Clint Eastwood: immortality in his sights

David Denby celebrates a man who, even as he turns 80, seems bigger and better than ever.

David Denby
Telegraph [UK]
28 May 2010

In Outlaw Josey Wales

Being underestimated is, for some people, a misfortune. For Clint Eastwood, it became a weapon. Certainly, no one meeting him in his twenties, before his movie career began, would have seen much more than a good-looking Californian who loved beer, women, cars and noodling at the piano – a fun guy to hang out with.

Since those unprepossessing days, he has done the following: starred in a hit television show, Rawhide; appeared in more than 50 movies and directed 31, often acting, directing and producing at the same time; added several menacingly ironic locutions to the language, such as “Make my day”, which Ronald Reagan quoted in the face of a congressional movement to raise taxes; become a kind of mythic-heroic-redemptive figure, interacting with public desire in a way that no actor has done since John Wayne; served as the mayor of Carmel, California; won four Oscars and received many other awards, including a hug from Nicolas Sarkozy while becoming commander of the Légion d’honneur last November. Those who were sceptical of Eastwood 40 years ago (I’m one of them) have long since capitulated, retired or died. He has outlasted everyone. On Monday, rich, garlanded and exceptionally busy, he will turn 80.

The article continues at the Telegraph.

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