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Celebrating Clint Eastwood

A look at the life and career of the actor/director on his 86th birthday

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Clint Eastwood began his acting career as most do with bit parts in B-movies. From there, he landed Rawhide in 1959, a TV Western with one of the most memorable theme songs of all time. Once the show took off, Eastwood continued with what he did best, starring in a string of Westerns: A Fistful of Dollars (1964); For A Few Dollars More (1965); The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966); and Hang ‘Em High (1968). Making the transition to the action genre, Eastwood took the part of rogue San Francisco cop Harry Callahan in 1971’s Dirty Harry. Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, and Steve McQueen all passed on the role, which turned into a five-film franchise spanning 17 years, solidifying Eastwood as one of Hollywood’s greatest action heroes. Read more about his career here. Below, you’ll find a series of images highlighting the top moments in Clint Eastwood’s career, as well as a video montage of his greatest quotes.

LOS ANGELES - JUNE 1: Actor Clint Eastwood checks his gun at home on June 1, 1956 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Eastwood checks his gun at home on June 1, 1956, in Los Angeles. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JUNE 1: Actor Clint Eastwood talks on a pay phone outside his home on June 1, 1956 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Eastwood talks on a pay phone outside his home in 1956, following his first speaking role in ‘The Creature From the Black Lagoon’ sequel. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
circa 1965: Full-length portrait of American actor Clint Eastwood posing in Western gear next to a display of Philip Morris tobacco products in front of a white horse on an outdoor ranch. Eastwood starred in the television series, 'Rawhide'. He wears chaps, a gun holster, and a bandana while a cowboy hat hangs by his side. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Eastwood returning to the set after a break in between seasons of ‘Rawhide’ during the early 1960s. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Joe, played by American actor Clint Eastwood, contemplates two dead soldiers in a graveyard in a promotional still for 'A Fistful of Dollars', directed by Sergio Leone, 1964. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Eastwood, who played ‘Joe,’ in a promotional still for ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ in 1964. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Clint Eastwood as The Man With No Name in the 1965 Italian-made Western For a Few Dollars More. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Eastwood, as ‘The Man With No Name,’ in the 1965 Italian-made Western ‘For a Few Dollars More.’ (John Springer Collection/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Clint Eastwood playing golf during a break on the set of the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. 1966 (Photo by Reporters Associati & Archivi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Eastwood playing golf during a break on the set of the film ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ in 1966. (Reporters Associati & Archivi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Clint Eastwood, US actor, holding a .44 Magnum handgun, with a broken fire hydrant gushing water into the air behind him, in a publicity still from the film, 'Dirty Harry', USA, 1971. The 1971 thriller, directed by Don Siegel (1912-1991), starred Eastwood as 'Inspector Harry Callahan'. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
In a publicity still from the 1971 film ‘Dirty Harry,’ Clint Eastwood poses with his signature .44 Magnum handgun. (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - DECEMBER 01: Clint Eastwood At The Filming Of Every Which Way But Loose Movie, In December, 1978 (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Eastwood  and his Orangutan co-star Clyde on the set of ‘Every Which Way But Loose,’ a 1978 action-comedy. (Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Clint Eastwood, Director for the film 'The Bridges of Madison County', 1995. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
After the original director was fired, Eastwood took over the helm of ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ in 1995. He also starred in the film, opposite Meryl Streep. (Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
BPX234 CLINT EASTWOOD BEE VANG BROOKE CHIA THAO CHEE THAO & AHNEY HER GRAN TORINO (2008)
In 2008’s ‘Gran Torino,’ Eastwood delivered one of his career-defining performances. (Warner Bros.)
AMERICAN SNIPER - 2014 FILM STILL - Bradley Cooper and Director Clint Eastwood on set - Photo Credit: Keith Bernstein/Warner Bros (c) 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., WV Films IV LLC and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC-U.S., Canada, Bahamas & Bermuda
His most recent directorial outing, 2014’s ‘American Sniper,’ earned six Oscar nominations and won a golden statue for Best Sound Editing. Eastwood (right) can be seen here with Bradley Cooper, who starred as real-life hero Chris Kyle. (Keith Bernstein/Warner Bros.)