In May 2020 Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood marked a significant milestone when he celebrated his 90th birthday. Yet while the actor and director has built a legendary career during that time, people have been just as gripped by his eventful behind-the-scenes love life. So when Closer Weekly reported that an inside source has just come clean about Eastwood’s eyebrow-raising romance with Christina Sandera, his fans were all ears.
This is not the first time that Eastwood has caused a scandal off camera, after all. The acting legend has been married twice already, and he has also engaged in other high-profile relationships. In fact, Eastwood’s second marriage only officially came to an end in 2014 – the same year that he connected with his current girlfriend.
But, as you would expect from such an icon, Eastwood rarely discusses his private life in public. We are, after all, talking about a Hollywood star who will only reluctantly sit down to chat about his latest movie release. So if his fans are hoping to get the inside scoop on his love life from the man himself, they’ll undoubtedly be disappointed. Yet there are plenty of other people who are willing to dish the dirt on the Oscar-winning director.
So while details had been thin on the ground regarding Eastwood and Sandera’s relationship, his fans were offered a tantalizing glimpse in June 2020. That’s when an alleged inside source spoke to Closer Weekly magazine in the wake of the actor’s 90th birthday – and revealed exactly what goes on behind the scenes of this high-profile romance.
Mind you, the star did appear to be in a reflective mood in the days before he became a nonagenarian. And that was readily apparent when he agreed to an interview with the Daily Mirror. During that conversation, the star even opened up about his feelings on aging.
“Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it,” Eastwood told the newspaper in May 2020. “When you’re young, you’re very reckless. Then you get conservative. Then you get reckless again. As you get older, you’re not afraid of doubt. Doubt isn’t running the show. You take out all the self-agonizing.”
Eastwood then made an interesting suggestion about his career in Hollywood. The star said, “I do want to continue to progress in life, still at my age. I don’t want to stand still or go backwards. You never know when you’re going to give up. But I’m enjoying it.”
And that certainly seems to be the case. In fact, Eastwood’s latest credits showcase the continued passion he has for the movie industry. The versatile filmmaker directed and starred in 2018’s The Mule, which was a decent hit with audiences around the world. Then Eastwood helmed the 2019 movie Richard Jewell, helping co-star Kathy Bates earn an Oscar nomination.
That’s an admirable amount of output for a man who’s enjoyed a career in Hollywood spanning over six decades. After all, Eastwood made his acting debut back in 1955 with an uncredited role in Revenge of the Creature. The future star would then go on to appear in three more films that year alone. Few people would have concerned themselves with details of the star’s private life at that point, mind you.
In fact, it wouldn’t be until the end of the 1950s that people really started to take notice of Eastwood. This is despite the actor featuring in seven projects on the big and small screens in 1956 alone. And from there, Eastwood’s schedule showed no signs of letting up – even if his various credits are not for anything particularly memorable.
But as the 1950s came to a close, Eastwood scored one of the leading roles in a new TV series titled Rawhide. The show ran for six years, lasting a total of eight seasons. The star appeared in all 217 episodes, too, and this unsurprisingly affected his other output. But it did make Eastwood a household name – and no doubt started the public’s fascination with the actor.
It probably didn’t hurt that while Eastwood only featured in four other projects during Rawhide’s lengthy run on the small screen, one of those performances would go on to define his acting career. Of course, we’re referring to 1964’s A Fistful of Dollars – the opening entry in the famed Dollars Trilogy from director Sergio Leone.
Eastwood then appeared in high-profile movies over the next few years and established himself as a Hollywood mainstay. These included the likes of Where Eagles Dare and Kelly’s Heroes. Plus, 1971’s Play Misty for Me marked his debut behind the camera. And, as is usually the case when an actor’s star rises, the public started to become more and more interested in his tumultuous private life.
In front of the camera, though, Eastwood continued to score many iconic roles. He kick-started the Dirty Harry franchise in 1971, for instance, and he starred in the western classic The Outlaw Josey Wales. The performer also showcased his comedic chops in 1978’s Every Which Way but Loose. But then things started to go a little wrong – publicly and behind the scenes.
Eastwood talked to the Daily Mirror about how he fared during the subsequent decades. He said, “The 1980s were a transition period for me, but the 1990s were pretty good because I brought out Unforgiven, which I had for many years – a story I had sat on. Then I started playing older people with certain regrets and problems to overcome.” But Eastwood’s only talking about his career here. He makes no mention of the daughter he kept secret from the public until 1989, for instance.
