Clint Eastwood, one of Hollywood’s most prominent icons, celebrates his 85th birthday on May 31. After acting in, directing and producing more than seventy films throughout his cinematic career, it’s no surprise that Clint Eastwood’s net worth totals a substantial $375 million, which has earned him a place as one of Hollywood’s richest stars, according to CelebrityNetWorth.
With the recent hit success of “American Sniper,” Eastwood has added another triumph to his golden career and recaptured public attention, but the 85-year-old’s current high is par for the course for this Hollywood legend. Here’s a look at Clint Eastwood’s career and the director’s milestones along his path to fame and fortune, including his most famous movies, relationships and political activism.
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Clint Eastwood’s Early Acting Career (1950s and ’60s)
In 1953 Clint Eastwood tied the knot with Maggie Johnson, his first wife, whom he married after meeting on a blind date six months prior. according to ABC News. Within a couple of years Eastwood began working small, sometimes-uncredited roles in films like “Revenge of the Creature” and “Tarantula.”
1959: Clint Eastwood Earns $750 an Episode on “Rawhide”
In 1959 Eastwood landed his first breakthrough role in the television series “Rawhide” playing cattle driver Rowdy Yates, which made him a household name. Eastwood earned roughly $750 per episode in the show’s early days (around $6,000 in today’s dollars), according to biography “Clint: The Life and the Legend.” Even though this was fairly good money for a TV star of that era, it still pales in comparison to the huge paychecks of today’s TV stars.
1964: Clint Eastwood lands first leading role worth $15,000
Clint Eastwood snagged his first leading role in the 1964 film “A Fistful of Dollars.” The movie was a box office hit and earned a domestic gross of $14.5 million after its 1967 release, reports Box Office Mojo. For his role in the film, Eastwood earned $15,000 (around $115,000 today), coach airfare and living expenses for the 11 weeks of filming, according to “Clint: The Life and the Legend.”
1967: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” paycheck over $250,000
Eastwood starred in two more westerns also released in 1967, “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Before filming for “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” began in 1966, Eastwood negotiated much-higher pay of $250,000 ($1.8 million today) and 10 percent of profits earned in the western hemisphere, plus a Ferrari. The three big-hit westerns all released in 1967 solidified Eastwood’s status as an action star and huge name in the film industry.
Directing (1970s and ’80s) 1971:
Eastwood’s directing debut grosses $10.6 million In 1971, Eastwood made his directorial debut with horror film “Play Misty for Me,” in which he also starred. The film was received well and earned a domestic gross of $10.6 million. That same year, Eastwood also starred in “Dirty Harry,” which turned out to be a huge hit with a domestic gross of $36 million. It’s still a cult classic and its success led to four other films in the “Dirty Harry” franchise. Eastwood’s direction and acting continued to create impressive successes, including 1973’s Eastwooddirected “High Plains Drifter” which earned a domestic gross of $15.7 million, and 1976’s “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” for which Eastwood was both director and star, that earned a domestic gross of $31.8 million.
1978: “Every Which Way But Loose” grosses $85 million
Eastwood’s highest-grossing film from the 1970s, raking in more than $85 million, was “Every Which Way But Loose,” in which he played a prize fighter with a pet orangutan. Adjusted for ticket price inflation, Box Office Mojo puts the film’s earnings equivalent to $295.6 million today, making it the highest-grossing film in which Eastwood has ever acted. The 1980 sequel “Any Which Way You Can” was also a hit, grossing $70.7 million. Around this time Eastwood met actress Sondra Locke and the two started a 14-year relationship in 1977, even though he was still married to Johnson at the time.
1980s: $4.4 million flops to $46.7 million hits
Eastwood’s success slowed a bit during this decade and his films were more hit and miss. He directed, produced, starred in and wrote music for 1982’s “Honkytonk Man” (his son Kyle Eastwood also costarred with him). The film flopped, however, earning a domestic gross of just $4.4 million, one of the lowest totals of Eastwood’s career. Fortunately, Eastwood’s other 1982 film, “Firefox,” was a hit that brought in $46.7 million in box office sales, reports Box Office Mojo. Clint Eastwood’s career slump continued through the 1980s and his few high-earning films were sequels of other films, like the 1983 “Dirty Harry” follow-up, “Sudden Impact.” Despite this, in 1984 Eastwood was honored at Grauman’s Chinese theater and imprinted his hand and footprints into the cement.
