Eastwood is a five-time Oscar winner, nabbing Best Picture and Best Director for “Million Dollar Baby” and “Unforgiven,” in addition to collectiong the Irving G. Thalberg award. Not too shabby for someone who started off in the mid-fifties as a contract player, first cutting his teeth in TV (notably “Rawhide”) before transitioning to movies – and the first of many iconic roles – in Sergio Leone’s “A Fistful of Dollars.”
As an actor, Eastwood remains one of Hollywood’s last great male icons and last links to the old studio system. But over the course of four decades and some 40 films, the star has also metamorphosed not into some musty and much-honored legend but into an ambitious and accomplished filmmaker whose eclectic credits include “Gran Torino,” “Letters from Iwo Jima,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “’Bird,” “J. Edgar,” “Mystic River” and “Space Cowboys.”
Famously thrifty, has produced nearly all his projects through shingle Malpaso, which he formed in 1967. And at an age – 86 – when most of his peers have long since retired, or been retired, the prolific director/actor/producer/composer is not only still working at an impressive pace, but is still a potent force at the box office. “Sully,” his latest film, has grossed over $150 million (against a lean production budget of $60 million), and “American Sniper” has grossed more than $350 million domestically and over $547 million globally.