Actor-director-producer-composer-politician Clint Eastwood was born on May 31, 1930 in San Francisco and has a career that spans six decades and counting. The nurses at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital nicknamed him “Samson” because he weighed a whopping 11 pounds 6 ounces at birth. Eastwood is a descendant of William Bradford, a Mayflower passenger who went on to serve as governor of the Plymouth Colony. Through this bloodline, Eastwood is the 12th generation born in North America.
How much do you know about the Oscar-winning director of Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby? Make our day and keep reading to see photos of Clint Eastwood from the 1950s to today.
After being discovered in the 1950s and struggling in B movies such as Revenge of the Creature, Eastwood got his big break as Rowdy Yates on the TV Western Rawhide (pictured). During the show’s first season, Eastwood earned $750 an episode.
Eastwood’s Rawhide costar Eric Fleming turned down the lead role in Sergio Leone’s now-iconic spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars, which gave Eastwood the opening to play the “Man with No Name” character in that movie and the sequels For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
With his iconic role as police inspector Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry, E astwood helped create the wild card-cop archetype that you’ve seen in dozens of subsequent movies. Eastwood played Harry again in four sequels. He also almost played James Bond, believe it or not. After Sean Connery announced that he would no longer play Bond, Eastwood was offered the role. He turned it down because he said that 007 should be played by an English actor. Other 1970s movies of note by Eastwood include Play Misty for Me, Any Which Way but Loose and Escape from Alcatraz.
Eastwood directed and starred in the 1985 Western Pale Rider, the title of which is a reference to the Four Horsemen of t he Apocalypse. It is considered one of the best films of 1985 and is the movie that started to earn Eastwood the respect he deserves as a creative force. Some of his other movie highlights of the 1980s include Firefox, Bronco Billy and Sudden Impact. In 1986, he was elected mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California and served for two years.
Eastwood is the oldest director to have helmed two or more Best Picture winners. He won Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. He was 74 when he won for the latter, making him the oldest director to have won Oscars for two or more Best Picture winners. In the 1990s, he also starred in In the Line of Fire and The Bridges of Madison County, the latter of which he also directed. In 1997, he directed the acclaimed mystery-thriller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Clint Eastwood’s son Scott (pictured, left) was born in 1986 and bears a remarkable resemblance to his father. Scott has starred in movies such as The Fate of the Furious, Snowden and Pacific Rim: Uprising. He made a brief appearance in 2008’s Gran Torino, which was directed by his father. During the aughts, Clint Eastwood directed and/or starred in Space Cowboys, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Changeling, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.
Eastwood is an avid golfer and owns Tehàma Golf Club in Carmel, California. He is pictured above at a charity fundraising event in 2015. Eastwood did a lot more than golf in the 2010s and was anything but retired. He directed J. Edgar, Jersey Boys, American Sniper, Sully and The Mule during the decade, to name a few.
Despite a worldwide pandemic, Eastwood is a nonagenarian that shows no sign of slowing down. He appeared in the 2021 neo-Western Cry Macho, a movie in which he starred, directed and produced. Beginning with 1974’s Play Misty for Me, Eastwood has directed over 30 movies and isn’t done yet. He has been married twice, divorced twice, has eight children, and currently lives with his girlfriend 33 years his junior in Carmel, California. Keep making our day, Clint!