An American actor with over fifty years of film and television performances under his belt, Clint Eastwood is an icon in his own right – cigar or no cigar! Emerging as a star of the Western genre during the 1960s, Eastwood has worked in Hollywood on many projects in the roles of actor, director and producer. Clint Eastwood has become something of a cigar-smoking icon over the years, with a cigar featured in a number of his films. Despite this, Eastwood himself does not smoke, instead keeping the cigars for the screen alone. Today, we take a look at Eastwood’s life and his association with cigars.
During the 1950s, Clint Eastwood moved to Los Angeles, where he began a string of unsuccessful auditions. During much of the ‘50s, Eastwood was only cast in a few small bit parts in movies. His big break came in 1959 when he landed the role of Rowdy Yates in Rawhide. He stayed on the show until 1965.
The 1960s saw Eastwood’s career take off, with the release of the Dollars Trilogy – A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Firmly establishing the Spaghetti Western genre, and putting Eastwood on the map, these films are still considered some of the best Western films ever made.
In the films, Eastwood plays ‘the man with no name’, a bounty hunter who faces his fair share of stand-offs and showdowns – gun in hand and cigar in mouth! The iconic images of Eastwood with a cigar between his teeth comes from this film trilogy, with the character helping to popularise cigar smoking at the time. While Eastwood himself didn’t smoke, ‘the man with no name’ had a taste for short and cheap cigars – not something you’d want to smoke nowadays, but the perfect choice for such an iconic Western character.
It is still unknown precisely what cigar Eastwood was smoking in the films. As the films were Italian, some have guessed at the cigars being Toscano, although Clint himself asserts that they were American cigars called ‘Virginians’. Based on this, cigar aficionados reckon that it may have been the nub of a Marsh Wheeling cigar.
As Eastwood wasn’t a smoker himself, the cigar is often left unlit throughout the films, merely held between the teeth instead. It is occasionally lit for dramatic effect.
Looking to distance himself from Westerns to avoid being typecast, Eastwood went on to star in a number of different movies. As well as this, he used his earnings from the Dollars Trilogy to begin his own production company, Malpaso Productions. In 1971, he debuted as a director for the film Play Misty for Me – a film he also starred in with a leading role and produced. Another iconic role came in the form of 1971’s Dirty Harry, which led to a subsequent four sequels. Over his long career, Eastwood has earned a wide range of accolades, including Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Director’s Guild of America Awards.
While you probably don’t want to try the cigar’s he was smoking in the 1960s, if you’ve been inspired by Eastwood’s ‘the man with no name’, then why not check out the range of cigars available here at Havana House!
Image Credit: DexMorgan