For more than 60 years, Clint Eastwood as inspired people all over America and the world. His portrayal of cowboys and anti-heroes of the wild west earned him a multi-million-dollar fortune envied by many. Today, the 86-year-old actor is as active as ever. But instead of just playing the lead in films, he also directs and produces them, displaying his wider breadth of talent than all the haters ever thought he had in him.
In addition to his talent in film, Eastwood has used his popularity to share political views. He is a staunch conservative with deep love for the second amendment. He wasn’t acting when he said he liked guns.
While you’ve probably always loved Clinton “Clint” Eastwood, Jr. learning about his humble beginnings will solidify your appreciation for this man among men.
Born during the Great Depression on May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, Clint’s had an impoverished and humble background. His father was a migrant worker and his mother eventually got a job in a factory.
He weighed 11.59 pounds at birth, which was somewhat a medical miracle back then.
And as he grew up, Clint’s family moved around a lot. His father was always looking for new work. Eventually, things settled down and they moved to Piedmont, California.
Most likely due to his chaotic upbringing, Clint was a troublemaker in school. His grades suffered and he was always going to summer school.
It didn’t take long for him to develop his figure. He grew to 6ft 4in and was very athletic. But he hated being on a team, so he focused on individual pursuits like golf.
But his true love was jazz music and women. And as Eastwood later admitted, all that mattered to him as a teenager was “fast cars and easy women.”
In high school, the drama teacher encouraged him to act. But he didn’t do it, admitting he was “far too shy to step foot on stage.”
The blue collar hero took auto mechanic courses and studied air craft maintenance. He spent his time in school rebuilding car and plane engines.
After high school, Clint joined his father at the Weyerhaeuser Company pulp in Springfield, Oregon. He then enrolled in college because he didn’t want to live the life his father had.
But God had another plan for the young man. Clint was enlisted in the United States Army.
While on his way for a family visit one weekend, Clint’s plane crashed. He later said: “I thought I might die. But then I thought, other people have made it through these things before. I kept my eyes on the lights on shore and kept swimming.”
While in the Army, Clint made friends with TV actors and Hollywood people.
Instead of going back to school after his military career, Eastwood went to Los Angeles to pursue stardom.
His career floundered and Clint was forced to enroll in drama classes. He was awkward and soft-spoken. But he was good at displaying anger on screen.
John Saxon, a fellow actor, described Eastwood as, “being like a kind of hayseed.. Thin, rural, with a prominent Adam’s Apple, very laconic and slow speechwise.”
When he won the lead role in Rawhide, his career started to pick up. It was a lot of work, but his strong work ethic carried him through.
He later admitted, he got “tired” of playing the good guy.
“In Rawhide I did get awfully tired of playing the conventional white hat. The hero who kisses old ladies and dogs and was kind to everybody. I decided it was time to be an anti-hero. I wanted to play it with an economy of words and create this whole feeling through attitude and movement. It was just the kind of character I had envisioned for a long time, keep to the mystery and allude to what happened in the past. It came about after the frustration of doing Rawhide for so long. I felt the less he said, the stronger he became and the more he grew in the imagination of the audience.”
What’s Clint’s secret to success and aging gracefully?
“You know what the big trick is?” asked the actor who has been working ever since the 1950s. “I have a friend that is in his 90s, and I said to him, ‘You look real good – what’s the deal?’
‘He says, “Never let the old man in.” And he never did,’ the star added.