On the career front, though, Eastwood has been overwhelmingly successful. He’s picked up more than 150 awards from various organizations and earned over 170 nominations. As a director, his highest-grossing movie is 2014’s American Sniper, which brought in roughly $547 million at the global box office. That surpassed his previous best of $270 million for Gran Torino, which came out six years earlier.
But away from Hollywood, Eastwood’s love life has had its fair share of drama. As we mentioned earlier, he’s been a two-time husband – enjoying relationships with Maggie Johnson and Dina Ruiz. And in addition to that, Eastwood has been involved in some other high-profile romances – and scandalous affairs – down the years.
This is a man, after all, who has welcomed at least eight kids into the world – from six different romances. And we say at least eight because, frankly, Eastwood has never confirmed the actual number. When CBS’ Steve Kroft asked the actor about this in 2004, for instance, Eastwood simply said, “I have a few.” The star did admit, however, that this situation is “unconventional.”
In June 2020 Closer Weekly quoted a source allegedly with ties to Eastwood about his relationship with the kids. They said, “[He] keeps in touch with all eight of his children and their families. He’s taken great comfort that at this time of his life, all his kids are close.” This is during his current relationship with Sandera, too.
So let’s look closer at Eastwood’s relationship with Christina Sandera. As we touched upon earlier, the pair formed a connection in 2014 – and they met in curious circumstances. At the time, you see, she had a job at the Mission Ranch Hotel – an establishment owned by the Hollywood legend.
Eastwood was introduced to Sandera when she held a hostess position at the hotel. After that, they eventually made their romance public at the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony – when they arrived on the red carpet together. Sandera was also invited to live in the icon’s house in Carmel, California. The first thing people noted, of course, was the age disparity between the pair. After all, Sandera had already registered 19 film and television appearances by the time she was born in 1964.
Before meeting Eastwood, though, Sandera had also gone through some difficult spells in her personal life. For instance, she was previously with a man named Paul Wainscott back in the early 2000s. And during their relationship, he leveled serious accusations her way on two different occasions.
According to the She Knows website, Wainscott claimed that Sandera had physically abused him – and accused her of being a “violent alcoholic.” He reportedly first contacted the authorities in 2003 and did so again the following year when the pair were living together as husband and wife.
So Sandera soon found herself in front of a judge and facing charges of domestic violence. But she managed to avoid any punishment for that accusation and instead pleaded guilty to a disturbance of the peace charge. Then Sandera hit back at Wainscott when the two eventually got a divorce.
According to the documents from their case, you see, Sandera insisted that Wainscott’d blown her alleged actions out of proportion. Yet Eastwood’s future partner did reveal that she’d taken part in 15 anger management sessions to curb her behavior.
The public was given another intriguing glimpse of Sandera’s relationship with Eastwood via the apparent insider we referenced earlier. The anonymous individual told Closer Weekly magazine, “He’s truly happy with her. She’s fun, easygoing and his kids like her, too. She’s on an even keel like he is.”
The alleged insider then shed some light on another aspect of Eastwood’s life. They added, “He eats healthy and has a private chef who cooks high protein, low-fat cuisine for him. He exercises every day, with weight training, and he still does push-ups!”
But it turns out that the specialized diet isn’t anything new for Eastwood. During an interview with GQ magazine in November 2009, he noted that he was following a specific regimen to stay healthy. The Hollywood veteran also spoke about why he was so keen to look after his body. And no, it’s not all about impressing the ladies.
Eastwood told the publication, “You know, I take care of myself. The only thing special about [my diet] is I just try to watch the intake of saturated fats. I was blessed with a reasonable system that just never put on a lot of weight, so I always took advantage of that.”
“I remember I had a friend who had been in the war in Korea and had been shot up a lot,” Eastwood continued. “He came back, and he became very religious. He’d always preach, ‘God gives you one body; you should take care of it.’ And I’ve never philosophized or expounded on philosophies that I’ve had, but I basically feel that way.”
Eastwood tries to keep his mind sharp, too. But this is more for himself than for any other… interests. And he revealed his decades-long interest in meditation during that same conversation with GQ. In the actor’s opinion, routines of that type are the perfect preparation ahead of a long day on a film set.
Eastwood explained, “[I meditate] twice a day. It works great because it just gives you a chance to gather your thoughts. I’m religious about it when I’m working. I visualize whole sequences in the morning before I go. I believe in whatever self-help you can give yourself, whether you believe in Buddha or whatever.”
