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Sondra Locke’s Clint Eastwood Affair Ruined Her Career

by Julie

Sondra Locke’s Clint Eastwood Affair Ruined Her CareerWho is Sondra Locke?

Sandra Louise Anderson, known professionally as Sondra Locke, is an American actress and director. She achieved worldwide recognition thanks to her relationship with Clint Eastwood and the six blockbuster films they made together.

An alumnus of Middle Tennessee State University, Locke forayed into the regional show business with various roles at Nashville-based radio station WSM-AM, later moving into the field of show business. television industry as an advertising assistant for WSM-TV.

In 1968, she debuted in the film The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Locke went on to appear in hit films such as Willard (1971), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), The Gauntlet (1977), Every Which Way but Loose (1978), Bronco Billy (1980), Any Which Way You Can (1980) and Sudden Impact (1983).

She worked regularly with Eastwood, her companion for 14 years even though they were married to someone else. She also made four films, including Impulse (1990), and published an autobiography The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly: A Hollywood Journey (1997).

Locke’s personality doesn’t depend on her age, and she often plays roles written for women much younger than herself. She claims to have been born a few years after 1944 and her true age has remained a secret throughout her career. For reasons never stated, his death was not publicly announced and not confirmed by key statistics until six weeks after he died of cardiac arrest at the age of 74.

Who is Clint Eastwood?

Sondra Locke’s Clint Eastwood Affair Ruined Her Career

Clinton Eastwood Jr. (born May 31, 1930) is an American actor and filmmaker. After achieving success in the Western television series Rawhide, he rose to international fame for his role as the “Man with No Name” in Sergio Leone’s “Dollars Trilogy” about western spaghetti in the mid-1960s and as anti-hero cop Harry Callahan in all five of the Dirty Harry films of the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, among others, made Eastwood a cultural icon of long-term masculinity. Elected in 1986, Eastwood served for two years as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Oscar nominee for Best Actor, Eastwood won Best Director and Best Picture for the westerns Unforgiven (1992) and the sports drama Million Dollar Baby (2004). His greatest commercial success was the adventure comedy Every Which Way but Loose (1978) and the sequel to the action comedy Any Which Way You Can (1980). Other popular Eastwood films include westerns Hang ‘Em High (1968) and Pale Rider (1985), war action film Where Eagles Dare (1968), prison film Escape from Alcatraz (1979), film Heartbreak Ridge (1986), the action film In the Line of Fire (1993), and the romantic drama The Bridges of Madison County (1995).

The most recent works are Gran Torino (2008), The Mule (2018) and Cry Macho (2021). Since 1967, Eastwood’s company, Malpaso Productions, has produced all but four of his American films.

In addition to directing some of his own star vehicles, Eastwood has directed films in which he did not appear, such as the mystery drama series Mystic River (2003) and the war drama Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), for which he received an Academy Award.

Award-nominated, TV series Changeling (2008) and biographical sports drama Invictus (2009). The war drama biopic American Sniper (2014) set box office records for the biggest January release ever and also the biggest opening ever from ​to date for an Eastwood film.

What Happened Between Sondra Locke and Clint Eastwood?

Along the way, Sondra had her first encounter with Clint Eastwood when she auditioned for the role in Breezy in 1973 (the actor’s third film as a director, following Play Misty for Me and High Plains Drifter).

Eastwood didn’t cast Locke at the time, but remembered her as he began work on her latest film The Outlaw Josey Wales, in which she played a supporting role. She started meeting the director and her co-star around this time.

When Eastwood cast her a second time in The Gauntlet in 1977, the two stars were more equal; action thriller featuring Locke as a prostitute who is escorted by gray Eastwood police across the country to testify against a gang boss.

During the production of The Gauntlet, Eastwood and Locke’s relationship first became known to the public, which raised some eyebrows as the two were already married at the time. Eastwood quickly separated from his first wife Maggie Johnson, although they were not legally divorced until 1984.

Locke’s marital situation was somewhat different. In 1967, she married her closest childhood friend, Gordon Leigh Anderson (she even took his name, legally Sandra Anderson), but it was never based on romance. Anderson was gay, and the two of them would later describe their relationship as more like siblings.

What Battles did Sondra Locke Have with Clint Eastwood?

According to Vanity Fair, their relationship soured in 1978 when Locke discovered she was pregnant. At the time, Locke was still married to Anderson. Eastwood is not happy to hear the news of her pregnancy and urges her to have an abortion.

She agreed to have an abortion, to be pregnant again the following year. Locke claims that Eastwood even encouraged her to have a vasectomy. Locke took the matter to court and filed an alimony lawsuit. In the report, she explained how she was kicked out of the house.

She sued Eastwood for emotional distress and breach of contract, among other things. During the legal battle, Locke asked to retain ownership of the Bel-Air house and property in the Hollywood Hills. She also mentioned two abortions and tubal ligation in her statement.

After a year of legal battles, Vanity Fair reported, Locke dropped the lawsuit after Eastwood promised him a three-year development contract to oversee Warner Bros. She received $1.5 million and Warner Bros. gave him an office.

Locke later revealed that she had never worked on any of the films and that Warner Bros. rejected all his plans. In 1996, she again sued Eastwood for fraud. Locke claims the project development deal she accepted was a pre-planned trick so she could give up the palimony suit.

She accused Eastwood of paying to create a deadlocked career for her. In the lawsuit, Locke demanded $2 million in damages. Eastwood settles the case with her.

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