Happy birthday Eastwood as acting legend turns 80

The California-born actor, director, producer and composer has set the standard for Hollywood newcomers with a slew of awards and honours that has already earned him a place in movie history as one of the most prolific stars of his generation.

WENN would like to wish Eastwood the very best as he enters life as an octogenarian.

To mark the occasion, WENN has trawled through the archives and dug out 10 fascinating facts about the Dirty Harry star:

– The actor is a junior – his father is Clinton Eastwood, Sr.

– He lost his virginity at the age of 14.

– Eastwood was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 for the Korean War but never got a chance to fight for his country.

– His acting breakthrough came in 1959 when he landed a starring role on TV western Rawhide. The series ended in 1965.

– Eastwood served as the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea in his native California for two years from 1986.

– So far in his career, he has won five Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards and has been honoured with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

– As vigilante Inspector Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry franchise, Eastwood never said what is perhaps his most attributed quote, “Do you feel lucky, punk?” Instead, while pointing his gun at a bank robber in the opening sequence of the 1971 movie, he said, “Being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”

– Eastwood was approached by 007 bosses to take over the role of James Bond when Sean Connery quit the franchise in 1983 – but he turned down the job because he was convinced the superspy should be played by a British actor.

– At 78, he became the oldest leading man to score a U.S. box office number one when his drama Gran Torino, which he also directed, opened at the top of the charts upon its release in January, 2009. It grossed over $268 million (£178.7 million) worldwide and is his highest-grossing film to date.

– Eastwood has seven children by five different women, but has only been married twice.