Monday, May 31, 2010


The steely eyed fellow above is one Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, born this day 1930 in San Francisco, California. After graduating high school, he had intended to enroll in university, but a little thing called the Korean War got in the way, and he did a stint in the U. S. Army. He came back, moved to Los Angeles and got married. His first big break came with him being cast as Rowdy Yates in the TV series Rawhide. By this time he was thirty years old, and did not really like the character of Yates that much dubbing him "the idiot of the plains." It was in 1963 that he would get the role that puts him on my hero podium for today. That role is as "the Man with No Name" in Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy." He signed on for $15,ooo, and a Mercedes to be gifted to him upon the completion of filming. He considered it a paid vacation since filming was to take place in a remote area of Spain. Eastwood himself was the major source for the character's visual look. The black jeans he bought and roughened up a bit, the hat, the leather bracelet, and the trademark black cigars were all Eastwood's idea (though he is a non-smoker, and hates the smell of cigar smoke). Though, Leone commented, "The truth is that I needed a mask more than an actor, and Eastwood at the time only had two facial expressions: one with the hat, and one without it." Whatever that facial expression was it was bad ass, and even as I sit here writing this TCM is showing the trilogy. I did not care much for the Dirty Harry films, and some of his later stuff is so-so, but Clint Eastwood is the baddest fucking cowboy on the planet. The laconic way he played "the Man With No Name" is outstanding, and my favourite of the three is "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." That is the film which Eli Wallach's character calls him "Blondie." It is one of my favourite films of all time, and it starts in about 10 minutes, so I need to wrap this up quickly. The rest of his career is also fantastic, and he is now well regarded as a director as well. I could write about his career, and it highlights until his birthday next year, and still not give him the credit he is due. It is for a writer with much more talent, and time that me to write the big picture of his life. All I need for him to be my hero is "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," which is about to start. So, for that iconic, laconic role as Blondie, Clint Eastwood (May 31st, 1930-present) you are my (279th) hero of the day.

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