On July 21, 1970, Eastwood's father died of a heart attack at the age of 64. The death, described by Fritz Manes as "the only bad thing that ever happened to him in his life", came as a shock to Eastwood, since his grandfather had lived to be 92. It had a profound impact on Eastwood's life; from then on he became more productive, working with a greater sense of urgency and with more speed and efficiency on set. Although Eastwood had always been a health and fitness enthusiast, he became more so after his father's death. He abstained from hard liquor, adopted a more rigorous health regimen, and sought to stay fit. However, he still favored cold beer and opened a pub called the Hog's Breath Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1971. Eastwood eventually sold the pub and now owns the Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant, also located in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
In 1973, Eastwood told the film critic Gene Siskel, "No, I don't believe in God." Eastwood has said that he finds spirituality in nature (as suggested by his Western, Pale Rider, 1985), stating that "I was born during the Depression and I was brought up with no specific church. We moved every four or five months during the first 14 years of my life, so I was sent to a different church depending on wherever we lived. Most of them were Protestant, but I went to other churches because my parents wanted me to try to figure out things for myself. They always said, 'I just want to expose you to some religious order and see if that's something you like'. So although my religious training was not really specific, I do feel spiritual things. If I stand on the side of the Grand Canyon and look down, it moves me in some way."More Info
Eastwood's 30th directorial outing came with Invictus (2009), a film based on the story of the South African team at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, Matt Damon as rugby team captain François Pienaar and Grant L. Roberts as Ruben Kruger. The film met with generally positive reviews; Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars and described it as a "very good film... with moments evoking great emotion," while Variety's Todd McCarthy wrote, "Inspirational on the face of it, Clint Eastwood's film has a predictable trajectory, but every scene brims with surprising details that accumulate into a rich fabric of history, cultural impressions and emotion." For the film Eastwood was nominated for Best Director at the 67th Golden Globe Awards.More Info
Eastwood directed and starred in the political thriller Absolute Power (1997), alongside Gene Hackman (with whom he had appeared in Unforgiven). Eastwood played the role of a veteran thief who witnesses the Secret Service cover-up of a murder. The film received a mixed reception from critics.Later in 1997, Eastwood directed Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, based on the novel by John Berendt and starring John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, and Jude Law. The film met with a mixed critical response.More Info
Eastwood played Frank Horrigan in the Secret Service thriller In the Line of Fire (1993), directed by Wolfgang Petersen and co-starring John Malkovich and Rene Russo. Horrigan is a guilt-ridden Secret Service agent haunted by his failure to save John F. Kennedy's life. The film was among the top 10 box office performers in that year, earning $102 million in the United States alone, and 25 years after he was first listed on Quigley's Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll, Eastwood was voted number one again. A few months after film wrapped, Eastwood directed and co-starred alongside Kevin Costner in A Perfect World (also 1993). Set in the 1960s, Eastwood plays a Texas Ranger in pursuit of an escaped convict (Costner) who hits the road with a young boy (T.J. Lowther). Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that the film marked the highest point of Eastwood's directing career, and the film has since been cited as one of his most underrated directorial achievements.More Info
Eastwood directed and starred in True Crime (1999). He plays Steve Everett, a journalist and recovering alcoholic, who has to cover the execution of murderer Frank Beechum (played by Isaiah Washington). True Crime received a mixed reception, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times writing, "his direction is galvanized by a sense of second chances and tragic misunderstandings, and by contrasting a larger sense of justice with the peculiar minutiae of crime. Perhaps he goes a shade too far in the latter direction, though." The film was a box office failure, earning less than half its $55 million budget and was Eastwood's worst-performing film of the 1990s aside from White Hunter Black Heart, which had a limited release.More Info
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