Veteran actor Clint Eastwood wanted to walk away from Hollywood at the height of his fame in the 1970s.
Eastwood landed a number of iconic roles during the decade, including his famous portrayal of uncompromising cop "Dirty Harry" Callahan, "The Outlaw Josey Wales," and a radio DJ who falls victim to a crazed stalker in "Play Misty for Me."
However, the Oscar-winning director admits he secretly considered quitting the movie industry until his career took a different turn. He tells German magazine TV Movie, "Do I plan to quit my job? In the '70s I thought about it... But then my career took a different direction and everything turned out well."
Hopefully, I am one of many that are glad Mr. Eastwood decided to stay with acting. Of course, I do not have any expertise re "good acting." What I can offer here is this: I was a Rowdy Yates fan during the Rawhide television series (black & white days, folks). I saw "Tarantula" and was scared to death, up until Clint (as a air force pilot leading the pack) came in to save the day (again, black & white stuff).
Remember the Spaghetti westerns; "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly," "A Few Dollars More," etc? Or, how about "Hang Em High" (a film loosely portraying Judge Issac Parker's life and times while presiding as judge in the Indian Territory. Clint played a frustrated Marshal Cooper who could not get his head around some of Judge Parkers decisions).
I am sure that many of Mr. Eastwoods fan base acknowledge that Clint is right up there with Mr. John Wayne, as far as developing various roles in the Western genre. Knowing that Mr. Wayne has many more roles in the genre, it was a safe bet that if Mr. Eastwood starred in a Western, you would get your moneys worth in entertainment value by purchasing a ticket. For example, who can forget the "rider with no name" films (High Plains Drifter, Pale Rider, etc). Or, "Two Mules for Sister Sara," "The Beguiled," or, here was a first "Paint Your Wagon" (a kind of Western musical/comedy).
Except for "Pale Rider," most of the aforementioned films are pre-1970. Had Mr. Eastwood quit the film industry, Dirty Harry roles would, at the very least, have been portrayed by someone else (no guarantee the role would have been as successful, or have run as long as they did). Who could ever forget "Play Misty for Me?" Or, films that were great fun/excitement "The Gauntlet, "Bronco Billy," etc.
Well, we all know the rest: the Orangatan flicks ( includes Sondra Locke phrase), frustrated/boozy law officer, troubled journalist, honky tonk person(s), to mention only a few of the roles Mr. Eastwood has delivered. Then he hung up his acting roles, and started to focus on directing: "Mystic River," "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," etc. Or, acting/directing endeavors "Unforgiven," "Grand Torino," "Million Dollar Baby;" again, I am only naming a few of Mr. Eastwood's achievements (not necessarily in the right chronological order) since he decided to stay in the acting profession.
So, I am very happy he chose to stay in it.
Mr. Eastwood, you have (by far) delivered great entertainment, for so many years, covering a wide range of controversial issues/subjects ("Bridges of Madison County" comes to mind here), and (in my mind) performed, on both levels, with superior skill and professionalism.
I do hope you stay in the game for years to come.
Anyone who hasn't seen "The Beguiled" has missed a disturbing, dark and very erotic film from Eastwood, with Geraldine Page and directed by Don Siegel, made in the early 70's. Just discovered it on Netflix. Siegel considered it his best film. Check it out.
Glad he didn't quit acting.....just wish he would quit politics!