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Clint Eastwood on TV: How His Star Power Went Beyond the Big Screen

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 05:48 PM

Although some actors, such as Tom Hanks and Bill Murray, who started on TV then launched into stellar movie careers, most movie actors in the 1950s and 1960s did not want to play roles on TV, feeling that the new media was career limiting.

However, Clint Eastwood parlayed his roles on TV into a movie career that has lasted well into his eighth decade.

Here is a look at some of Eastwood's small screen roles and TV appearances.

1. "Rawhide" (1959-1965)

Eastwood starred as Rowdy Yates, along with Eric Fleming, in a Western that focused on the lives of the men who worked on cattle drives. The show, which aired on CBS for eight seasons, producing 217 episodes.

Once "Rawhide" ended, Eastwood accepted the lead role in director Sergio Leone's movie "A Fistful of Dollars," from which began the actor's lengthy run as a movie actor, director, and producer.

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In addition to being the first starring vehicle for Eastwood, the show is known for its iconic theme song, playfully parodied in the 1980 film, "The Blues Brothers."

2. "Death Valley Days" (1956)

Prior to his turn as Rowdy Yates on "Rawhide," Eastwood had a two-episode appearance on "Death Valley Days." In the two-episode appearance, Eastwood appears as a down-on-his-luck gold prospector who dreams of a better life for him and his family.

3. "Highway Patrol" (1956)

Going against his later hero type, Eastwood plays a biker in a 1956 episode of "Highway Patrol" who is responsible for the death of a highway patrol officer who gets in the middle of a grudge between him and his friends and a restaurant owner.

4. "Mr. Ed" (1962)

As is still seen today, the major television networks like to have cross-promotion with their television shows and CBS was no exception. In a 1962 episode of the network's hit show, "Mr. Ed," the title character becomes smitten with Eastwood's horse and schemes for a way to connect with her. Eastwood actually makes an appearance as himself on the show.

5. "Inside the Actors Studio" (2003)

Although never a fan of interviews, Eastwood did find the time in 2003 to sit down with host James Lipton for an episode of Bravo's "Inside the Actor's Studio." The show, which takes a detailed look at the careers of Hollywood actors and actresses, asks them a few pointed questions, and then lets them take questions from the audience of students in attendance.

The episode was even parodied on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" with Will Farrell playing the Lipton role and Norm Macdonald taking the Eastwood role.

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Most movie actors in the 1950s and 1960s didn't want roles on TV, feeling the new media was career limiting. However, Clint Eastwood parlayed his roles on TV into a movie career that has lasted well into his eighth decade. Here is a look at some of Eastwood's small screen roles and TV appearances.
clint eastwood, tv, star, power
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2015-48-18
Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 05:48 PM
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