Can Clint Eastwood be considered a “classic movie actor,” that is, and star from Hollywood’s classic era?

Yes, he is still very much with us (age 83) and still working (with two projects in preparation). Yet, we believe that the very early part of his career belongs to the later, quickly winding down classic movie period.

That’s why we put together this quiz centered largely on that earlier period of his amazingly productive professional life.

Not to draw too bold a line under it, but Eastwood certainly belongs in the top rank of the most powerful figures ever in Hollywood, whose combined skills as a director (37 titles) and producer (38) more than match his acting roles (66).

At one time not too long ago, Eastwood was solely responsible for generating nearly 20% of the yearly income of one studio, Warner Bros. Not too many classic stars can make that claim at anytime.

As mentioned, this quizlet will challenge your knowledge of early Eastwood. Go ahead, make your day, and we wish you bonne chance. (In putting together this exercise, we are indebted to author Marc Eliot’s useful 2009 biography, American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood, Three Rivers Press.)

Question:  When exactly did Eastwood make his movie debut, and what is the title of the movie?  Can you also name the star of that movie?

Question: Eastwood was fired by the first big Hollywood studio he worked for because “he just didn’t have the right look.” Two other actors were also canned at the same time, both going on to prominent careers. Who were the two other actors? 1) Troy Donahue; 2) Tony Curtis; 3) Burt Reynolds or 4) David Janssen.

Question: Eastwood’s first big break came not in the movies but on tv in CBS’ western series, Rawhide, that ran for seven years beginning in 1959. But he almost lost the role to another actor, the father of a current Hollywood star.  Who was Clint’s competitor?  1) Eric Fleming; 2) Bing Russell; 3) Lee Van Cleef; or 4) Robert Ryan.

Question:  By now, Eastwood’s skills as a pianist/composer are well known, but in his earlier days he was known also as a singer. Can you name the first vocal record he ever made?

Question:  Eastwood was definitely the star of Rawhide. True or false.

Question: While he was making the movie version of Paint Your Wagon in the late Sixties, Eastwood had an affair with a costar, who had carved out a career in Europe. Can you name her?  1) Annabella; 2) Michele Morgan; 3) Jean Seberg; or 4) Leslie Caron.

Question: Moving ahead a bit in time, can you name the two actors offered the plum role of police inspector Harry Callahan in 1971’s Dirty Harry, before Eastwood? 1) Paul Newman; 2) Edmond O’Brien; 3) Frank Sinatra; or Robert Redford.

Question: How many wives has Eastwood had? 1) two; 2) five; 3) none; or 4) seven?

Answers to our quizlet are due shortly. Stay tuned.


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