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22 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Clint Eastwood

Updated June 5, 2020 19.5k votes 2.4k voters 154.3k views22 items

List RulesVote up the most interesting Clint Eastwood facts you were surprised to learn.

Who is Clint Eastwood? You probably know that he is a prolific actor and director, who's been a household name in the business for decades. After all, he has about 70 acting credits to his name and has helmed nearly 40 movies (check out this Clint Eastwood filmography list for all his movies). He also has four Academy Awards. The ruggedly handsome Eastwood has played a cowboy (several times), an anti-hero detective, a boxing trainer, and even a bare-knuckle fighter. His famous growl and eye squint have become his trademark. But there is much more to learn about Clint Eastwood's biography. Here are the Clint Eastwood facts you may not know.

By weeding through Clint Eastwood interviews, bios, anecdotes, and quotes, it’s pretty clear that the former mayor is one of the most interesting guys in Hollywood. He may appear stoic, and even often laconic on the big screen, but his passion for life is obvious in his rich history. 

He’s more than just an actor or director. He’s unapologetically political, owns golf courses, and could have had a very successful career in music. This list is more than Clint Eastwood trivia or what appears on his wiki page; it will help to give insight to a legend whose most popular character is ironically called "The Man With No Name."

Vote up your Clint Eastwood stories on the list below!

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  • 1

    He Survived a Plane Crash

    He Survived a Plane Crash
    Photo: Escapade in Japan / RKO

    Clint Eastwood had a near-death experience when he hopped a free ride on a Douglas AD Bomber plane in the early 1950s. The plane ran out of gas around Point Reyes, CA, and crashed into the ocean.

    He described the experience, saying, "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.” Thankfully, Eastwood and the pilot were both able to swim the 3 miles ashore to safety. 

     

     

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  • 2

    He Became a Mayor in Order to Overturn a City Ban on Ice Cream Parlors

    Okay, maybe that's not the only reason Clint Eastwood ran for mayor of the California coastal city Carmel-by-the-Sea. His campaign slogan was "Bringing the Community Together." Before he ran for office, there was an ancient law in the local books that banned selling and eating ice cream on public streets.

    Once Eastwood was elected, he repealed the law and set out to pass several pro-business items of legislation that helped both the business sector and the community. He served in office for two years, from 1986 to 1988.

     

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  • 3

    He Scored His First Major Acting Gig Because He Looked Like a Cowboy

    He Scored His First Major Acting Gig Because He Looked Like a Cowboy
    Photo: CBS

    In the 1950s, Eastwood had some success in B-movies and bit parts on television, but he was digging swimming pools in Hollywood in order to support himself financially. His luck changed in 1958 when he was visiting a friend on the CBS lot. A studio executive spotted the rugged and handsome Eastwood and asked him if he was an actor.

    Turns out, the exec needed someone to play a cowboy on a new western television show called Rawhide. Clint got the part of Rowdy Yates, Rawhide became a hit, and Eastwood remained on the show for eight seasons.

     

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  • 4

    He Is a Certified Pilot

    He Is a Certified Pilot
    Photo: Firefox / Warner Bros.

    Clint Eastwood has been a certified pilot since 1989.

    He even flies his very own helicopter to work in order to avoid traffic.

     


     

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