22 May Clint Eastwood – A Veteran To Oscar-Winning Actor/Director
Long before the Hollywood star Clint Eastwood gained worldwide popularity, he served in the U.S. Army as a swimming instructor at Ft. Ord. Born in San Francisco on May 31, 1930, Clint Eastwood worked as a lumberjack and forest fighter before his military career took off. He also took competitive swimming lessons in high school, which, luckily, turned out to be quite beneficial for him.
This oscar-winning director tried enrolling in Seattle University to give his life a new direction. However, he was recruited in the U.S. Army to serve in the Korean War in 1951.
“I was drafted during the Korean War. None of us wanted to go; it was only a couple of years after World War II had ended. We said, ‘Wait a second? Didn’t we just get through with that?” says Eastwood.
It was during those early days of the Korean War when Eastwood started using his swimming skills. He was sent to Ft. Ord in California to receive military training and got a job as a swimming instructor there. He even worked as a bouncer in a nightclub during the weekends.
On a trip back home to visit his parents, Clint Eastwood took a ride aboard on a navy plane Douglas AD-1Q. However, the plane developed some engine trouble and they were forced to land on the waters of the pacific ocean. His swimming skills finally paid off when he had to swim 2 miles through the shark-infested tides to get to the shore.
Even though he had no plans to join the military, this experience set the game for him. The U.S. military taught him to be disciplined and persistent. In fact, he was one of the rarest Hollywood stars ever to survive a plane crash.
During his active duty, Eastwood met the legendary stars Martin Milner, Richard Long and David Janssen.
After retiring from the military in 1953, he finally enrolled in L.A. City College and studied drama. He began his acting career humbly and eventually found worldwide fame through movies like Spaghetti Westerns and the Dirty Harry series.