14 Things You May Not Know About Clint Eastwood

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

Clint Eastwood is one of the last of the true legends of the world. Respected and admired by movie lovers and fans the world over, Clint is truly one of cinema's immortals. Both as an actor and as a director, Clint has given us dozens of great movies.

The classic spaghetti westerns, Dirty Harry and it's sequels, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, heck, the guy even did a great "chick flick": The Bridges of Madison County- with Meryl Streep yet (!!!) He turned 86 this year, so let's take a look at a few things you may not know about Mr. Clint Eastwood.

1. He is allergic to horses.

Yes, irony of ironies, isn't it? Clint Eastwood- movies' greatest cowboy since John Wayne- is actually allergic to horses.

2. He's allergic to dogs and cats too.

He does love snakes though. He once had a collection of 13 snakes.

3. When he directs he never says "action.”

Every other director in the world says "action" right before a scene is going to be shot. Not Clint. He says "okay' instead. (He does say the customary "cut" when the scene is done.)

4. He is an accomplished jazz pianist, who played Carnegie Hall.

Clint is a very accomplished, self-taught pianist. He has played piano since he was a boy. A career highlight was Clint's being the featured pianist at a Carnegie Hall performance in 1997. He had scored several of his own films (Mystic river, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino).

5.  He has directed more films than Steven Spielberg or George Lucas.

This comes as a bit of a surprise. Clint has directed more films than either of, arguably, the most famous directors in the world. Clint is actually a very prolific director and has been directing now for almost four decades. He directed two films in 1990, two films in 1997, two films in 2006, and two films in 2008. He has directed 16 films since 1990 alone.

6. He is a vegan.

What does Clint Eastwood eat? Let me guess: beef jerky, raw steak, black coffee, and rusty nails? Contrary to published reports, Clint is not a vegetarian- he is actually a vegan. According to Clint: “I take vitamins daily, but just the bare essentials, not what you'd call supplements. I try to stick to a vegan diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, tofu and other soy products.”

7. He once threatened to kill Michael Moore.

At a national board of review dinner in New York City in 2005, Eastwood joked that he would kill Michael Moore if he ever showed up at his house with a camera. Clint was joking about Moore's controversial interview with Clint's friend, Charlton Heston, in his documentary Bowling for Columbine (2002). The crowd roared with laughter, but when the laughter quieted down, Clint simply said, “I mean it.”

Moore's spokesman said, “Michael laughed along with everyone else, and took Mr. Eastwood's comments in the lighthearted spirit in which they were given.” Publicly, Clint has never commented further.

8. He was dropped by studio executives because they thought his Adam's apple was too big.

Clint was originally signed as a young actor in the early 1950's to Universal Studios. He was put under contract and paid the princely sum of $75 a week. One day, a director noticed that he had a big Adam's apple and incredibly, fired him for that reason. Clint's pal, Burt Reynolds, was fired that same day by the same director. Burt's excuse was a bit different though- he was working as a stuntman at the time and had an argument with the director and shoved him into a water tank.

9.  His first screen appearance was an uncredited one in Revenge of the Creature.

(YouTube link)

In 1955, the great Clint Eastwood made his motion picture debut. It was in a low-budget horror flick called Revenge of the Creature (the sequel to the previous year's smash hit Creature from the Black Lagoon). Clint plays a lab assistant in a white lab coat who does a silly mouse gag. His name does not appear in the film's credits.

10. He speaks fluent Italian.

11. He dislikes hunting.

Clint is not a hunter because he says he does not like killing animals for no reason.

12. He never smokes.

Although he often plays a character who smokes in his films, he is a non-smoker in real life.

13. He is the oldest ever Best Director.

When Clint won his Best Director Academy Award in 2004 for directing Million Dollar Baby, he was 74 years old. He remains the oldest-ever Best Director in oscar history.

14. He almost played a villain in the original Batman TV series.

In one of the great "too bads" and "what ifs?" in television history, Clint just missed playing a villain in the old Batman TV series in 1968. Clint was actually set to play the villain Two-Face in the classic TV show. Unfortunately, the show was canceled before the episode could be filmed. Alas!

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Interesting about the dog allergies. Back when he owned Hog's Breath Inn in Carmel, a restaurant, dogs were allowed there. And Clint was not an absent owner. I always thought that was so cool. Something only Clint would do.
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