Clint Eastwood Reflects on How His Father’s Death Impacted Him

by Josh Lanier

Clint Eastwood said his dad’s death hit him “like a ton of bricks” and forced him to focus more on his own health. It’s why the 91-year-old Hollywood icon is still working today.

The Dirty Harry star was 63 when his dad died of a heart attack. So, not a young man by any stretch, but he said he began to look critically at some of his dad’s bad habits —like smoking and eating poorly. Eastwood always took his diet and exercise seriously, but he began to dial in the “Eastwood Code” later in life. It’s how he manages to stay healthy and live a managed — but happy — lifestyle. It’s all about moderation and monitoring.

“Stay away from carbohydrates, especially rich desserts,” Clint Eastwood has said. “Keep a scale in your bathroom. Get proper rest. Try to be optimistic. Eat fruits and raw vegetables. Take vitamins. Skip beverages loaded with sugars. Avoid alcohol in excess.”

It’s pretty straightforward and something he could pass on to his eight children. His son, Scott, said his dad instilled this in him when he was still a teenager. Clint calls it the 90-10 rule. Ninety percent is about maintaining a proper diet and 10 percent is focused on exercise.

“My dad is a machine about food and exercise,” Scott Eastwood told Men’s Health in 2017. “He showed me how to lift when I was 14 or 15 — the bench press and other basics. He made it clear it was more important to do the moves correctly than to put on more plates.”

It’s how Clint Eastwood still has the vitality of a man a third of his age.

“Clint still golfs. … He likes to take long walks,” a source told Closer. “He looks forward to a good meal, reading, getting scripts, golf. He’s very comfortable with his daily routine.”

Clint Eastwood Hated Smoking in Movies

Clint Eastwood played some of history’s greatest characters. Josie Wales, Harry Calahan, and Bill Munny come to mind, but he’s not like them. He got sick even playing some of them.

Eastwood is a lifelong non-smoker who had a horse allergy. So, climbing on the back of a horse and chomping down on a stoagie wasn’t his forte, but he made it look cool on screen.

While filming The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Eastwood hated having to smoke cigars. Once, after several takes, he snapped at director Sergio Leone, according to the biography Clint: The Life and Legend.

“You better get it this time because I’m going to throw up.” The smoke made him sick to his stomach. In the 1960s, it wasn’t uncommon for actors to smoke on camera whereas today it’s an herbal, non-nicotine blend that’s much healthier.

Eastwood did a trilogy as The Man With No Name with Leone and smoked through them all. So that angry look on his face through the series probably wasn’t acting as much as it was him being very sick.