AISON EASTWOOD

A GIRL OF MANY FACES

 Note:  Many of the images are thumbnails

Alison Eastwood, the second child  of Clint and Maggie Eastwood (younger sister to Kyle Clinton Eastwood-DOB: May 19, 1968) was born on May 22, 1972, in Carmel, California. As the daughter of the affluent couple, she enjoyed the benefits, attending the finest private schools, Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California and Stevenson School in Pebble Beach. Much has been made of her rebelliousness as a child and teenager. Her father had bought her a BMW for her seventeenth birthday and like her father at the same age, wild times followed. Clint's dad had purchased an old "beater" for his son at the age of sixteen, and Clint readily admits that the ownership of the car was a pivotal time in his youth. Already well over six feet tall, young Clint was able to avoid the scrutiny of the local police. Young Alison, in her flashy sports car, wasn't as lucky, culminating in a drunk-driving arrest at the age of 17, for which she spent a night in jail. She eventually received a fine and three years' probation in 1991. During this period, the tabloids reported that she frequently consumed her share of drugs and alcohol, kicking her "addictions" at the age of twenty, when she checked herself into rehab while studying acting in NYC. Critics usually attribute these problems to her parents' 1978 divorce, when she was just 6 years old.

 *  It's at this point, that the author, Steve Eastwood, not as a cousin, but as a thorough researcher of Clint's personal and professional life, must inject his personal interpretation of the tumultuous situation and times, and hopefully, set the record straight. For starters, most teenagers (especially upper-class Californians, and the offspring of the 'rich & famous'), are drinking and doing drugs long before they reach seventeen. The fact that this relatively minor legal infraction, and common adolescent behavior was labeled as "addictions" is ludicrous. Let's examine this situation devoid of "Tabloid Sensationalism". - NOTE: Another "Hollywood Evil" that Clint has been quite successful at avoiding, both personally, and for his family.
 
To skip author's opinionated rant - CLICK HERE

First, we must examine Alison's parents' backgrounds and respective personalities. Maggie Johnson was in her senior year at Berkeley University when she first met Clint on a blind double date arranged by Don Horner, a mutual friend. Maggie, a leggy, five foot seven tall, true Californian blonde, was supporting herself with occasional modeling jobs, and looked forward to graduation and returning to Los Angeles to pursue her modeling career. Clint, on the other hand, was a tall, good-looking, 23 year old who had recently been discharged from the Army, and didn't have a clue. He had sweated through the midnight to 7 am shift at the Bethlehem Steelworks near Oakland and knew that wasn't to be in his future. He loved the outdoors and had always been fascinated with the logging business, so he headed north where he managed to get a job at a mill along the Willamette River near Eugene, Oregon. It was here that the strapping teenager developed his skills of drinking beer and chasing women. When the Korean War broke out in the summer of 1950, it was inevitable that the 20 yr. old lumberjack now had a future, whether he liked it or not. He teamed up with buddies who were in the same situation, and the gang decided to test their newly acquired party skills along the trip to San Francisco where they would all enlist in the US Army. Once in the service, Clint was assigned to the base swimming pool as a swimming instructor. Shortly thereafter, he talked his way aboard a Navy plane (squeezing into the tail section), for an unauthorized flight to Los Angeles. Thanks to his swimming skills, he survived when the aircraft crashed at sea, off the Southern California coast. This incident required a military review, so when all the officers were shipped out to Korea, the 20 year old private, earning $76 a month, found himself a lifeguard, in charge of organizing swim classes at the Olympic-sized pool. He immediately moved from the general barracks to a private dormitory attached to the pool. He soon found that his Army salary wasn't enough to cover his nightly forays into Carmel, where he perfected his womanizing, and beer consumption talents. To support Carmel excursions, he found a job loading sacks of sugar at the Spreckles Sugar Company in the nearby Salinas Valley. After an exhausting 4 months, he found himself falling asleep in his lifeguard chair, so he landed a job as a bouncer for the base's NCO club, a minute's walk from the pool area. Once again, more booze and women.
"Believe me, I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily a bad thing".

This was the work history of the young vagabond when he found himself meeting the woman who would forge his future career. Besides the obvious physical beauty of this young swimsuit model, Clint was attracted to her strength of character and especially, her sense of humor. With no thoughts of commitment, much less marriage, he used his GI Bill benefits to enroll in a business program at Los Angeles City College, and the tall, tanned, young couple headed south to Los Angeles where they settled into a tiny, one bedroom apartment. In less than six months after their first meeting, the Berkeley University grad, aspiring model, and the footloose ex lifeguard/lumberjack, were wed in Pasadena on Dec. 19, 1953. Maggie took time off from her job at a downtown export business and Clint was on his Christmas break from LACC, so the newlyweds drove to Carmel for their honeymoon.

