By Maria Scinto
December 3, 2021
While the word "star" seems to be applied rather loosely these days to anyone with more than a handful of social media followers, very few celebrities ever make the leap from stardom to true A-list status. Among this tiny handful is Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood, who, in the world of celebrity, is about as iconic as it gets.
Although hard to believe, Eastwood didn't even really aspire to be an actor during his early years and was initially just looking for an easy gig. Of course, the actor went on to enjoy a long and successful career in film, becoming one of the biggest names in Hollywood. In fact, Eastwood was so in-demand that he even turned down some major roles.
In the 1950s, before Eastwood hit the big time, the actor had signed a seven-year movie contract with Universal Pictures. According to Screen Rant, he only managed to land a few minor roles as a contract player, appearing in films such as "Revenge of the Creature." Then, suddenly, the studio decided to end Eastwood's contract early.
During an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" back in February 2000, fellow actor Burt Reynolds shed light on the real reason Clint Eastwood was fired by Universal Pictures. Speaking to host Larry King, Reynolds recalled how he himself was also fired by the same studio, but for very different reasons.
"I always tell the story that we were fired the same day, but we weren't. We were fired the same year." Reynolds continued, "he [Eastwood] was fired because his Adam's apple stuck out too far. He talked too slow. And he had a chipped tooth and he wouldn't get it fixed. And I said, 'Why are you firing me?' And they said, 'You can't act.'"
Reynolds also revealed that he didn't exactly play the sympathetic friend when he learned of Eastwood's misfortune. Instead, he told the future "Dirty Harry" star, "You know, you are really screwed, because I can learn how to act. You can't get rid of that Adam's apple." Speaking to CNN's King, Reynolds also disclosed that years later, Eastwood eventually worked for Universal Pictures again and "got a million dollars."
So, in the end, it seems Eastwood had the last laugh.