Personal life of Clint Eastwood

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Clint Eastwood has had numerous casual and long-term relationships of varying length and intensity since he was 14 years old. He was first married to Margaret "Maggie" Johnson in 1953, but while dating Johnson, he had another relationship that allegedly resulted in a child that the mother gave up for adoption. He had extramarital relationships while married to Johnson, including a 14 year long relationship with actress and stunt woman Roxanne Tunis that produced a daughter. Johnson reportedly tolerated an open marriage with Eastwood. Eastwood and Johnson were divorced and he continued seeing many other women. In 1975, actress Sondra Locke began living with Eastwood. She took the relationship seriously and was extremely distraught when she discovered much later that Eastwood continued to have sexual relationships with other women. When they separated, Locke filed a palimony lawsuit. Eastwood had two children with stewardess Jacelyn Reeves in the 1980s. He married for the second time to news anchor Dina Ruiz in 1996, which lasted until 2013. He has been seen with other women since then.

Early sexual relationships[edit]

During an interview for the only authorized book ever written about himself, Eastwood told film historian Richard Schickel that he lost his virginity to a neighbor when he was 14 years old.[1] At age 19, Eastwood dated a schoolteacher in her 20s who stalked him and threatened to commit suicide after he broke up with her.[2] Reflecting upon this relationship, Eastwood told US Weekly in 1987, "There was just a little misinterpretation about how serious the whole thing was."[3]

Marriage to Margaret Johnson[edit]

During the summer of 1953, Eastwood met Margaret Neville "Maggie" Johnson (1931–), a secretary for auto parts suppliers Industria Americana, on a blind date in Los Angeles.[4]:19[5] They began dating. During the same summer, Eastwood had a serious relationship in Seattle with a young woman who became pregnant with his child.[6] According to Eastwood biographer Patrick McGilligan, the mother gave the girl up for adoption.[7] Johnson announced her engagement to him in October.[5] Eastwood and Johnson married on December 19, 1953 in Pasadena.[5]

Their marriage had problems. Schickel wrote, "He thought they were too young, not well enough established."[8] Actress Mamie Van Doren later reported she met Eastwood on the set of Star in the Dust in the mid-1950s, during which they had an affair. She starred and he played an uncredited bit role.[9][10]

Relationship with Roxanne Tunis[edit]

In 1959 during the second season of Rawhide, Eastwood began an ongoing affair (reportedly lasting 14 years[11]) with dancer and stuntwoman Roxanne Tunis. She was also married yet separated. Their relationship resulted in Eastwood's earliest legal child, daughter Kimber Eastwood (born Kimber Tunis; June 17, 1964).[12][13] Kimber's existence was kept secret from the public until July 1989, when the National Enquirer revealed her identity.[14] Her birth certificate does list Eastwood as the father, however.[15]

Biographer Marc Eliot wrote that Eastwood's wife Johnson may not have known about the baby at the time. "It is difficult to say for sure that she actually knew about the baby, although it would have been nearly impossible for her not to. Everyone on the set knew ... and it is simply too difficult to keep a secret like that when the mother and the illegitimate child live in the same small town, especially when that small town is Hollywood."[16] The source for the 1989 Enquirer article that originally broke the story claimed Johnson was aware of Kimber's existence at all times and even met Roxanne Tunis in person when making an unannounced visit to the set of Breezy in 1972.[17] Actress Barbara Eden, a onetime Rawhide guest star and witness to the affair with Tunis, said Eastwood and Johnson "...conducted a somewhat open marriage."[18]

Other affairs and reconciliation[edit]

Ria Brown, the biographer of competitive swimmer Anita Lhoest, claims Lhoest terminated a pregnancy by Eastwood without consulting him at one point during their late 1950s to early 1960s affair.[19][20] Restaurant critic Gael Greene described an affair with Eastwood that started when she was assigned to interview him on the set of 1970's Two Mules for Sister Sara.[21] A fling with French model Cathy Reghin around the same time was one of his few extramarital involvements to receive press coverage of any kind during the fact. According to McGilligan, Eastwood had many other affairs, including with co-stars Inger Stevens[22] (Hang 'Em High), Jean Seberg[23] (Paint Your Wagon) and Jo Ann Harris[24] (The Beguiled), as well as actresses Jill Banner,[25] Catherine Deneuve[26] and Susan St. James,[27] columnist Bridget Byrne[28] and singer Keely Smith[29] while married to Johnson, who, after a trial separation and lingering bout of hepatitis during the mid-1960s, expressed desire to reconcile and start a family.[28] They had two children together: Kyle Eastwood (born May 19, 1968) and Alison Eastwood (born May 22, 1972).[30]

Relationship with Sondra Locke[edit]

