With over 70 movie and television credits to his name, in addition to his 40 directing credits, to say Clint Eastwood is a prolific actor would be an understatement. Clint Eastwood’s acting career began almost 70 years ago with a small performance in the 1955 film Revenge of the Creature. The 91-year-old star’s interest in acting, however, was sparked long before that.
In an interview with Roger Ebert, Clint Eastwood revealed that he knew he wanted to be an actor after seeing Gary Cooper’s performance in the most popular film of 1941, Sergeant York. An 11-year-old Clint Eastwood went to the movies with his father and was instantly enamored with the character of Alvin York, played by famed western star Gary Cooper.
“I remember once while I was doing (the TV series) Rawhide long ago,” Eastwood told Ebert. “I went next door and met Gary Cooper. And I thought, God! I remember growing up and my dad taking me to Sergeant York and all those great pictures. Then all of a sudden, one day you wake up, and younger actors are looking up to you. And all I can remember is being 5 years old and going to films.”
Clint Eastwood loved Sergeant York so much that, decades later, he directed his own version of the story in American Sniper. According to Eastwood, he always had dreams of not only acting but having a hand in the creative process behind the story as well. “I like being involved with a story from beginning to end,” Eastwood told The Wrap. “You’re not just a singular element of a movie, you’re painting the picture and holding the brush.”
Clint Eastwood Correctly Guessed That He Would Still Be Involved in Film in Old Age
Back in 1993, Clint Eastwood spoke to Roger Ebert about what his career might look like when he reached the incredible age of 90. “I’ve always thought directing would be what I’d fall back on,” Eastwood said. “That’s what I figured I’d do before retirement, whenever that might be. But who knows? I might find some role as an old guy someday. A 90-year old gummer sitting around…”
Well, now Clint Eastwood is 90 years old. Ninety-one, verging on 92, to be exact. And rather than relaxing at home, the western icon continues to work – and enjoy doing it. Just last year, in fact, Clint Eastwood gave a performance as Miko in the western drama Cry Macho.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Eastwood gave an answer to the question of why he’s still working at nearly 100 years old. When it comes to directing, Eastwood said, “I just like it. I have nothing against other directors, but I might have a whole different take on things and I don’t want to be thinking, ‘Why did I give it to him?’”
As for acting performances, Clint Eastwood admits feeling slightly less certain. “What the hell am I still working for in my 90s?” he said. “Are people going to start throwing tomatoes at you? I’ve gotten to the point where I wondered if that was enough, but not to the point where I decided it was. If you roll out a few turkeys, they’ll tell you soon enough.”