Clint Eastwood Kept His Iconic Poncho from Dollars Trilogy and Never Washed It: Here’s Why

by Matthew Wilson
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Clint Eastwood‘s western days may be behind him. But the 89-year actor likes to look back on his early career and films fondly. For instance, he still has the Man With No Name’s poncho.

Besides Dirty Harry’s gun, the western poncho is perhaps Eastwood’s most iconic accessory. The actor defined a whole generation of the film industry with a look that screams equal parts cool and mysterious. In the decades, many movies have paid homage and tribute to the western get-up.

But Eastwood has the original, genuine article. In a 2002 article with Feature Story, Eastwood revealed he kept the piece of clothing and hadn’t unfolded it since filming. But more recently on This Morning, Eastwood told host Alison Hammond that he’s finally displayed the clothing

“I still have that, yeah… it’s sitting in a glass case. Never been washed,” Eastwood said.

As for why Eastwood never washed the poncho, the actor previously revealed it was to preserve its integrity. He feared that washing the clothing item would destroy it. “If you washed it, it would fall apart,” Eastwood said.

Eastwood wore the poncho in all three films of the Dollars trilogy, starting with a “Fistful of Dollars.” The actor last put on the iconic poncho in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” in 1966. The poncho was one of the few mainstays across the three films, establishing continuity. While Eastwood’s character’s nickname changed between films, he always wore the same attire and had an affinity for cigarillos.

Clint Eastwood Became a Star

The trilogy of films turned Eastwood into a bonafide movie star. Before he played in the “Dollars” trilogy, Eastwood was more known for his small-screen roles. But playing the Man with No Name helped create an iconic character and the movie offers soon started rolling in.

Prior to the trilogy, Eastwood played Rowdy Yates on seven seasons of “Rawhide,” the classic western TV show. Eastwood confessed the show helped prepare him for the big screen.

“Years ago I was doing a series called Rawhide. You have all these scenes on horseback, we’d ride in and pull up there right in front of the camera,” Eastwood said. “When they’d yell ‘Action’ the horses would just go crazy. I asked one of the directors, ‘Why don’t you just not say Action, why don’t you just say Go instead.’  And sure enough they tried it and it worked.”

Eastwood hasn’t starred in a western since “Unforgiven,” but the genre has played an important role in his career.

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