, was serving in the army when he struck up a friendhip with David Janssen, the actor who would later find fame as star of "The Fugitive" TV series. Janssen helped him land a screen test that led to a movie studio contract and a string of small roles, starting with the 1955 sci-fi movie "Revenge of the Creature." Eastwood's big breakthrough came with the role of Rowdy Yates on the long-running TV series "Rawhide." As the Show reached the end of its 6-year run, a trio of european-made westerns in which he played a namelss, bounty-hunting anti-hero - "A Fistful of Dollars," "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" - made him a star. The "spaghetti westerns" opened up Hollywood's doors. From westerns such as "Hang 'Em High" and "High Plains Drifter," to war movies like "Where Eagles Dare" and "Kelly's Heroes," to thrillers such as "Play Misty For Me" and "the Eiger Sanction," the hits kept coming. He even starred in the musical "Paint Your Wagon," with "Dirty Harry," a smash success that would spawn four hit sequels, he created one of the most memorable characters in movie history. In the 1970s, he began to direct his own movies, and by the 1980s he was also producing them. His directorial work has not been limited to his own starring vehicles, as the success of "Mystic River" and "Letters from Iwo Jima" attest. In 1992, his movie-making brilliance was recognized when "Unforgiven" earned him an Oscar nomination as best actor, and landed him the best director and best picture awards, a feat he repeated with 2004's "Million Dollar Baby." A lifelong political Libertarian who once famously served as Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, he made worldwide news when he recently appeared - with an empty chair as a prop= at the 2012 Republican National Convention.