Biography of Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is perhaps best-known for his work as an actor and cultural symbol of a particular brand of gritty American masculinity, but he has also had a notable career as a film director as well. The first film he directed was Play Misty for Me in 1971, and this opened the door for many other directorial opportunities. The film earned favorable reviews and praise for Eastwood.

Eastwood was born in 1930 in San Francisco, California, and began auditioning for films in the 1950s. After starring in the television show Rawhide, he began working in Italian-made Spaghetti Westerns that brought him into the public eye. These films include A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

In 1973, Eastwood directed his first Western: High Plains Drifter, and film in which he also starred. As a director, he was conscious to avoid many of the directing traps that he had resented as an actor, such as reshooting scenes over and over, which has earned him a reputation as especially efficient. His other films as a director include Breezy, The Eiger Sanction, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Bronco Billy, Honkytonk Man, Sudden Impact, Pale Rider, The Rookie, Unforgiven, A Perfect World, The Bridges of Madison County, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, True Crime, Space Cowboys, Blood Work, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, Changeling, Gran Torino, Invictus, J. Edgar, Jersey Boys, American Sniper, Sully, The 15:17 to Paris, The Mule, and Richard Jewell.

He has won the Academy Award for Best Director twice, once in 1993 for Unforgiven, and once in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby. Additionally, he was nominated for Best Director for his work on Mystic River. He has been praised by critics for his ability to deliver a strong dramatic punch from light material, and for the pacing of his movies, which critics have hailed as true to life.


Study Guides on Works by Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino (2008) tells the story of Eastwood's Walt Kowalski, a widowed Korean War veteran who is winding down his life in a quaint home in Highland Park, Michigan. Times have changed, though. Walt is alienated from his family...

Invictus is a film from 2009 directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Anthony Peckham about the improvement of the South African Springboks rugby team in the 1995 World Cup, which took place during the presidency of Nelson Mandela. Mandela had a...

Released in 1992, Unforgiven continues to stand as the final statement Clint Eastwood has to say on the subject of the Old West. Eastwood’s direction guides this summing up of the Western genre which made him a star, and which he almost...