Born in San Francisco, California on May 31, 1930, Clint Eastwood Jr. had no plans to become an actor. In 1953, the man’s handsome and rugged looks played a key role in fetching him a contract from Universal. The actor did small parts until 1958 when he got his big break with the American Western TV series Rawhide. During the 1960s, in an attempt to make the move from TV to films, Eastwood travelled to Italy to be a part of spaghetti Westerns. He played the role of Man With No Name, a role that had been turned down by several Western stars, in Sergio Leone’s 1960s trilogy series which included A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). These films played a key role in establishing Clint Eastwood as an international star.
During the 70s, Clint Eastwood accepted the role of a Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry, which not only led to several sequels and spin-offs but further cemented Eastwood’s position as a mega movie star. In the years that followed, Eastwood achieved fame and success by conquering different genres and directing Academy Award-winning films, such as Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. In this video, we tell you 15 Clint Eastwood facts to blow your mind. For instance, do you know why Clint Eastwood decided to call his production company Malpaso Productions? Or, why did he turn down some of the most iconic roles in the history of cinema? In this video, we answer several such questions. So, hit the play button and enjoy.
He Was Drafted into the U.S. Army During Korean War but Was Never a Part of the Combat
Clint Eastwood Jr. worked several odd jobs before becoming an actor. After graduating from high school, he first worked as a firefighter in Oregon and then moved to Texas to work as a steelworker. He also worked as a lifeguard and gold caddy. In 1951, he decided to go back to studying and was planning to enrol himself at Seattle University. However, he was instead drafted into the United States Army and sent to Fort Ord in California for training. Clint Eastwood was never a part of the combat and instead worked as a swimming instructor during the day and a bouncer at night.
He Survived an Emergency Plane Landing During His Army Days
In 1951, Eastwood had gone to Seattle on a weekend leave. While coming back to Fort Ord, the actor decided to hitch on a Douglas AD, a torpedo bomber that was used during World War II. During an interview many years later, Eastwood recalled this trip as being one of the scariest experiences of his life. As soon as the bomber took off, the radio and the oxygen went out and they soon found out they had run out of fuel too. The bomber made an emergency landing at Point Reyes, California, which is known to be a white shark breeding ground. Clint Eastwood, however, survived the whole accident.
Clint Eastwood wrote to Billy Wilder to Convince the Director to Give Him the Role of Charles Lindbergh
Eastwood got his big break in 1958. However, by 1953, he knew he wanted to be an actor. Thus, in 1954, Eastwood wrote to the popular director and screenwriter Billy Wilder who was often considered one of the most versatile filmmakers of the time. Eastwood thanked the director for finding out the time to meet him and requested the director to let him audition for the role of Charles Lindbergh. Unfortunately, Billy Wilder decided to go with Jimmy Stewart in the end.
His Contract with Universal Lasted Until 1959
In 1953, Eastwood was hired by Universal as a contract player, an agreement that lasted until 1959 when Eastwood was fired for a couple of different reasons. So, what were these reasons? To start with, according to Universal, Eastwood had a chipped tooth that he refused to take care of and he talked too slow for an actor. The funniest reason they gave, however, was that Eastwood’s Adam’s apple protruded out a little too much. Funnily, along with Eastwood, Universal also fired Burt Reynolds the same year. Reason? According to the studio, Reynolds couldn’t act.
Clint Eastwood Took Home $15,000 as Fees for
A Fistful of Dollars
The role that made Clint Eastwood an international star was the role of Joe or the Man With No Name in Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars and Clint Eastwood has James Coburn and Charles Bronson to thank for the opportunity. The role had first gone to James Coburn, who had demanded $25,000 to star in the film. Charles Bronson, on the other hand, thought the film was one of the worst scripts he had ever read. Eastwood loved the script and decided to do the film for $15,000.
Clint Eastwood went against his agent when he decided to accept the lead role in A Fistful of Dollars, a decision that proved life-changing. The actor is known to follow his gut and heart, which is why it is not very surprising that he has also turned down many incredible popular roles during his career. We will give you more details on this in a while. Meanwhile, if you are enjoying this vide, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel.