In an attempt to make this long story short, and get back to Alison's rebellious spirit, not to mention wishing to avoid raising the ire of Clint, or potential libel suits, I'll summarize the remainder of this story. The couple both worked and struggled, and with Maggie's support and determination, Clint landed a one year contract at Universal where he found temporary stability. Much more important, he found a craft in which he became totally immersed, and found a future which was much more attractive than Hollywood fame and fortune (neither of which attracted Clint). After being dropped by Universal, the financial struggles returned, forcing Clint to return to his job digging swimming pools in the Valley. At the same time, he continued his acting lessons and doing auditions for anything that was available. He landed a half dozen minor TV or movie roles when, on a visit to a friend of Maggie's who worked at CBS, Clint was "Discovered" and landed the role of Rowdy Yates on "Rawhide", a job which continued for 7 years. It was the overwhelming success of Rawhide which now brought Clint the aforementioned "Fame & Fortune". Clint became one of television's first "Heartthrobs"; women from the ages of 8 to 80 tuned in to watch their handsome, young, well-mannered cowboy. They also swarmed to buy magazines which told the latest news about Clint or featured his innocent face on their covers. Up until this point, Clint was unknown and maintaining personal privacy was simple. Now there were the photo shoots around their swimming pool, nonstop interviews, talk show appearances, and finally, the gossip. Just like JFK years earlier, Clint had managed to keep his sex life confidential for decades. But also like JFK, their respective positions required intense public scrutiny and slowly their womanizing surfaced, even though both were married to beautiful, intelligent wives. They both had enjoyed the perfect public image marriage, while managing to keep their incessant "skirt-chasing" under wraps.
 

Fifteen years after their 1953 marriage, Maggie gave birth to their first child, Kyle Clinton Eastwood. Four years later, almost to the day, Alison Eastwood was born to the couple on May 22, 1972. By this time, the prior international success of the 3 "Spaghetti Westerns" exploded, with all three being cleared for American release in 1967. Clint's fame had gone through the roof with "Dirty Harry" and by the release of "Magnum Force" in 1973, there wasn't a bigger star on the planet. Clint has always made a concerted effort to keep his personal and family life out of public view. By the time of Alison's birth, he was determined to raise his children in private, allowing them to enjoy a "normal" life, as much as possible. By this time, though still somewhat suppressed, the news of Clint's first born child, daughter Kimber, with Roxanne Tunis, an occasional actress on Rawhide, back in 1964, was well known. In 1972, Maggie, with little Kyle in tow, popped in on the set of "Breezy" which Clint was filming in Laurel Canyon, and ran into Roxanne Tunis. Coincidently, Clint first met Sondra Locke on that same set prior to Maggie's surprise visit. In 1976, Locke appeared in Clint's classic film, "The Outlaw Josey Wales" and their relationship hit the scandal sheets. They were spotted together all over town, and in 1977 moved in together, sharing a mansion in L.A.'s famed Bel Air, home to the biggest names in Hollywood.
It was now time to put an end to the charade of the public Eastwood marriage for several reasons. Sure, the public opinion of Clint's personal character was important, especially to his female fans, but Clint cared less - Hell, it probably impressed his male fans. I think that Clint had enjoyed a lifestyle which was envied by many, publicly necessary during that time, and, most important, it remained a practical situation for both partners. Maggie had supported her husband in all his endeavors for over twenty years. It was her determination, push, and positive support at every level, which enabled the young, self-proclaimed "bum and a drifter" to find inspiration in acting, (an art that he despised due to a bad high school experience) and discover the art of filmmaking at every level. Even after Clint's career skyrocketed, she would read scripts, discuss career moves, business decisions - Truly a partner. She had turned a blind eye to Clint's ongoing affairs, in hopes that finally, with their children growing older, he would settle down and become a traditional family man. With the advent of Sondra Locke, both partners recognized that Clint wasn't going to change. Worse, the situation was becoming humiliating to Maggie and more difficult to hide from their children, who were becoming old enough to figure things out. Add to that, obvious pressure from Sondra Locke who didn't want to be vilified in the press as a home-wrecking mistress.
True to Eastwood form, the inevitable divorce was able to escape public scrutiny, details which have remained sealed to this day. Clint had recognized Maggie's unmitigated support for the last 25 years, even when his lifestyle became public knowledge, she was still there, supportive in every way. And, with a little help from 'Ofelia', she was a wonderful mother to their two children, and would share them with their father whenever possible. Though all the specific details are sealed, close friends, business associates, and such, agree that the total settlement was worth somewhere between 20-30 million dollars, an amazing figure for the 70s, and not too bad in 2007. Though Clint has a reputation for frugality ("skinClint"), he also is known for his allegiance to his friends, and this divorce showcased the latter. Consequently, Clint and Maggie have remained close friends, and cooperating, supportive parents for almost 30 years. An amiable split that was accepted in the public eye. Perhaps, most importantly, it minimized the trauma of divorce for the 6 & 10 year old children, and put an end to the parental lies.

