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Old is Gold: Clint Eastwood


“I just get up every morning and go out. And I don’t let the old man in.”

In December 2018, The Mule premiered in Los Angeles, California. What made the movie unusual, aside from the fact that it marked Clint Eastwood’s first return to acting in almost a decade (he’d last starred in Gran Torino in 2008), was the fact that the Hollywood star began work on the film on his 88thbirthday.

Looking back at Eastwood’s life, it seems he’s never been one for half measures – starting with the day he was born, when he tipped the scales at a whopping 5,2 kg! His school career also took an interesting turn, when he was asked to leave Piedmont High School in California after committing a series of transgressions, which included “writing an obscene suggestion to a school official on the athletic field scoreboard” and “burying someone in effigy on the school lawn.” (Wikipedia.com) While Eastwood transferred to a technical school and was set to graduate in 1949, it’s unclear whether he ever did. 

Following high school, Eastwood drifted from job to job working as a firefighter, golf caddy and lifeguard among other occupations. In 1951, he was drafted into the United States Army, serving as a lifeguard at Fort Ord, California. It was here that he was first spotted by a Universal employee working on a film shoot in the area.  

It took some time however, before Eastwood finally got his big break in 1958 in the television series, Rawhide. And it was only in 1964 that he made a name for himself on the big screen when he starred as The Man with No Name in Sergio Leone’s AFistful of Dollars. This was followed in 1965 by the sequel For a Few Dollars More and in 1966 by the conclusion to this celebrated trilogy, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. [An interesting piece of movie trivia: He wore the same sarape (brightly-coloured Mexican shawl) in all three movies, without ever washing it!] And the 1970s, Eastwood cemented his status as a Hollywood icon when he took on and owned the role of police inspector Harry Callaghan in Dirty Harry in 1971.

Here’s a look at his more than 70-year-long career (and some of his off-screen life) by the numbers.

Eastwood is known for his unique approach to directing – he favours one take per scene.


  • Eastwood has received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, although he has yet to win this award. 
  • He’s been married twice, first to Maggie Johnson (m. 1953 div. 1984) and later to Dina Ruiz (m. 1996 div. 2014). He has also had long-term relationships with Sandra Locke and Frances Fisher.
  • Eastwood served as the non-partisan mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea in California for two years.
  • He has twice been recognised by the French government – he was awarded the Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1994) and the Legion of Honour medal (2007).

Eastwood has a total of three children with his ex-spouses.

He has won four Oscars during his career – Best Picture (Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby), Best Director (Unforgiven) and the Irving G. Thalberg Award (1995) which is presented to “creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”

Five of the actors Eastwood has directed have been awarded Oscars for their roles in his movies – Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby), Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby), Gene Hackman (Unforgiven), Sean Penn (Mystic River) and Tim Robbins (Mystic River).

Eastwood has had children with six women.

He has composed seven film scores – Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Flags of our Fathers, Grace is Gone, Changeling, Hereafter and J. Edgar. His score for Million Dollar Baby received a Grammy nomination.

Eastwood has fathered eight children.

According to IMDB, Eastwood has 71 acting credits.

He won the Best Director Oscar for Million Dollar Baby aged 74 – he also became the oldest person to have directed two Best Picture winners.

One hundred and forty-eight
Eastwood has won an incredible 148 awards during his career, excluding his four Academy Awards. 

One hundred and sixty-seven
He has received 167 award nominations.