Clint Eastwood
Jade Small
Jade Small
February 19, 2024 ·  5 min read

Clint Eastwood reveals a story he’s kept quiet about for over 60 years

Clint Eastwood is not only an actor and a brilliant filmmaker. The 92-year-old A-lister has been an icon idolized by the male half of the human race since his name was on the map. In addition to raising a family of his own, he has created a world within the movie business. Although, he harbored a secret for many years, dating back to when he was in the Navy before his rise to stardom.

Clint Eastwood Served in the Navy

For about 60 years, Clint Eastwood held onto the memory of a traumatic experience before he became famous. He chose not to talk about it for so long until his memories were triggered. During the filming of “Sully,” about a pilot who executed an emergency landing over the Hudson River. The scene where the plane crashed felt all too real for Eastwood because it was. He too is a survivor of a plane crash. “I know the anxieties when the engines are out and you’re heading toward the water,” said Eastwood.

Clint Eastwood served in the US military as a swimming instructor from 1951 to 1953. During that time, he hitched a ride on a Navy plane that had issues just off the coast of San Francisco. They were forced to crashland into the Pacific Ocean, and the plane sank. Clint Eastwood only opened up much later about the whole ordeal. “What was going through my mind was just a stark fear, a stark terror, because (in the) first place, I didn’t know anything about aviation at that particular time — I was just hopping a ride,” he said in 2015.

In 2016, he described the experience to Parade magazine. “We took off in all kinds of bad weather and we had all kinds of problems with oxygen running out,” he recalled. “Finally we got to San Francisco; we were going to Alameda airbase and it was very stormy. The radios didn’t work so he went out to sea and finally found a hole through the clouds where you could see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.”

It Looks Like We’re Going Swimming

Clint Eastwood described how the plane bounced when it hit the water. He recreated this realistic effect in the movie Sully. “We hit the water and bounced about pretty good, much like the plane does in Sullenberger’s caseThen the plane went up and started sinking,” he said. “I’m unbuckling to get out and the plane is facing downward but it had big flaps so I’m standing on the flap.

Eastwood described how the pilot climbed down to him from the cockpit. Together they concluded that they were going to have to swim. “What do you think?” Eastwood remembered the pilot saying to him. “It looks like we’re going swimming.”

After that, Eastwood and the pilot jumped into the water and started swimming toward the shore. Unfortunately, they lost each other in the waves, but they both survived they swam. Clint hiked to a “relay station up on a cliff near Bolinas, California.” the whole experience allowed him to create a brilliantly realistic plane crash scene in Sully“It was an interesting choice to direct this film,” he admitted. “I guess I’m just about as knowledgeable as anybody could’ve gotten.”

Read: Clint Eastwood, 91, on aging: ‘I don’t look like I did at 20, so what?’

The Life of Clint Eastwood

Lovers of spaghetti western movies will remember Clint Eastwood fondly. His very name strikes up images of rough and tough cowboys riding horses through the planes of the south. He was born in San Francisco to a family that moved around a lot. Unfortunately, he did not have the easiest childhood, as his parents struggled to put food on the table. Then, as mentioned, he joined the Navy in 1951 After he completed his military service in the Navy he moved to Los Angeles to begin a career in acting.

Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Westerns
Image credit: MGM | YouTube

Eastwood’s big break came in 1959 when he landed a role on the popular television series “Rawhide.” He played the role of Rowdy Yates, a young cowboy who worked on a cattle drive. Then, after a few years of job-searching, Eastwood’s career took off in the mid-1960s when he began starring in spaghetti westerns. Movies like: “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964), “For a Few Dollars More” (1965), and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” (1966) became classics of today.

The Eastwood Family Clan

Aside from being a military man, actor, and filmmaker, he was also married three times. While he was dating Maggie Johnson, he had an affair with an anonymous woman. She fell pregnant, although she did not inform Clint. Their daughter, Laurie Murray, was adopted. In spite of the affair, Maggie Johnson still became Clint’s first wife in 1953. They only had their first child in 1969. However, Clint had another affair and welcomed his second child, Kimber Lynn Eastwood, into the world in 1964. Maggie and Clint finally had their first child in 1968, Kyle, and Allison joined their family in 1972.

Eastwood Family
Image credit: Daily Mail | YouTube

Clint then had two children with a flight attendant, Jacelyn Reeves. they had two children, Scott, 1986, and Catherine, 1988. Next, he had one child with British actress, Frances Fisher. Francesca Eastwood was born in 1993. In 1996, Clint Eastwood married Dina Ruiz. They had a daughter together, Morgan. Unfortunately, their marriage did not last, and they parted ways in 2014. He soon started dating Christina Sandera, although he has not asked her to marry him. He says he “loves” her, but sees no point in tying the knot officially.

Keep Reading: Will Smith’s ‘heart shattered’ when his son Jaden Smith asked about becoming an emancipated minor at 15


  1. Clint Eastwood opens up about near-death emergency sea landing.” Toronto Sun. September 6, 2016
  2.  “Pvt. Clint Eastwood’s downed plane off Point Reyes subject of search.” Mercury News. Mark Prado. April 20, 2018.
  3.  “Clint Eastwood’s 8 Children: Everything to Know.” People. Emma LaCroix. March 23, 2023.