In what was supposed to be a paragraph to explain my thoughts on the 1978 Eastwood divorce and its effects on young Alison, I managed to write a short story. My personal opinion on the divorce is - the situation could not have been handled better in any way, PERIOD. By all indications, it was handled with class between the pair, therefore, it minimized any potential trauma a divorce presents, especially for the couple's children.

Now, back to Alison's rebelliousness. The answer is really quite simple. In fact. it was already spelled out in the first sentence of this little treatise "First, we must examine Alison's parents' backgrounds and respective personalities". A progeny of a determined hard-driving mother, and a self-described "bum and drifter" whose father had instilled the values of hard work and ethics. Hell, Clint was drinking and driving at seventeen as well. In his senior year of high school he was playing piano for tips in some of Oakland's shadier jazz bars. What did they expect?

Daddy's Little Princess? No, Alison has displayed her heritage in so many ways. Sure, she rebelled while growing up, but don't most intelligent, free-thinking children?

Please understand that I think Clint was a loving, supportive father, who not only assured his children were brought up in a sane, sensible environment, he also spent a lot more quality time with them than most in his position or profession. This man is a workaholic. He's got more money than the Catholic Church; yet, he chooses to produce and direct two epic films simultaneously (in different languages), shot in horrendous locations &conditions, at the age of 75. The more time & research I do concerning Clint's life, the more my admiration for this fine, talented, hard-working man increases. It is unfortunate that Clint Sr. didn't live to see his son's ascent to the highest levels of filmmaking.
To summarize,

 If Alison's DUI is the worst that biographers and critics can uncover...
 I'd say her parents did an excellent job raising this beautiful, hard-working, little
"maverick". 

 Alison's screen debut was in one of her Dad's favorites "Bronco Billy"  in 1980.  Together with brother Kyle, they were cast in the uncredited roles as orphans in a orphanage. Her real acting debut came in 1984, in Clint's thriller, "Tightrope", starring opposite her father, as the young daughter of a homicide detective on the trail of a serial murderer. Clint had cast older brother, Kyle, in "Honky Tonk Man", enabling him the opportunity to spend some quality time with his siblings, expose them to his moviemaking craft, plus offer them the chance to experience the acting profession. Kyle, instead, went on to a music career, playing bass for several jazz bands, residing in Paris. Alison, however, maintained an interest and when she turned eighteen, in 1990, Alison moved to Santa Barbara to study acting. Instead of turning to her father for help in casting, etc., she chose to learn the art before the profession. She made her theater debut, in Los Angeles, in the Coast Playhouse production of “Woman In Control”, and followed that with “It's a Beautiful Life”.

"RAILS AND TIES"

 

In addition to being the daughter of Clint Eastwood and a Hollywood actress, Alison is recognized as a model, fashion designer, and business woman. Much like her father, what she missed in formal education, Alison made up for in her vision and enthusiasm, qualities inherited from her mother. Like her mother, she tried modeling as a career. By the age of 22, she was working as both a runway and magazine model in Paris, posing for several European fashion magazines as well as Vogue (U.S. edition).

  Never one to avoid conflict, she accepted Hugh Hefner's offer to pose nude and do the cover for the February 2003 issue of Playboy.

    "I've never really tried to prove myself.
 I just try and do the best that I can.

 I don't think I am like a great actress.
 I think I am  working towards trying to be better."
 
  
-
 

A longtime horse lover and rider, she at one time had dreams of centering a business around the ranch life, and considered selling horse equipment. Like her father, she has a practical sense for business and did some research and realized it would be a very difficult financial venture.    

 Finally returning to film in 1997, Alison first appeared as an "art student" in her father's film "Absolute Power". In the same year, she decided she was ready to seek her first significant adult role, "Mandy Nichols", in her father's "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". Clint was both the producer and director of the project, but he was not starring in the big budget production. Clint, ever the professional, required his daughter to audition several times (like all the other actresses) before settling on Alison for the role.  She was cast as John Cusack's love interest in the film, and it's reported she duplicated the role in real life for a period.

 Eastwood then landed starring roles in a pair of independent films, Rick Rosenthal's "Isn't It Romantic?" and Glenn Freyer's "Suicide: The Comedy", which were both shot in 1997. She was featured in the murder mystery "Black & White" (1998) and appeared in "Breakfast of Champions" (1999), which starred Bruce Willis and Albert Finney. She starred in "Just a Little Harmless Sex", and in the 2002 low-budget success, "Poolhall Junkies,"  (starring Chazz Palminteri and Christopher Walken), in which she portrayed a law student and the love interest to Mars Callahan's character. She would continue to appear in such films as "How to Go on a Date in Queens" (2002) and "The Storyteller" (2003).

