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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Who is Sondra Locke?

Who is Sondra Locke? She was the leading lady in several of Clint Eastwood's movies. Locke is an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated American actress, singer and film director, best known for frequently starring in films with Clint Eastwood. She made her film debut in 1968 in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Sondra Locke was born May 28, 1947 in Shelbyville, Tennessee, she was valedictorian of the Shelbyville Central High School class of 1962. Locke attended Middle Tennessee State University for a year, before dropping out to pursue an acting career. She won a nationwide talent search for the 1968 film The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,

in which she played a lonely teenager who develops a bond with a deaf-mute man (played by Alan Arkin).


Locke was nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes for her role in the film. In the following years, she appeared in a number of independent films such as Willard

and guest starred on television shows, including Barnaby Jones

and Kung Fu.




Locke's career gained momentum in 1976 when she played a young pioneer woman opposite Clint Eastwood


in the western classic The Outlaw Josey Wales. With Eastwood as her leading man, Locke went on to star in a number of blockbuster hits. Her most notable film roles include playing a foul-mouthed prostitute in The Gauntlet,

a country singer in Every Which Way But Loose and its sequel,

Any Which Way You Can,

a spoiled heiress in Bronco Billy,

and a revenge-seeking murderess in Sudden Impact.

Locke has recorded several songs, including some for the Which Way films. At one point, she was trying to get a record contract. Locke made her directing debut in 1986 with the comedy Ratboy later directed the thriller Impulse in 1990. Both films were produced by Clint Eastwood. After that, she worked only in television and independent films. Locke hasn't worked in the film industry since 1999.


In 1967, Locke married her childhood friend Gordon Anderson,

who has since been outed as a homosexual. In her autobiography, Locke says that she never had sexual relations with her husband, and that she married him after he told her he was gay. When she began her affair with Eastwood, Anderson was already living with another man. However, they are still very close friends and remain legally married to this day.


Sondra Locke first met Clint Eastwood in 1972 when she auditioned for his film Breezy. They eventually became frequent costars and lovers. They began their romantic relationship during the filming of The Outlaw Josey Wales and lived together for the next 14 years.[1].
Her autobiography The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly


includes a harrowing account of her years with Eastwood. When their relationship ended, Locke filed a palimony suit against Eastwood, asking for $1.3 million. It was reported that Eastwood had locked her out of the home they shared and placed all of her belongings in storage. Locke claimed that Eastwood made her have two abortions and a tubal ligation. Eastwood has adamantly denied the allegations.
In 1991, they agreed to meet privately and reach an agreement; it consisted of Eastwood giving Locke a "pay or play" directing deal with Warner Bros., but the studio never produced her proposed films nor hired her to direct. In 1996, they were back in court. Locke hired famed entertainment attorney Neil Papiano


and filed another lawsuit, this time against Warner Bros., alleging that the company had never intended to make any films with her, and that Eastwood had compensated Warner Bros. for the contract. In 1999, they settled out of court for a reported $7 million settlement, details of which were not publicly disclosed. The case is used in some modern law school contracts textbooks to illustrate the legal concept of good faith.



Locke recently sold her home in Los Angeles and bought a much larger estate in the Hollywood Hills where she resides with her companion of the last 12 years, Scott Cunneen,

a director of surgery at Cedars Sinai Hospital. [1]
Locke is a breast cancer survivor. [1]

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