“Meditation with me was just a self-reliant thing,” Eastwood told the magazine. “I’ve been doing it [for] almost 40 years. But I don’t go out and sell it. A lot of other people find meaning some other way, screaming in the street or whatever it is that gets it for you.”
But while Eastwood still keeps himself fit and mentally active, he’s not afraid to talk about the subject of death, either. That became apparent in his conversation with the Daily Mirror, as he looked back on his parents’ lives. His dad Clinton’s passing was particularly difficult, it seems, and it ultimately inspired him to abandon thoughts of giving up work.
“All [my dad] ever dreamed about was retiring,” Eastwood informed the newspaper in May 2020. “And so he did, [at] around 60. He didn’t last very long.” As for his mom, Ruth, she was approaching her centenary year when she passed in 2006.
Much like with Eastwood’s dad, the experience of losing his mother ingrained something in the star’s mind. As he explained, “[My mom] was 97 and almost voluntarily bailing out. I learned from my mother that when the time comes that you don’t enjoy it, that’s a good time to give it up. We all die eventually.”
But as the inside source noted earlier, Eastwood is savoring his life right now. And there have even been some suggestions in the past that he and Sandera might be eyeing a wedding of their own in the future. The speculation even heated up on social media in 2018, as fans wondered if the father-of-eight would walk down the aisle for the third time.
As of yet, though, Eastwood and Sandera have made no mention of taking the next step in their relationship. And judging by the Hollywood legend’s comments to the Daily Mirror, it might stay that way. He said, “They say marriages are made in heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.”
On the work front, then, Eastwood currently has no movie or TV projects in development. But given how he talks about work, that could change sooner rather than later. His closing words to the U.K. newspaper certainly suggest that he’s not done yet anyway.
“I probably would have retired years ago if I hadn’t found interesting things to do,” Eastwood admitted ahead of his landmark 90th birthday. “[But] I’ve enjoyed the journey to this stage, so I intend to enjoy the rest of the journey – a long one I hope. I’m a lucky b*****d.”
This is not the only gossip that has centered on Eastwood in recent years, though. When the esteemed actor and director appeared with his family at the premiere of his 2018 movie, The Mule, he had a surprise in store for celebrity-watchers. Indeed, some eagle-eyed fans later noticed an unexpected detail in the photographs of the actor and his children that were uploaded to Instagram after the event. They counted, in fact, not seven Eastwood offspring – the number of kids previously associated with the star – but eight. The film legend, it seemed, had revealed a secret daughter.
Anyone present at the birth of Eastwood in May 1930 may well have predicted big things for him. He made an impressive entrance, after all, weighing in at more than 11 pounds. Eastwood began life in San Francisco, but his childhood saw the family live in various places along the Pacific coast of the U.S. before making a home in Piedmont, California.
Eastwood then enjoyed a comfortable upbringing in East California; his parents had a pool, a country club membership and two cars. But despite his family’s affluence, he didn’t excel at school. In fact, low academic achievement saw him kept back at middle school and meant that he had to spend a summer trying to catch up with his peers.
And high school didn’t see Eastwood fare much better. For one thing, he was quite the prankster, and a series of mischievous acts ultimately led to the termination of his education at Piedmont High. A transfer to Oakland Technical High ensued, but it’s not certain whether or not the rebellious Eastwood ever actually graduated.
And so, for now, Eastwood’s school days were over – although he later would complete a short stint at Los Angeles City College and in the early 1950s apply to study at Seattle University. He consequently entered the world of work, taking up a range of positions, including in a grocery, as a fireman and even on a golf course as a caddy.
However, Eastwood’s working life and plans for future education were disrupted when the army called. Yet although he was enlisted during the time of the Korean War, he was never called on to fight in the conflict. Instead, the future star spent the whole of his time in the forces posted at Fort Ord in the north of California, where he acted as a lifeguard.
It can’t be said that Eastwood’s military life was entirely free from excitement, though. At one point, for instance, a bomber in which he was flying fell out of the sky having exhausted its fuel supply. The plane subsequently plowed into the sea close to Point Reyes, Northern California – and Eastwood simply swam a couple of miles to dry land.
Then, in the early 1950s, Eastwood – after reportedly being scouted whilst at Fort Ord – tried out with the Universal film company. The studio signed him up, but he scored only small roles in films, including 1955’s Revenge of the Creature and Tarantula. And after Universal ultimately canned him that same year, Eastwood struggled – although a change of agent did give him glimpses of success. But then came a breakthrough.
