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Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood Biography, Filmography

Clint Eastwood

Biography
With his rugged good looks and icon status, Clint Eastwood is one of the few actors whose name on a movie marquee can still guarantee a hit. Less well-known (at least until he won the Academy Award as Best Director for Unforgiven), is the fact that Eastwood is also a producer/director, with an enviable record of successes. Born May 31, 1930, in San Francisco, Eastwood worked as a logger and gas-station attendant, among other things, before coming to Hollywood in the mid-'50s. After his arrival, he played small roles in several Universal features (he's the pilot of the plane that napalms the giant spider at the end of Tarantula [1955]) before achieving some limited star status on the television series Rawhide. Thanks to the success of three Italian-made Sergio Leone Westerns -- A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) -- Eastwood soon exchanged this limited status for bona fide international stardom.

Upon his return to the U.S., Eastwood set up his own production company, Malpaso, which had a hit right out of the box with the revenge Western Hang 'Em High (1968). He expanded his relatively limited acting range in a succession of roles -- most notably with the hit Dirty Harry (1971) -- during the late '60s and early '70s, and directed several of his most popular movies, including 1971's Play Misty for Me (a forerunner to Fatal Attraction), High Plains Drifter (1973), and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). Though Eastwood became known for his violent roles, the gentler side of his persona came through in pictures such as Bronco Billy (1980), a romantic comedy that he directed and starred in.

As a filmmaker, Eastwood learned his lessons from the best of his previous directors, Don Siegel and Sergio Leone, who knew just when to add some stylistic or visual flourish to an otherwise straightforward scene, and also understood the effect of small nuances on the big screen. Their approaches perfectly suited Eastwood's restrained acting style, and he integrated them into his filmmaking technique with startling results, culminating in 1993 with his Best Director Oscar for Unforgiven (1992). Also in 1993, Eastwood had another hit on his hands with In the Line of Fire. In 1995, he scored yet again with his film adaptation of the best-selling novel The Bridges of Madison County, in which he starred opposite Meryl Streep; in addition to serving as one of the film's stars, he also acted as its director and producer.

Aside from producing the critical and financial misstep The Stars Fell on Henrietta in 1995, Eastwood has proven to be largely successful in his subsequent efforts. In 1997, he produced and directed the film adaptation of John Berendt's tale of Southern murder and mayhem, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and he followed that as the director, producer, and star of the same year's Absolute Power, 1999's True Crime, and 2000's Space Cowboys. With Eastwood's next movie, Blood Work (2002), many fans were pondering whether the longtime actor/director still had what it took to craft a compelling film. Though some saw the mystery thriller as a fair notch in Eastwood's belt, many complained that the film was simply too routine, and the elegiac film quickly faded at the box office.

If any had voiced doubt as to Eastwood's abilities as a filmmaker in the wake of Blood Work, they were in for quite a surprise when his adaptation of the popular novel Mystic River hit screens in late 2003. Featuring a stellar cast that included Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon, Mystic River was the film that many critics and audiences cited as one of the director's finest. A downbeat meditation on violence and the nature of revenge, the film benefited not only from Eastwood's assured eye as a director, but from a screenplay (by Brian Helgeland) that remained fairly faithful to Dennis Lehane's novel and from severely affecting performances by its three stars - two of whom (Penn and Robbins) took home Oscars for their efforts.

His reputation as a quality director now cemented well in place thanks to Mystic River's success, Eastwood's remarkable ability to craft a compelling film was nearly beginning to eclipse his legendary status as an actor in the eyes of many. Indeed, few modern directors could exercise the effeciency and restraint that have highlighted Eastwood's career behind the camera as so beautifully highlighted in his 2004 follow-up Million Dollar Baby. It would have been easy to layer the affecting tale of a young female boxer's rise from obscurity with the kind of pseudo-sentimental slop that seems to define such underdog themed films, but it was precisely his refusal to do so that ultimately found the film taking home four of the six Oscars that it was nominated for at the 77th Annual Academy Awards - including "Best Director" and "Best Picture."

Eastwood has also contributed songs and scores to several of his films, including The Bridges of Madison County and Mystic River. ~ Bruce Eder, All Movie Guide

Filmography

Actor
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Blood Work (2002)
Space Cowboys (2000)
True Crime (1999)
Absolute Power (1997)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
In the Line of Fire (1993)
A Perfect World (1993)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Rookie (1990)
White Hunter, Black Heart (1990)
Pink Cadillac (1989)
The Dead Pool (1988)
Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
Pale Rider (1985)
City Heat (1984)
Tightrope (1984)
Sudden Impact (1983)
Firefox (1982)
Honkytonk Man (1982)
Any Which Way You Can (1980)
Bronco Billy (1980)
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
Every Which Way But Loose (1978)
The Gauntlet (1977)
The Enforcer (1976)
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
The Eiger Sanction (1975)
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)
High Plains Drifter (1973)
Magnum Force (1973)
Joe Kidd (1972)
The Beguiled (1971)
Dirty Harry (1971)
Play Misty for Me (1971)
Kelly's Heroes (1970)
Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Two Mules for Sister Sara (1969)
Coogan's Bluff (1968)
Hang 'Em High (1968)
Where Eagles Dare (1968)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
Lafayette Escadrille (1958)
Escapade in Japan (1957)
Francis in the Navy (1955)
Lady Godiva (1955)
Revenge of the Creature (1955)
Tarantula (1955)

Composer
Absolute Power (1997)

Director
Blood Work/Mystic River (2005)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Piano Blues (2004)
Mystic River (2003)
Blood Work (2002)
Space Cowboys (2000)
True Crime (1999)
Absolute Power (1997)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
A Perfect World (1993)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Rookie (1990)
White Hunter, Black Heart (1990)
Bird (1988)
Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
Pale Rider (1985)
Sudden Impact (1983)
Firefox (1982)
Honkytonk Man (1982)
Bronco Billy (1980)
The Gauntlet (1977)
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
The Eiger Sanction (1975)
Breezy (1973)
High Plains Drifter (1973)
Play Misty for Me (1971)

Music
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Mystic River (2003)

Producer
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Mystic River (2003)
Blood Work (2002)
Space Cowboys (2000)
True Crime (1999)
Absolute Power (1997)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)

Clint Eastwood
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