1984: Clint Eastwood’s first divorce costs him $25 million
Eastwood also had troubles in his personal life, starting with a divorce from Maggie Johnson in 1984 that cost him big. She walked away from the divorce settlement with $25 million of his earnings, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Eastwood’s relationship with Locke also ended in 1989, and Locke filed a palimony claim against him, reports ABC News. After a long and drawn-out legal battle, she and Eastwood settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
1986: Eastwood elected mayor of Carmel, Calif.
During the ’80s Eastwood, an outspoken Republican, got more involved in political matters. In 1986 he spent $25,000 on his campaign to be mayor of Carmel, Calif. He won the election and held office for two years with an annual salary of just $2,400.
Clint Eastwood Finds Commercial and Critical Success (1990s and 2000s)
1992: “Unforgiven” is Eastwood’s $100 million comeback hit
After a rocky decade both financially and personally, Clint Eastwood turned it around with big success in the 1990s. In 1992, Eastwood directed, produced and starred in “Unforgiven,” which earned a domestic gross of $101.2 million, reports Box Office Mojo. The film was a return to the genre that made him famous, and was his last western film to date. In 1993 Eastwood starred in another huge career hit, “In the Line of Fire,” portraying a secret service agent to the president, which grossed $102.3 million.
1994: Clint Eastwood receives Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
Eastwood was recognized with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1994, an honor handed down by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for the consistently-high quality of his motion pictures. To follow, he debuted another film which he directed, produced, starred in and even wrote music for, “Bridges of Madison County,” a success that earned a domestic box office gross of $71.5 million. Clint Eastwood also found love again with Dina Ruiz, whom he met in 1993 during a television interview. After three years of dating, the couple married in 1996.
1999: Clint Eastwood drops $820 million on golf course investment
In 1999 Clint Eastwood purchased Pebble Beach Golf Course in California for $820 million along with a group of investors that included other stars like Arnold Palmer, Richard Ferris and Peter Ueberroth. 2003: “Mystic River” garners Oscar nods, $90.1 million Eastwood saw continued success in the 2000s, with movies that were well-received both at the box office and by critics.
In 2003 he directed, produced and wrote music for “Mystic River,” which was nominated for Best Director and Best Picture in that year’s Academy Awards. The film earned a total domestic gross of $90.1 million. 2004: “Million Dollar Baby” wins Best Picture, grosses $100.5 million Clint Eastwood followed up that success with another in 2004, directing and starring in “Million Dollar Baby.” The film won the Oscar for Best Picture, and Eastwood won Best Director and was nominated for Best Actor for his work. The film earned a total domestic gross of $100.5 million. In 2006 he directed and produced “Letters From Iwo Jima,” which was a favorite of critics and nominated for Best Director and Best Picture by the Academy. The film was a box-office flop, however, that earned only $13.7 million domestically.
2009: “Gran Torino” success boosts Eastwood’s 2009 earnings to $35 million
Clint Eastwood had another huge success with 2009’s “Gran Torino,” which earned $253 million in the worldwide box office, reports Forbes. Eastwood made $35 million that same year, thanks in large part to the success of that film. Political Involvement and “American Sniper” (2010 to 2015)
2012: Clint Eastwood gets involved in elections
Clint Eastwood was involved in politics in the 2000s, but has been more vocal in recent years. In 2012, for instance, he donated $5000 to current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s 2014 senate campaign. That same year he gave the infamous “Empty Chair Address” at the Republican National Convention, acting as if President Obama were present in an empty chair and calling out the fictional president on his failures.
2014: Spends $715,000 on home for ex-mistress
2013 brought more romantic troubles for the acclaimed director, as his then-wife Ruiz filed for divorce from Eastwood and requested custody of their daughter as well as spousal support, according to The Huffington Post. The divorce was finalized in 2014, the same year Eastwood spent $715,000 on a new home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. for his ex-mistress, even though he was already dating another woman.
2014: “American Sniper” becomes Eastwood’s highest-grossing film
The success of “American Sniper,” which Clint Eastwood directed and produced, might have helped take some of the sting out of any domestic problems. The film is his most successful project to date, earning $349.4 million in domestic lifetime gross. No movie that he has been a part of so far has grossed more domestically (both in actual dollars and when adjusted for inflation) than Eastwood’s current $375 million net worth, but “American Sniper” got closer than any other film. It was also nominated for Best Picture and five other Academy Awards.
Photo: Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Clint Eastwood’s Net Worth Reaches $375M on His 85th Birthday.
This article by Tess Frame first appeared on GoBankingRates.com and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.