In 1972, Eastwood met married actress (later director) Sondra Locke at a meeting in his office on the Universal Studios Lot.[31] The two began living together while filming The Outlaw Josey Wales in Page, Arizona in October 1975,[32] by which time, according to Locke, "He had told me that there was no real relationship left between him and Maggie."[33] Locke wrote in her autobiography, "Clint seemed astonished at his need for me, even admitting that he'd never been faithful to one woman — because he'd "never been in love before," he confided. He even made up a song about it: "She made me monogamous." That flattered and delighted me. I would never doubt his faithfulness and his love for me."[33]

After Josey wrapped, Locke moved into the Sherman Oaks house Eastwood had once shared with Johnson (who by then lived full-time in Pebble Beach[34]), but felt uncomfortable there because "psychologically, it would always be Maggie's."[33] "Finally I told Clint that I couldn't live there any longer," writes Locke.[33] The couple moved to Bel-Air in a fixer-upper that took three years to renovate.[35] In the interim they shuttled between homes in Tiburon, California and Sun Valley, Idaho, as well as the Rising River Ranch which Eastwood bought from Bing Crosby's estate.[33] Locke had two abortions and then a tubal ligation during the late 1970s.[33] She was quite reluctant to have the second abortion. She later said, "I couldn't help but think that that baby, with both Clint's and my best qualities, would be extraordinary."[33] Johnson made no secret of her dislike for Locke, even though the two women never met. "Maggie placed severe rules on my relationship with the kids. Apparently, she never forgave me ... After she learned that Clint had taken me onto her property to show me a baby deer that had just been born there, she laid down a rule that I was never to be allowed there again. I was not even allowed to phone the Pebble Beach house."[33]

Divorce from Johnson[edit]

In 1978 Johnson filed for legal separation from Eastwood,[34] but did not file for divorce until May 18, 1984,[36] a divorce which was finalized that November[37] with Johnson receiving a straight cash payment reported to be between $25 and $30 million.[38] Locke never divorced her legal husband, sculptor Gordon Anderson,[39][40] who was gay and resided with his partner in a West Hollywood home purchased by Eastwood.[13]

I believe Clint knows who he is; he just doesn’t like who he is. I do believe that Clint loved me as much as he is capable of love, and in the first 8 or so years together he really wanted to be the man he knew I saw in him. I think he tried very hard, but eventually one’s nature cannot change.

—Sondra Locke on Eastwood in 2013[41]

Eastwood and Locke went on to star in The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, Bronco Billy, Any Which Way You Can and Sudden Impact. According to former longtime associate Fritz Manes, as quoted by author McGilligan, Eastwood was devoted to her between 1976 and 1980 at the least, but discreetly kept up several "maintenance relationships" (such as with Tunis[42]) during that period.

Affairs with Jacelyn Reeves and others[edit]

McGilligan claims Eastwood returned to his "habitual womanizing" in the early 1980s, becoming involved with story analyst Megan Rose,[42] actress Jamie Rose[43] (who played a bit part in Tightrope), animal rights activist Jane Brolin (who had intermittent liaisons with Eastwood between the early 1960s and late 1980s[44]), and Jacelyn Reeves, a Hawaii-based stewardess he met at the Hog's Breath Inn, among others.

Children with Reeves[edit]

He was still living with Locke when he conceived two children with Reeves:[45] son Scott Eastwood (born Scott Reeves; March 21, 1986)[46][47] and daughter Kathryn Eastwood (born Kathryn Reeves; February 2, 1988).[48] The birth certificates for both children said "Father declined",[49] and the affair with Reeves was not reported anywhere until an exposé article was published in the Star tabloid in 1990.[50][51] Reeves reportedly stated, "Some family members tell me to file a paternity suit against Clint, but I don't want to."[50] The children were not reported by mainstream news sources up until the mid-2000s.[52]

Breakup with Locke[edit]

Eastwood's relationship with Locke (at the time, unaware of his infidelities[33]) ended acrimoniously in April 1989, and the post-breakup litigation dragged on for a decade. Locke filed a palimony lawsuit against him after he changed the locks on their home and moved her possessions into storage when she was at work filming her second directorial feature, Impulse.[53] In court, Eastwood downplayed the intensity of their relationship. He described Locke as a "roommate" before quickly redescribing her as a "part-time roommate."[33][54] Locke's estranged brother told The Tennessean that Eastwood still truly loved her, but could no longer take her "addiction" to husband Gordon Anderson.[55]

Anticipating that Eastwood was going to misrepresent her marriage to Anderson, Locke asked Anderson to surrender all claims on any of her assets which as her legal spouse he was entitled to.[33] "In an extraordinary gesture of love and faith in me, Gordon signed away everything without hesitation."[33] During the trial, an investigative journalist contacted Locke and informed her of Eastwood's other family. "I spoke with the nurse in the delivery room, and she confirmed that they are Clint's children. I'll send copies of the birth certificates to you and a photo of Jacelyn, if you want them," Locke quotes the informant.[33] "My mind was still searching to get all his actions lined up. For at least the last four years, Clint had been living this double life, going between me and this other woman, and having children with her. Two babies had been born during the last three years of our relationship, and they weren't mine."[33]

