What Clint Eastwood's Exes Have Said About Him

There's no question that Clint Eastwood is a Hollywood legend. He started his career as a screen actor in 1955, and over the years, he's established himself as a powerful director, actor, and producer, winning four Academy Awards and numerous other accolades over his decades in the entertainment business. Eastwood's work has remained so recognizable throughout his career that you'd be hard pressed to find a movie fan who isn't familiar with his name and films. His personal life, however, may be a different matter. 

Eastwood stars in some of the best Westerns out there, but while it's not as well known, his love life has been just about as colorful as his movie career. Though he's only been married twice, he's accumulated a large number of exes over the decades, and has eight children with six different women. 

As one might expect, this means that the actor's private life has been quite tumultuous at times, and as such, several of his former lovers have shared their positive and negative thoughts about him over the years. Do they consider Eastwood a respected Hollywood star or a terrible person – or both? Here's a look at what the women from Clint Eastwood's philandering past have said about him. 

Maggie Johnson was smitten by Eastwood, but their marriage wasn't built to last

Clint Eastwood's first marriage was also his longest. He married Maggie Johnson in 1953, and while they legally separated in 1979, they didn't get a divorce until 1984. Perhaps befitting the future movie star, the pair's first meeting was extremely cinematic. "I came down the stairs of the sorority house, and [Clint] had his back to me," Johnson described the occasion in Richard Schickel's book "Clint Eastwood: A Biography." "When he turned around, I was amazed at what he looked like. Plus, he was understated, and that kind of appealed to me."

The first meeting was supposed to be a casual double date, but something clicked. Eastwood and Johnson started dating, married, and had two children. However, they may have been together for a long time, but their domestic life wasn't always blissful. Eastwood's first marriage was marred by a lengthy affair with actor and stuntperson Roxanne Tunis, which Johnson knew about. He also had a relationship with another actor, Sondra Locke, during the last years of the marriage.

After Eastwood and Johnson legally separated, the children stayed with her while Eastwood lived on the other side of the street. Though lifelong romance wasn't in the cards, the exes have remained on great terms over the years, seeing as Johnson attended the premiere of Eastwood's 2018 movie "The Mule."

Sondra Locke went from romance to litigation

Sondra Locke was an actor and director who was nominated for a best supporting actress Academy Award. She met Eastwood in 1975 while filming "The Outlaw Josey Wales." The two went on to make several more movies together in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though they were both married when they met, they also started a romantic relationship.

In the early years of their relationship, Locke was secretive about the affair. "Everybody would love for us to say, 'It's all true, we're madly in love,'" she told People in 1978. "But people will believe whatever they want to believe. Even if it were true — which it isn't — I certainly wouldn't talk about it." However, the pair's relationship eventually deteriorated, and Locke's career was left hurting to the point that it's probably fair to say she'd be more famous if she hadn't ticked Eastwood off

Eastwood ended the relationship in 1989 by removing Locke's belongings from their house and changing the locks. "He had every right, if he didn't love me, to end the relationship," Locke told The Independent. "But he didn't have the right to ... treat me that way. That's where the line is drawn with Clint. He has all the rights and you have none, across the board, no matter the situation." Locke sued Eastwood for palimony the same year, and after suspecting that a studio deal that was included in the eventual settlement wasn't being honored, sued him for fraud in 1996. Again, Eastwood settled.

Frances Fisher has no problem with Eastwood

In 1989, Clint Eastwood both broke up with Sondra Locke and started a new relationship with Frances Fisher, who acted in that year's "Pink Cadillac" and later Eastwood movies "Unforgiven" and "True Crime." Fisher's first real impression of Eastwood came at the "Pink Cadillac" party, and she told People in 1992 that the actor-director came across as surprisingly mellow. "My first impression was, 'He doesn't look so tough,'" Fisher said. "He's got such a gentle bearing in real life. We had a very good connection right away." She also confirmed that the relationship was doing quite well. "It's serious, and we have a lot of fun."

Fisher and Eastwood had a daughter together, but their relationship didn't last. Much like he was still with Locke while he started dating Fisher, Eastwood started moving away from Fisher and toward his next major relationship — his second wife, Dina Ruiz — before things officially ended with Fisher in 1995.

However, the aftermath of the relationship was substantially different than Eastwood's breakup with Locke had been. In fact, Fisher doesn't seem to hold any ill will toward him. "I believe when you have loved someone, if you don't destroy it with pettiness, then the love is always there," she told SF Gate in 2004. 

Dina Eastwood liked her husband even while she was divorcing him

Clint Eastwood met reporter Dina Ruiz (who later became Dina Eastwood) when she interviewed him in 1993. While she wasn't immediately blown away, they later ended up sitting at the same table at a social event and got along very well. They started a relationship in 1994, married in 1996, and had a daughter later the same year. 

In an interview with Carmel Magazine, Dina Eastwood had kind things to say about her husband. "He's one of those people who takes bugs outside," she praised Eastwood. "I call him Saint Francis of Assisi." However, she also passingly noted that things could get overwhelming. "Being married to Clint is almost a full-time job, just trying to keep up with him," she said.

Dina took part in a 2012 reality show called "Mrs. Eastwood & Company," which may not have sat well with her extremely private husband — at least, judging by the way he stopped wearing his wedding ring that year. She filed for divorce in 2013 and in 2014, the marriage ended. Divorce is sometimes tragic, and indeed, Dina told E! Online in 2013 that the sole reason she sought divorce was that she realized the relationship was truly over. Still, she maintained a positive view of her soon-to-be ex-husband. "He is the sweetest — he is a loving, kind, low-key person, so my intuition was still great on marrying a good person," she said.