In 1959 Eastwood appeared as cowboy Rowdy Yates in the CBS show Rawhide – and it was a role that would change his fortunes. He never really loved the character, though, believing he was too old for it. But the show was nonetheless a huge hit, and at last, Eastwood’s career was taking off.
But it was Eastwood’s next big venture that propelled him to worldwide fame. Said project was Italian director Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western trilogy – comprising of 1964’s A Fistful of Dollars, 1965’s For a Few Dollars More and 1966’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – in which Eastwood stars as The Man with No Name. Before being released in the U.S. in 1967, all three movies had pulled in big money at the Italian box office. And Eastwood’s role as the terse gunfighter made him a household name.
And further success for Eastwood followed with American westerns such as 1968’s Hang ’Em High and Don Siegel-directed police thriller Coogan’s Bluff, released the same year. The latter marked the start of a partnership between Eastwood and Siegel that would last more than a decade. In fact, Eastwood later stated that the director had shared with him filmmaking secrets that the actor himself put to good use.
Eastwood’s work with Siegel was to reach its peak, though, in 1971, when he starred in action movie Dirty Harry. Tough-guy cop Harry Callahan proved to be a well-loved character – so much so that four more Dirty Harry films were made. And, of course, the fourth movie in the series saw Eastwood utter one of Hollywood’s best-known lines: “Go ahead, make my day.”
Having become a massive star in front of the camera, Eastwood began to try his hand behind the camera, too. And as of today, he has directed more than 30 out of the 50 films that he has worked on. An impressive feat, as not many actors have transitioned successfully into the director’s chair.
And yet despite Eastwood’s fame, he has never won an Oscar for his acting abilities – though he’s been nominated twice. Conversely, he has scooped up two of the golden statuettes as a director. 1992’s Unforgiven and 2004’s Million Dollar Baby each earned Eastwood the coveted award, and both movies also topped the Academy’s list for Best Picture.
And even as he approaches his tenth decade, Eastwood is still making successful movies. 2018’s The Mule, for instance – in which he stars, produces and directs – was a hit for the screen icon. Although the movie didn’t receive rave reviews, Eastwood’s acting did gain praise, and it made a splash at the box office, too, grossing over $110 million worldwide.
Outside of his movie stardom, though, Eastwood’s love life has proved a constant fascination for the press. For one thing, he has tied the knot on two occasions. The first time came in 1953 with Maggie Johnson, and the second one began in 1996 with former newsreader Dina Ruiz. Even when married, though, he reportedly produced children with women other than his wives.
After meeting on a blind date, Eastwood and model Margaret “Maggie” Johnson wed in Pasadena in late 1953. However, the actor reportedly believes that he wasn’t ready for such a serious commitment, being just 23 years old at the time, and he supposedly didn’t remain faithful.
Indeed, it’s believed that Eastwood began a relationship with Rawhide stuntwoman Roxanne Tunis in 1959 – while still married to Johnson – which apparently went on for well over a decade. And in 1964 the affair led to the birth of a daughter, Kimber, whose existence was initially kept quiet.
So much so that the public didn’t find out about Kimber until 1989 when the National Enquirer exposed her true identity. It remains uncertain whether Johnson had been aware of the child’s birth – although Eastwood’s biographer Marc Eliot points out in American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood that “it would have been nearly impossible for her not to” given the difficulty of maintaining secrecy in Hollywood.
But whatever Johnson did or didn’t know about Kimber, it didn’t prevent her from having children of her own with Eastwood. In 1968 she gave birth to Eastwood’s first son, Kyle, followed with daughter Alison four years later. And while Alison has made her career largely in the film industry, Kyle chose to move into music as a jazz bassist.
What’s more, Eastwood then apparently set up home with Sondra Locke in 1975 – when he was legally still married to Johnson. According to Locke’s autobiography, the affair became intense, with Eastwood reportedly telling the actress that he’d “never been in love before.” She was heartbroken, she said, when she later found out that he’d supposedly been seeing other women while with her.
As mentioned above, Eastwood remained married to Johnson, before the couple officially ended their 31-year marriage in 1984. Locke, meanwhile, reportedly wanted a child with Eastwood, but she has claimed that he insisted a child wouldn’t have suited their relationship.
But be that as it may, Eastwood did have children during the 1980s. In fact, Eastwood had two children with a stewardess named Jacelyn Reeves. Yes, in 1986 Eastwood fathered son Scott with Reeves, and two years later daughter Kathryn came into the world.
And Scott and Kathryn’s identities were, too, kept secret, with Eastwood not even appearing on their birth certificates. It wasn’t until 1990 that the children’s names were made public knowledge, when Star magazine told all in a revealing article.
