Fascinating Facts About Clint Eastwood

Director Clint Eastwood attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 2, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Clint Eastwood is now 94 years old and recently wrapped up filming what could be his final film: Juror No. 2. He has been working in the industry for decades, starting out as a spaghetti Western star and moving on to directing and filmmaking, all while continuing to act and mentor the younger generations, including his eight children. In honor of his incredible career, let’s learn some interesting facts about the star.

He had a near-death experience

American actor and director Clint Eastwood

Roy Jones/Evening Standard/Getty Images

Eastwood once shared the story of a trip from Fort Ord to Seattle in 1951:

“On the way back, they had one plane, a Douglas AD, sort of a torpedo bomber of World War II vintage, and I thought I’d hitch on that,” he recalled. “Everything went wrong. Radios went out. Oxygen ran out. And finally we ran out of fuel up around Point Reyes, California, and went in the ocean. So we went swimming. It was late October, November. Very cold water. [I] found out many years later that it was a white shark breeding ground, but I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time or I’d have just died.”

He never washed the poncho from A Fistful of Dollars movies

A Fistful of Dollars Clint Eastwood, 1964

Everett Collection

The famous poncho worn by Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) was reportedly never washed. He admitted that it would fall apart if washed and he reportedly still owns it today.

There is an interesting reason he got the role of Harry Callahan over Frank Sinatra

Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood, 1971

Everett Collection

Many big stars were in the running to play Harry Callahan in Don Siegel’s Dirty Harry (1971), including Robert Mitchum, Steve McQueen and Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was the frontrunner, but Eastwood was surprised when he was offered the part. The casting team said that Sinatra couldn’t hold a gun properly due to a hand issue so they went with Eastwood, who had experience holding guns in Westerns and looked the part.

He turned down some life-changing roles

Reportedly, Eastwood was offered the iconic roles of James Bond, Superman and John McClane, but turned them all down because he felt they weren’t right for him.

He did his own stunts

The Eiger Sanction Clint Eastwood, 1975

Everett Collection

Eastwood not only directed and starred in The Eiger Sanction (1975), but did his own dangerous mountain climbing stunts for the film after training in Yosemite National Park.

He was the mayor of a small town in California

Clint Eastwood proudly holds up a t-shirt proclaiming him as the mayor of Carmel, California, during his acceptance speech on April 9, 1986.

Getty Images

Eastwood served as the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, from 1986-88. He only served one term because many of the residents didn’t like the swarm of new tourists who wanted to see Eastwood in action.

Share with us your favorite fun fact about Eastwood in the comments!

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