Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Clint Eastwood

I saw Clint Eastwood on the Oscars earlier this week and I was reminded of his statement to the author of this early 1974 biography that "I still have many things to do." I can’t help but think that even he had no idea how far he would come in the 33 years that followed.

I vaguely remembered "Rowdy Yates" on RAWHIDE by the early seventies but somehow my western-loving father had neglected to introduce me to any of Eastwood’s later features. In fact, my first real exposure to the star was when my dad took me (surprisingly at age 13) to a second-run showing of DIRTY HARRY in 1972. A week or so later, HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER opened and by that time I was a real fan. In those pre-Internet days, it wasn’t always easy to get information about your favorite stars so I was thrilled to find this book just a couple years later.

A detailed, serious look at the actor’s career as a star and a budding director with non-gossipy asides about his personal life, CLINT EASTWOOD, the book, is written by then Professor of film (at Northwestern if I recall correctly) Stuart M. Kaminsky. Kaminsky would go on to be my favorite mystery author with his Toby Peters series set in Old Hollywood as well as several other award-winning series. He later novelized THE ROCKFORD FILES and CSI. Clint has had a hell of a life and career since 1974 and been the subject of several other in-depth biographies. This one will always be special though because this one helped me really discover the man who is still one of my favorite actors. Thanks Stuart!

1 comment:

sam kujava said...

I missed this book when it came out; had to miss it because if I
saw it I would have grabbed it up
for sure! Nice painted cover...has
a Steranko feel to it. Wasn't really sold on Clint Eastwood until
The Outlaw Josey Wales appeared.
The right movie at the right time
in my life...makes all the difference!
I started reading Stuart Kaminsky's
Toby Peters detective novels in the
late 1970's and have kept up with
them to the present. "A Fatal Glass
of Beer", featuring W.C. Fields, is
highly implausible, considering the
great comedian's declining health
during the 1940's, but it is one
of my favorite books in the series.
At Milwaukee Boucher-Con in 1981,
I had an opportunity to meet Kaminsky and try not to gush too
much about how much I enjoyed his
work. I just practiced on him.
MICKEY SPILLANE was the Guest of
Honor, and meeting him and shaking his hand was one of my most memorable moments. How many of your idols meet your every expectation? Spillane was swell, a regular guy who seemed uneffected by his accomplishments and place in history.
Sheer fanboy heaven!