He Wore the Same Poncho in All Films of the Dollars Trilogy
Many of us will forever remember Clint Eastwood as the man with the poncho and a cigar-smoking icon. So, here’s a mind-blowing fact about the poncho that played a crucial role in making Eastwood such a huge star: the actor wore the same poncho in all three movies of the Dollars Trilogy and never washed it once. An interviewer once asked him why he never washed the poncho and the answer was simple: if he did, the poncho may have fallen apart. Eastwood still has the accessory with him.
There Is a Reason Why Eastwood Named His Production Company Malpaso Productions
Clint Eastwood’s production company is called Malpaso productions and there are two reasons why the actor decided to give his company this name. First, when Eastwood was approached for the role of the Man With No Name, his agent had told him that the trilogy was a ‘bad step’. ‘Bad step’ translated into Spanish is Malpaso. Second, Eastwood lives in California by Malpaso Creek and hence the name Malpaso Productions.
And Eastwood Has Sinatra to Thank for the Role of Harry Callahan
Harry Callahan is another one of Clint Eastwood’s most memorable roles. Not many people know that the role was first offered to Robert Mitchum and Steve McQueen before finally going to Frank Sinatra. However, one fine day, out of the blue, Don Siegel called Eastwood and asked him to play Harry. When Eastwood asked what happened to Sinatra, Don shared that Sinatra had some problem in the hand and therefore, couldn’t hold a gun.
1973 Academy Awards Were Awkward for Both Eastwood and Charlie Heston
During the 1973 Academy Awards, Charlie Heston was supposed to do the opening segment. However, on his way to the ceremony, Heston got a flat tire and got late. The organizers asked Clint Eastwood to fill in for Heston. The situation got pretty weird pretty soon as the entire script was filled with Heston references. Thankfully, Heston arrived before the end of the segment and took over from a very awkward Eastwood.
He Did All His Action Scenes in the Eiger Sanction
Clint Eastwood knew from the very beginning that he would eventually want to be the man behind the camera. He made his directorial debut with Misty For Me in 1971 and then in 1975, he directed the action thriller film The Eiger Sanction, a film about a history professor and former assassin who is blackmailed into coming out of retirement to do one final task. Clint Eastwood starred in the film. For a particular sequence, Eastwood and some of the crew members were first taken to an elevation of 12000 feet and then lowered down using tether lines. All the stunts one sees in the film were quite dangerous to perform and Eastwood could have gone with a stunt double but he chose to do all his scenes on his own.
Also, While Directing, Eastwood Does Not Do Second Takes
With Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby, Eastwood has proved that he is as brilliant a director as he is an actor. However, not many people know that when Eastwood directs a film, he does not like doing second takes. Similarly, he does not say action or cut. He simply says ‘let’s move on’ because according to Eastwood, the sound of ‘action’ makes many actors nervous.
He Was His Town’s Mayor Between 1986 and 1988
Eastwood has made Carmel-by-the-Sea in California his home. During the early 80s, Eastwood had proposed a plan for a small building, which the local administration rejected. Eastwood felt disrespected by the administration’s decision and therefore, decided to run for office. He ran for Mayor in 1986 and won by defeating the incumbent candidate a significant margin. During his term, he did several amazing things, the most important being repealing the law that prohibited people from eating ice cream on the streets.
Until 2002, He Was the Proud Owner of the Largest Hardwood Tree in America
Eastwood is the proud owner of a blue gum eucalyptus that had the distinction of being the largest hardwood tree in America. However, in 2002, the title was taken away from Eastwood’s tree and given to another blue gum eucalyptus.
Transcendental Meditation Has Helped Him Calm down over the Years
During a 1975 episode of The Merv Griffin Show, Eastwood revealed that he practised transcendental meditation. Many years later, in 2013, while talking to GQ, the actor confessed that he meditates twice a day and has been doing so since the last 40 years. According to the actor, the habit has helped him calm down in life and become more accomodating of other people’s beliefs.
He Has Turned down Many Iconic Roles
In 1969, Sean Connery left the 007 franchise and the role of James Bond was offered to Clint Eastwood. Not just the role of James Bond, but Warner Bros. also asked Eastwood to play Superman. However, the actor declined both the roles. Why? Simply because he didn’t think he was fit for the part. In 1979, he also turned down Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now because he didn’t want to spend 16 weeks in the Philippines.
We hope you enjoyed listening to these mind-blowing facts about one of the biggest stars of Hollywood. Is there anything you would like to add to this list? If yes, please leave a comment. If you enjoyed this video, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel and press the bell icon to stay updated on all our latest videos.