As the case went on, Locke developed breast cancer and said the treatments sapped her will to fight.[13] She dropped her suit in November 1990 in exchange for a settlement package that included a lump sum plus monthly payments from Eastwood and a $1.5 million directing deal at Warner Bros.,[56] but sued him again for fraud in 1995 when she became convinced the deal was a sham,[57][58] finally settling out of court in September 1996.[59][60]

Eastwood was listed as a material witness for Locke's separate pending action against Warner Bros., which alleged that the studio conspired with him to sabotage her directorial career, but in May 1999 that lawsuit too was settled, ending the legal saga.[61][62][63] Since then, Locke has made discrediting comments about Eastwood.[41]

Casual dating[edit]

Immediately following his split from Locke, Eastwood dated Barbra Streisand.[64] Other female companions during 1989 included Carmel mayor Jean Grace, actress Dani Crayne and model Barbara Minty, widow of Steve McQueen.[65]

Daughter with Frances Fisher[edit]

With his (now former) wife Dina in 2007

In the autumn of 1990, actress Frances Fisher, whom Eastwood had met on the set of Pink Cadillac two years prior,[66] moved in with him. Fisher said of dating Eastwood, "I simply felt that this was it, the big one. I had no idea that every woman he meets probably feels as I did."[67] They co-starred in Unforgiven, and had a daughter, Francesca Eastwood (born Francesca Fisher-Eastwood; August 7, 1993).[68] The birth of Francesca was the first time Eastwood was present for one of his children's birth.[30] Also in 1993, according to McGilligan, Eastwood was confronted with the claims of a 39-year-old woman from Kent, Washington who had researched her adoption and ascertained that he was her biological father.[7] Eastwood has never responded to the story.[69]

Eastwood and Fisher ended their relationship in January 1995,[70] after which Fisher said it took two years to complete what she called the grieving process for her shattered dreams.[67]

Marriage and divorce with Dina Ruiz[edit]

Before Fisher had moved out of Eastwood's home, he was reportedly already dating Dina Ruiz,[11]a television news anchor 35 years his junior whom he had first met when she interviewed him in April 1993.[68] They married on March 31, 1996, when Eastwood surprised her with a private ceremony at a home on the Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas.[71] The marriage was noted for the fact that it was only Eastwood's second legal union in spite of his many long-term romances over the decades. Eastwood said of his bride, "I'm proud to make this lady my wife. She's the one I've been waiting for."[72]

Ruiz commented, "The fact that I'm only the second woman he has married really touches me."[73] The couple has one daughter, Morgan Eastwood (born December 12, 1996).[74] Ruiz made cameos in two of Eastwood's films, Blood Work and True Crime (in which Fisher even appeared). In the summer of 2012, Dina, Morgan and Francesca starred with the band Overtone in a reality show for the E! network titled Mrs. Eastwood & Company, on which Clint appeared only occasionally.

In August 2013, Dina Eastwood announced that she and her husband had been living separately for an undisclosed length of time.[75] On October 23, 2013, Dina filed for divorce after she withdrew her request for legal separation, citing irreconcilable differences. She asked for full custody of their 16-year-old daughter, Morgan, as well as spousal support.[76] The divorce was finalized on December 22, 2014.[77]

Later relationships[edit]

Since his split from Ruiz, Eastwood has been linked publicly with photographer Erica Tomlinson-Fisher (no relation to Frances),[78] 41 years his junior, and restaurant hostess Christina Sandera, 33 years his junior. He and Sandera went public with their relationship at the 87th Academy Awards in February 2015.[79]


  1. ^ Schickel, p. 34
  2. ^ Interviewed by Ginny Dougary for The Times, 28 March 1998.
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  6. ^ McGilligan, p. 54
  7. ^ a b McGilligan, p. 500
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  9. ^ Eliot, p. 33
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  14. ^ McGilligan, p. 455
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  17. ^ Kerrigan, Mike; Williams, Brian (July 11, 1989). "Clint's Bombshell Secret – He Has Illegitimate Daughter & Grandson". National Enquirer.
  18. ^ Eden, Barbara (2011). Jeannie Out of the Bottle. Crown Archetype. ISBN 0307886956.
  19. ^ From unpublished manuscript Take Ten (The Life Story of Anita Lhoest) by Ria Brown, cited in Acknowledgements section of McGilligan biography
  20. ^ McGilligan, p. 121
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  24. ^ McGilligan, p. 188
  25. ^ McGilligan, p. 118
  26. ^ McGilligan, p. 151
  27. ^ McGilligan, p. 181
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