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The 4 Roles That Defined Clint Eastwood's Career

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 08:25 PM

Although Clint Eastwood has become more acclaimed as a director in his later years, he is also responsible for several acting roles that are just as memorable. Whether portraying cowboys, police officers, boxing trainers, barroom brawlers, or crotchety old men, Eastwood has left an indelible mark on nearly every role he has portrayed.

Here are four roles that have that exclusive Eastwood take on them.

1. Inspector Harry Callahan in five movies, including "Dirty Harry" (1971) and "Sudden Impact" (1983)

Many fictional detectives are described as "hard-boiled," but you could also add "cracked" when describing "Dirty" Harry Callahan. Harry is a cop who lives and works on the edge, but is highly capable of bringing down perpetrators.

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Not only that, but he is highly quotable, as "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" and "Go ahead, make my day" are among some of cinema's most famous quotes.

2. "The Man with No Name" in three movies, including "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" (1966)

To some avid film fans, "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" is one of best Westerns ever made, if not the best. Starring Eastwood as "Blondie," (although more commonly referred to as the Man with No Name), Eli Wallach as Tuco Ramirez, and Lee Van Cleef as "Angel Eyes," the film follows the three title characters — Eastwood as "The Good," Van Cleef as "The Bad," and Wallach as "The Ugly" in their pursuit of $200,000 in gold buried in a cemetery in the Civil War-era Old West.

3. Josey Wales in the "The Outlaw Josey Wales" (1976)

Besides "The Man with No Name," Eastwood acted in a number of different Westerns, most notably "Unforgiven," "Hang 'Em High," and "Pale Rider." Even though he was nominated for an Oscar for his acting in "Unforgiven" (and won for his direction), it is his turn as Josey Wales that many people remember. A farmer turned outlaw, Wales seeks revenge against the military men who savagely killed his family and wreaked havoc in the West. Along the way, he learns the value of friendship and even love.

4. Frankie Dunn in "Million Dollar Baby" (2004)

There are a number of movies where Eastwood not only starred, but directed it as well, such as "Unforgiven" (1992), "Space Cowboys" (2000), and "Gran Torino" – but none showed the depth of character that Eastwood can deliver to role where he is directing himself quite as well as when he portrays Frankie Dunn. As the mentor to a female boxer (Hilary Swank) who is having issues with his own daughter, Eastwood excels at playing the father-figure dynamic like few can. The ending may be tragic, but Eastwood's performance is anything but.

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Although Clint Eastwood has become more acclaimed as a director in his later years, he is also responsible for several acting roles that are just as memorable. Whether portraying cowboys, policemen, or crotchety old men, Eastwood has left an indelible mark on nearly every role he has portrayed.
clint eastwood, roles, defined, career
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2015-25-17
Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 08:25 PM
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