Meanwhile, in 1989, Locke and Eastwood seemingly endured a bitter split. According to her book, the pair fought out the aftermath in court for more than ten years. And in the end, Locke’s lawsuits were settled out of court.
Eastwood, in the meantime, had relationships with other women. His love interests ranged from musical star Barbra Streisand to Steve McQueen’s widow, Barbara Minty, and even included the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, the coastal California town where he would later serve as mayor.
And among those lovers was Frances Fisher, an actress Eastwood had first encountered while making 1989’s Pink Cadillac. She set up home with him in 1990, and their relationship would last for another four years. According to Patrick McGilligan’s book Clint: The Life and Legend, Fisher said of their liaison, “I simply felt that this was it, the big one.”
In 1993 Eastwood and Fischer welcomed a daughter, Francesca, reportedly the first of the actor’s children whose birth he had witnessed first-hand. That seemingly wasn’t enough to keep the couple together, however, and Eastwood subsequently began seeing news presenter Dina Ruiz.
However, Ruiz wasn’t to be just another girlfriend for Eastwood. In March 1996 the actor made her the second Mrs. Eastwood, and it seemed that he had finally found the perfect woman. “[Ruiz is] a very forthright kind of person,” he told Carmel magazine in 2007. “It’s one of those things you can’t put your finger on because it’s pheromones or something.”
And Ruiz became the mother of Eastwood’s child Morgan in 1996. The marriage didn’t last, however, ending in divorce at the end of 2004. At that point, then – and for years afterward – Eastwood had publicly acknowledged a total of seven children.
However, a 2018 Instagram post at last revealed a closely kept Eastwood secret. When the star’s extended family gathered for the premiere of The Mule in December, the cat was let out of the bag, as not seven but eight Eastwood progeny were snapped in one image for the very first time.
The uploader of said photograph was, in fact, Eastwood’s youngest child, Morgan. And she couldn’t contain her excitement. She told her Instagram followers, “So rare for all 8 Eastwood siblings to be in one room!!!” And older sister Alison echoed her, writing in a similar social media post, “I’m not sure there has ever been a picture of all 8 kids together, but here it is.”
That’s right, Eastwood finally chose to publicly acknowledge a daughter whom he had kept secret for years. Apparently, you see, he had had an affair during his engagement to Maggie Johnson – and the woman had fallen pregnant. The actor reportedly hadn’t known about the baby, though, and she had subsequently been adopted.
Three decades earlier, however, Eastwood’s daughter, Laurie Murray, had tracked him down. He had welcomed her, and they’d since become close. The two had enjoyed holidays together, for instance, and shared time on the golf course. And sharp-eyed observers might even have spotted Murray arm in arm with Eastwood’s mother, Ruth Wood, at the Oscars in 2004.
Indeed, Murray apparently wasn’t the best kept of secrets. A friend of the Eastwoods reportedly told the Daily Mail in December 2018, “We always wondered why [Murray] was never really widely known or widely acknowledged.” They also added, “[Eastwood] took [Murray] to the Oscars around the time that he was nominated for Mystic River with his mom and Dina.”
“Everyone in Lakewood knows that Clint Eastwood is [Murray’s] father and has done for about 20 years,” the friend continued. However, Murray doesn’t use the Eastwood name and lives quietly in the Washington town. Murray’s mother, meanwhile, didn’t wish to speak to her daughter after she had tracked her down. Murray is a mom herself, too, with two children of her own.
And Murray’s children, LT and Kelsey, also have good relationships with Eastwood. Indeed, they’ve even enjoyed a ski holiday with him. And LT is complimentary about his grandfather, telling the Daily Mail, “He’s been a great father to my mom and always great to me and my family whenever we see him.”
And Eastwood has certainly been there for his grandkids, too. He was at LT’s wedding in 2012, for instance, and even hosted Kelsey’s 2016 marriage. What’s more, it turns out that people in LT’s life have long known that he’s related to the movie star.
Reportedly speaking with the Daily Mail in 2018, a friend of LT’s explained, “Everyone knew that Clint was [LT’s] grandfather when he was in school.” And it has to be said that LT – who according to his Instagram profile is an actor, writer and poet – certainly looks a lot like a younger version of his grandfather.
Indeed, rumors of Murray’s existence have been out in the world for years. But it took a movie premiere for Eastwood to publicly acknowledge the child from the days before he became one of Hollywood’s biggest and most enduring names. The secret he kept hidden for three decades is now out in the open.