Clint Eastwood, who recently endorsed Mitt Romney, will be the “surprise” convention speaker before the candidate accepts the Republican nomination.

Rumors swirled throughout the day that Eastwood would appear tonight.

Multiple news sources reported that the actor would appear at the convention, after endorsing Romney at a campaign fundraiser last month.

His appearance is significant because Eastwood is among the few A-list entertainment figures on the Republican side of the aisle. Although he has dabbled in politics — he was mayor of Carmel, Calif. for one term in the mid-1980s — and has been outspoken on certain issues, he doesn’t come across as a partisan flame thrower.

He also could provide Republicans with the kind of star power support that President Obama has enjoyed. Although it is questionable whether such support actually can be correlated to actual votes, it can help convey a sense of momentum and enthusiasm for a campaign. The Obama campaign has drawn heavily on star support, with George Clooney, another A-list figure with positive popularity, having hosted a fundraiser for the candidate in May.

Eastwood was criticized by some conservatives for taking part in a Super Bowl ad about the comeback at Chrysler, because the spot looked as if it was also an endorsement of Obama’s auto bailout. But Eastwood denied that it was such.