Clint Eastwood (born May 31, 1930) has reinvented himself many times over the course of a career that now stretches back over 60 years, but it’s usually taken time for everyone else to catch up with the changes.
After working as a bit player for years — he first pops up in the uncharacteristic role of a lab technician in the 1955 monster movie Revenge of the Creature — Eastwood found TV stardom as Rowdy Yates on the long-running Western series Rawhide. Then, at a time when TV stars had trouble transitioning to film work, he found movie stardom via an unconventional route, traveling to Europe to appear as a character later known as the Man With No Name in three Westerns by Italian director Sergio Leone: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
“I wanted to play it with an economy of words and create this whole feeling through attitude and movement. It was just the kind of character I had envisioned for a long time, keep to the mystery and allude to what happened in the past. It came about after the frustration of doing Rawhide for so long. I felt the less he said, the stronger he became and the more he grew in the imagination of the audience.” — Eastwood, on playing the Man with No Name character.
Elected in 1986, Eastwood served for two years as the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. In 2000, Eastwood received the Italian Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion award, honoring his lifetime achievements. Bestowed two of France’s highest civilian honors, he received the Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1994, and the Legion of Honour medal in 2007.
Here, below is a selection of 20 vintage portraits of Clint Eastwood in the 1960s: