When esteemed actor and director Clint Eastwood appeared with his family at the premiere of 2018 movie, The Mule, he had a surprise in store for celebrity-watchers. Indeed, some eagle-eyed fans later noticed an unexpected detail in the photographs of the actor and his children that were uploaded to Instagram after the event. They counted, in fact, not seven Eastwood offspring – the number of kids previously associated with the star – but eight. The film legend, it seemed, had revealed a secret daughter.
Anyone present at the birth of Eastwood in May 1930 may well have predicted big things for him. He made an impressive entrance, after all, weighing in at more than 11 pounds. Eastwood actually began life in San Francisco, but his childhood saw the family live in various places along the Pacific coast of the U.S. before making a home in Piedmont, California.
Eastwood then enjoyed a comfortable upbringing in East California; his parents had a pool, a country club membership and two cars. But despite his family’s affluence, he didn’t excel at school. In fact, low academic achievement saw him kept back at middle school and meant that he had to spend a summer trying to catch up with his peers.
And high school didn’t see Eastwood fare much better. For one thing, he was seemingly quite the prankster, and a series of mischievous acts ultimately led to the termination of his education at Piedmont High. A transfer to Oakland Technical High ensued, but it’s not certain whether or not the rebellious Eastwood ever actually graduated.
And so, for now, Eastwood’s school days were over – although he later would complete a short stint at Los Angeles City College and in the early 1950s apply to study at Seattle University. He consequently entered the world of work, taking up a range of positions, including in a grocery, as a fireman and even on a golf course as a caddy.
However, Eastwood’s working life and plans for future education were disrupted when the army called. Yet although he was enlisted during the time of the Korean War, he was never called on to fight in the conflict. Instead, the future star spent the whole of his time in the forces posted at Fort Ord in the north of California, where he acted as a lifeguard.
It can’t be said that Eastwood’s military life was entirely free from excitement, though. At one point, for instance, a bomber in which he was flying fell out of the sky having exhausted its fuel supply. The plane subsequently plowed into the sea close to Point Reyes, Northern California – and Eastwood simply swam a couple of miles to dry land.
Then, in the early 1950s, Eastwood – after reportedly being scouted whilst at Fort Ord – tried out with the Universal film company. The studio signed him up, but he scored only small roles in films, including 1955’s Revenge of the Creature and Tarantula. And after Universal ultimately canned him that same year, Eastwood struggled – although a change of agent did give him glimpses of success. But then came a breakthrough.
In 1959 Eastwood appeared as cowboy Rowdy Yates in the CBS show Rawhide – and it was a role that would change his fortunes. He never really loved the character, though, believing he was too old for it. But the show was nonetheless a huge hit, and at last, Eastwood’s career was taking off.
But it was Eastwood’s next big venture that propelled him to worldwide fame. Said project was Italian director Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western trilogy – comprising of 1964’s A Fistful of Dollars, 1965’s For a Few Dollars More and 1966’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – in which Eastwood stars as The Man with No Name. Before being released in the U.S. in 1967, all three movies had pulled in big money at the Italian box office. And Eastwood’s role as the terse gunfighter made him a household name.
And further success for Eastwood followed with American westerns such as 1968’s Hang ’Em High and Don Siegel-directed police thriller Coogan’s Bluff, released the same year. The latter marked the start of a partnership between Eastwood and Siegel that would last more than a decade. In fact, Eastwood later stated that the director had shared with him filmmaking secrets that the actor himself put to good use.
Eastwood’s work with Siegel was to reach its peak, though, in 1971, when he starred in action movie Dirty Harry. Tough-guy cop Harry Callahan proved to be a well-loved character – so much so, in fact, that four more Dirty Harry films were made. And, of course, the fourth movie in the series saw Eastwood utter one of Hollywood’s best-known lines: “Go ahead, make my day.”
Having become a massive star in front of the camera, Eastwood began to try his hand behind the camera, too. And as of today, he has actually directed more than 30 out of the 50 films that he has worked on. An impressive feat, as not many actors have transitioned successfully into the director’s chair.
And yet despite Eastwood’s fame, he has never won an Oscar for his acting abilities – though he’s been nominated twice. Conversely, he has scooped up two of the golden statuettes as a director. 1992’s Unforgiven and 2004’s Million Dollar Baby each earned Eastwood the coveted award, and both movies also topped the Academy’s list for Best Picture.
And even as he approaches his tenth decade, Eastwood is still making successful movies. 2018’s The Mule, for instance – in which he stars, produces and directs – was a hit for the screen icon. Although the movie didn’t receive rave reviews, Eastwood’s acting did gain praise, and it made a splash at the box office, too, grossing over $110 million worldwide.
Outside of his movie stardom, though, Eastwood’s love life has proved a constant fascination for the press. For one thing, he has tied the knot on two occasions. The first time came in 1953 with Maggie Johnson, and the second one began in 1996 with former newsreader Dina Ruiz. Even when married, though, he reportedly produced children with women other than his wives.
After meeting on a blind date, Eastwood and model Margaret “Maggie” Johnson wed in Pasadena in late 1953. However, the actor reportedly believes that he wasn’t ready for such a serious commitment, being just 23 years old at the time, and he supposedly didn’t remain faithful.
Indeed, it’s believed that Eastwood began a relationship with Rawhide stuntwoman Roxanne Tunis in 1959 – while still married to Johnson – which apparently went on for well over a decade. And in 1964 the affair led to the birth of a daughter, Kimber, whose existence was initially kept quiet.
So much so, in fact, that the public didn’t find out about Kimber until 1989 when the National Enquirer exposed her true identity. It remains uncertain whether Johnson had been aware of the child’s birth – although Eastwood’s biographer Marc Eliot points out in American Rebel: the Life of Clint Eastwood that “it would have been nearly impossible for her not to” given the difficulty of maintaining secrecy in Hollywood.
But whatever Johnson did or didn’t know about Kimber, it didn’t prevent her from having children of her own with Eastwood. In 1968 she gave birth to Eastwood’s first son, Kyle, followed with daughter Alison four years later. And while Alison has made her career largely in the film industry, Kyle chose to move into music as a jazz bassist.
What’s more, Eastwood then apparently set up home with Sondra Locke in 1975 – when he was legally still married to Johnson. According to Locke’s autobiography, the affair became intense, with Eastwood reportedly telling the actress that he’d “never been in love before.” She was heartbroken, she said, when she later found out that he’d supposedly been seeing other women while with her.
As mentioned above, Eastwood remained married to Johnson, before the couple officially ended their 31-year marriage in 1984. Locke, meanwhile, reportedly wanted a child with Eastwood, but she has claimed that he insisted a child wouldn’t have suited their relationship.
But be that as it may, Eastwood did have children during the 1980s. In fact, Eastwood had two children with a stewardess named Jacelyn Reeves. Yes, in 1986 Eastwood fathered son Scott with Reeves, and two years later daughter Kathryn came into the world.
And Scott and Kathryn’s identities were, too, kept secret, with Eastwood not even appearing on their birth certificates. It wasn’t until 1990 that the children’s names were made public knowledge, in fact, when Star magazine told all in a revealing article.
Meanwhile, in 1989, Locke and Eastwood seemingly endured a bitter split. According to her book, in fact, the pair fought out the aftermath in court for more than ten years. And in the end, Locke’s lawsuits were settled out of court.
Eastwood, in the meantime, had relationships with other women. His love interests ranged from musical star Barbra Streisand to Steve McQueen’s widow Barbara Minty, and even included the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, the coastal California town where he himself would later serve as mayor.
And among those lovers was Frances Fisher, an actress Eastwood had first encountered while making 1989’s Pink Cadillac. She set up home with him in 1990, and their relationship would last for another four years. According to Patrick McGilligan’s book Clint: The Life and Legend, Fisher said of their liaison, “I simply felt that this was it, the big one.”
In 1993 Eastwood and Fischer welcomed a daughter, Francesca, reportedly the first of the actor’s children whose birth he had witnessed first-hand. That seemingly wasn’t enough to keep the couple together, however, and Eastwood subsequently began seeing news presenter Dina Ruiz.
However, Ruiz wasn’t to be just another girlfriend for Eastwood. In March 1996 the actor made her the second Mrs. Eastwood, and it seemed that he had finally found the perfect woman. “[Ruiz is] a very forthright kind of person,” he told Carmel magazine in 2007. “It’s one of those things you can’t put your finger on because it’s pheromones or something.”
And Ruiz became the mother of Eastwood’s child Morgan in 1996. The marriage didn’t last, however, ending in divorce at the end of 2004. At that point, then – and for years afterwards – Eastwood had publicly acknowledged a total of seven children.
However, a 2018 Instagram post at last revealed a closely kept Eastwood secret. When the star’s extended family gathered for the premiere of The Mule in December, the cat was let out of the bag, as not seven but eight Eastwood progeny were snapped in one image for the very first time.
The uploader of said photograph was, in fact, Eastwood’s youngest child, Morgan. And she couldn’t contain her excitement. She told her Instagram followers, “So rare for all 8 Eastwood siblings to be in one room!!!” And older sister Alison echoed her, writing in a similar social media post, “I’m not sure there has ever been a picture of all 8 kids together, but here it is.”
That’s right, Eastwood finally chose to publicly acknowledge a daughter whom he had kept secret for years. Apparently, you see, he had had an affair during his engagement to Maggie Johnson – and the woman had fallen pregnant. The actor reportedly hadn’t known about the baby, though, and she had subsequently been adopted.
Three decades earlier, however, Eastwood’s daughter, Laurie Murray, had tracked him down. He had welcomed her, and they’d since become close. The two had enjoyed holidays together, for instance, and shared time on the golf course. And sharp-eyed observers might even have spotted Murray arm in arm with Eastwood’s mother, Ruth Wood, at the Oscars in 2004.
Indeed, Murray apparently wasn’t the best kept of secrets. A friend of the Eastwoods reportedly told the Daily Mail in December 2018, “We always wondered why [Murray] was never really widely known or widely acknowledged.” They also added, “[Eastwood] took [Murray] to the Oscars around the time that he was nominated for Mystic River with his mom and Dina.”
“Everyone in Lakewood knows that Clint Eastwood is [Murray’s] father and has done for about 20 years,” the friend continued. However, Murray doesn’t use the Eastwood name and lives quietly in the Washington town. Murray’s mother, meanwhile, didn’t wish to speak to her daughter after she had tracked her down. Murray is a mom herself, too, with two children of her own.
And Murray’s children, LT and Kelsey, also have good relationships with Eastwood. Indeed, they’ve even enjoyed a ski holiday with him. And LT is complimentary about his grandfather, telling the Daily Mail, “He’s been a great father to my mom and always great to me and my family whenever we see him.”
And Eastwood has certainly been there for his grandkids, too. He was at LT’s wedding in 2012, for instance, and even hosted Kelsey’s 2016 marriage. What’s more, it turns out that people in LT’s life have long known that he’s related to the movie star.
Reportedly speaking with the Daily Mail in 2018, a friend of LT’s explained, “Everyone knew that Clint was [LT’s] grandfather when he was in school.” And it has to be said that LT – who according to his Instagram profile is an actor, writer and poet – certainly looks a lot like a younger version of his grandfather.
Indeed, rumors of Murray’s existence have been out in the world for years. But it took a movie premiere for Eastwood to publicly acknowledge the child from the days before he became one of Hollywood’s biggest and most enduring names. The secret he kept hidden for three decades is now out in the open.