- SEE filmography

It was around this time that she found a business venture which coincided with her love for ranch life and her experience in modeling and fashion. She decided to launch a clothing line,
"EASTWOOD RANCH",
featuring
western-styled sports and denim wear, which
has seen its share of success.

Once again, the Eastwood family found itself victimized in the news,
as shown in the following example:

        Clint Eastwood's Daughter Presses On With Business Venture
 August 16, 2001  (WENN)

"Clint Eastwood's daughter Alison Eastwood is proceeding with plans to set up an Eastwood Ranch clothing line - and she insists she has her father's blessings. The model-turned-actress has dismissed reports that Eastwood sent her a legal letter ordering her not to use the family name in her new business venture. She says, "It's such a typical tabloid thing to do - to create feuds and print mean-spirited gossip that has no basis in truth. The truth is that my father has been very supportive of my new clothing line - and has never had a problem with my using my name on it. I've grown up watching him getting slandered by the tabloids and now I'm getting a little of it myself." Alison and her business partners expect to launch the Eastwood Ranch Apparel Company next spring with a line of denim clothes that will include jeans, camisoles and shirts. By winter, the Eastwood Ranch range will expand to include leather jackets 'tooled like saddles'. "


Alison's hard work ethic extends to the film industry as well. Following in her famous father's footsteps, she has begun to dabble in directing, and has formed her own production company, "Purple Rose Productions".  Now wearing the Producer hat, she has focused on creating personally gratifying films, whether independent productions, or projects on a bigger scale.

Projects in development include a movie version of Moliere's "Misanthrope", and her pet project, the Jean Harlow biography "Bombshell" (for which she owns all rights).  Bearing a resemblance to the tragic star she plans to portray, the actress has stated that she feels a special kinship with the intelligent Harlow whom the Hollywood machine typecast as a bubble-headed blonde vixen.

                            She also is making her feature directorial debut with the drama 
      


She continues to maintain the rebellious nature inherited from her father
  and
has stated in interviews that she dates both men and women.
 

Her parents have indeed raised this girl well !

FILMOGRAPHY

Actress:
One Long Night (2007) (post-production) .... Wendy
How to Go Out on a Date in Queens (2006) .... Karen
Lesser Evil (2006) (TV) .... Karen Max
Don't Tell (2005) .... Rachel
Flatbush (2005) .... Shelly
I'll Be Seeing You (2004) (TV) .... Patricia
... aka Un jour tu verras (Canada: French title)
They Are Among Us (2004) (TV) .... Finley
The Lost Angel (2004) .... Billie
The Bend (2002) .... Sue Morris
Poolhall Junkies (2002) .... Tara
Power Play (2002) .... Gabriella St.John
Waitin' to Live (2002) .... Harriett Williams
If You Only Knew (2000) .... Samantha
... aka Apartment zum Verlieben, Ein (Germany)
... aka If You Only Knew (Germany: TV title)
The Spring (2000) (TV) .... Sophie Weston
Black and White (1999/II) .... Lynn Dombrowsky
Just a Little Harmless Sex (1999) .... Laura
Friends & Lovers (1999) .... Lisa
... aka Friends and Lovers (Philippines: English title)
Breakfast of Champions (1999) .... Maria Maritimo
Suicide, the Comedy (1998) .... Amanda
... aka The Intervention (USA)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) .... Mandy Nichols
Absolute Power (1997) .... Art Student
Tightrope (1984) .... Amanda Block
Bronco Billy (1980) (uncredited) .... Child at orphanage

Director:

(2007- post-production)

Producer:
Don't Tell (2005) (associate producer)

Self:
"The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" .... Herself (1 episode, 2002)
... aka The Late Late Show (USA: short title)
- Episode dated 19 July 2002 (2002) TV Episode .... Herself
"Howard Stern" .... Herself (1 episode, 1999)
- Episode dated 4 August 1999 (1999) TV Episode .... Herself
"The Howard Stern Radio Show" .... Herself (1 episode, 1999)
- Episode dated 26 June 1999 (1999) TV Episode .... Herself
"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" .... Herself (1 episode, 1999)
- Episode dated 11 June 1999 (1999) TV Episode .... Herself
"The Directors" .... Herself (1 episode)
- The Films of Clint Eastwood (Date?) TV Episode .... Herself
"Intimate Portrait" .... Herself (1 episode, 1999)
- Jean Harlow (1999) TV Episode .... Herself

                                   

copyright2006