Eastwood is an audiophile and owns an extensive collection of LPs which he plays on a Rockport turntable. He has had a strong passion for music all his life, particularly jazz and country and western music. He dabbled in music early on by developing as a boogie-woogie pianist and had originally intended to pursue a career in music by studying for a music theory degree after graduating from high school. In late 1959 he produced the album Cowboy Favorites, released on the Cameo label, which included some classics such as Bob Wills's "San Antonio Rose" and Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In". Despite his attempts to plug the album by going on a tour, it never reached the Billboard Hot 100. In 1963, Cameo producer Kal Mann told him that "he would never make it big as a singer". Nevertheless, during the off season of filming Rawhide, Eastwood and Paul Brinegar – sometimes joined by Sheb Wooley – toured rodeos, state fairs, and festivals. In 1962, their act, entitled Amusement Business Cavalcade of Fairs, earned them as much as $15,000 a performance. Eastwood has his own Warner Bros. Records-distributed imprint, Malpaso Records, as part of his deal with Warner Brothers. This deal was unchanged when Warner Music Group was sold by Time Warner to private investors. Malpaso Records, which has released all of the scores of Eastwood's films from The Bridges of Madison County onward, has also released the album of a 1996 jazz concert he hosted, titled Eastwood after Hours – Live at Carnegie Hall.
At the May 1994 Cannes Film Festival Eastwood received France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal, and on March 27, 1995, he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at the 67th Academy Awards. His next film appearance was in a cameo role as himself in the children's film Casper (1995). He expanded his repertoire by playing opposite Meryl Streep in The Bridges of Madison County (also 1995). Based on the novel by Robert James Waller, the film relates the story of Robert Kincaid (Eastwood), a photographer working for National Geographic who, while photographing historic covered bridges in Iowa, meets and has an affair with an Italian-born farm wife, Francesca (Streep). Despite the novel receiving unfavorable reviews, The Bridges of Madison County film was a commercial and critical success. Roger Ebert wrote, "Streep and Eastwood weave a spell, and it is based on that particular knowledge of love and self that comes with middle age." The film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture and won a César Award in France for Best Foreign Film. Streep was also nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.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
In 2010 at age 80, Eastwood spent approximately $20 million to build himself a 15,949-square-foot compound in Carmel-by-the-Sea. His California real estate portfolio also includes a 6,136-square-foot Spanish style mansion in Bel-Air, the 1,067.5 acre Rising River Ranch in Burney, an apartment in Burbank, as well as a large but understated house located next door to his longtime primary Bel-Air residence. Eastwood is known to have purchased property in two other states. He owns a 5,700-square-foot house in Sun Valley, Idaho and a 1.13-acre, oceanfront manor in Kihei, Hawaii. The latter was featured in an episode of the 2012 reality show Mrs. Eastwood & Company.More Info
Eastwood directed J. Edgar (2011), a biopic of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. The film received mixed reviews, although DiCaprio's performance as Hoover was widely praised. Roger Ebert wrote that the film is "fascinating," "masterful," and praised DiCaprio's performance. David Edelstein of New York Magazine, while also praising DiCaprio, wrote, "It's too bad J. Edgar is so shapeless and turgid and ham-handed, so rich in bad lines and worse readings". Eastwood starred in the baseball drama Trouble with the Curve (2012), as a veteran baseball scout who travels with his daughter for a final scouting trip. Robert Lorenz, who worked with Eastwood as an assistant director on several films, directed the film.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
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