Sondra Locke Poster

Trivia (87)

Former partner of Clint Eastwood (1975-1989). They never married.

Co-starred with Clint Eastwood in six films: Any Which Way You Can (1980), Bronco Billy (1980), Every Which Way but Loose (1978), The Gauntlet (1977), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) and Sudden Impact (1983).

Attended Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, on a full scholarship, dropping out after two semesters to work in real estate.

In high school she was voted 'Duchess of Studiousness' by her senior class. Grade average was 97.72%. Her ambition then, reads the 1962 edition of SCHS's Aquila yearbook: "Always to take disappointment with a smile".

Underwent a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. [September 1990]

While receiving cancer treatment at Cedars Sinai Hospital, she linked up with surgeon Scott Cunneen, seventeen years her junior. Cunneen's father was born in 1926 and his mother in 1941, just three years older than Locke. The romance ended because of their age difference.

Alpha Psi Omega alumni.

After starring in Willard (1971), about a boy who trains rats, she directed and starred in Ratboy (1986), about a boy who is half rat.

Posed for Playboy's "Sex Stars of 1969" issue in a seminude layout that was meant to change her plain-Jane image. Wrote in her memoir that she still gets those racy Frank Bez snapshots in fan mail for her autograph and cringes when she sees them.

Was offered to do the main role in Emmy-winning My Sweet Charlie (1970).

Appeared in a 1966 UPI wire photo that showed her frolicking in new fallen snow.

Owner of now-defunct production company, Caritas Films.

Autobiography "The Good, the Bad & the Very Ugly: A Hollywood Journey" released. [1997]

Blake Edwards promised her one of the two female leads in City Heat (1984) (ultimately played by Jane Alexander and Madeline Kahn) at a stage in development when Burt Reynolds had signed on but the role of the other leading man was yet to be filled. The actress later asserted that Edwards was merely using her to get to Clint Eastwood who'd already seen the script and turned it down, because once Eastwood changed his mind and came on board, Edwards dropped the idea of casting Ms. Locke.

Born the exact same day as Rudy Giuliani, Gladys Knight, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Billy Vera, Gary Stewart and Rita MacNeil.

Lobbied for the role of Pookie Adams in The Sterile Cuckoo (1969) which went to Liza Minnelli.

She had Scottish ancestry through her maternal side.

For publicity purposes, the spelling of her name was changed from Sandra to Sondra, six years chopped off her age, and her residence in Nashville, where she was employed by WSM-TV, wiped out. [July 1967]

Stage credits prior to her film career include "The Boy Friend", "The Crucible", "The Glass Menagerie", "Life with Father", "The Monkey's Paw", "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad", "A Thousand Clowns", "Tiger at the Gates", and "Turn of the Screw".

Did summer theater in Washington D.C. and summer stock in the East, but when she tried to become a professional actress in New York everyone told her to catch a bus back home.

Friendship with future California first lady Maria Shriver ended over Maria's refusal to take sides publicly in the litigious war between Sondra and Clint Eastwood.

On March 10, 1994, she filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against Warner Bros. claiming that the studio coaxed her into dropping a palimony suit against ex-significant other Clint Eastwood in exchange for a development deal; Locke claimed that she'd proposed some 30 projects - including what later became Junior (1994) and Addicted to Love (1997) - which were all rejected. Warner moved for summary judgment (typically requested when one side believes the case has no merit), which the court granted. Locke appealed. On August 26, 1997, the case was reinstated. A settlement was reached behind closed doors on May 24, 1999, minutes before jury selection was scheduled to begin. Eastwood was listed as a material witness for the lawsuit had it gone to trial, Locke's attorney Neil Papiano said.

Lost custody of her parrot Putty in breakup with Clint. The parrot was still alive as of 2003, renamed Paco.

Was the subject of Our Very Own (2005), a narrative film about five teenagers in Shelbyville, Tenn. who hope to meet Locke when she returns to town for the local premiere of Every Which Way but Loose (1978).

Even though she played the leading female role in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968), during Oscar season Warner Brothers decided they would suggest that voters consider her for Best Supporting Actress instead of Best Actress, to make winning easier. She lost anyway to Ruth Gordon (for Rosemary's Baby (1968)), who went on to co-star with Locke in Every Which Way but Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980).

Was voted Most Promising New Star by the United Motion Picture Association in 1968.

Turned down Barbara Hershey's role in Last Summer (1969).

Was considered for the role of Denise Marshall in Earthquake (1974) that went to Geneviève Bujold.

'Human failing', 'control freak', 'monster' and 'sociopath' are some of the vehement terms she used to describe Eastwood in her book. She also compared him to accused murderer O.J. Simpson. "Others who knew Clint said that I had been 'far too kind' to him," she noted.

First job was as a bookkeeper at Tyson chicken processing plant, circa 1961.

At the peak of her fame, late '70s, dabbled in music on the side and sung in small venues like LA's Palomino Club and on television, where she performed duets with Eddie Rabbitt, Phil Everly and Tom Jones.

In 1971, fifth-graders at Eastside Elementary in Shelbyville were left star-struck when Locke made a visit and held pretend auditions in the class to show them what it was like in Hollywood. One student, Cameron Watson, was inspired by Locke and is now an actor/director. Watson later wrote a screenplay, Our Very Own (2005), which paid homage to Locke and the influence she had on his group of friends. Naturally, she felt honored and accepted an invitation to be a special guest at the movie's premiere.

Name always was pronounced Sondra - or so she claimed - only spelled with an A. People kept calling her Sandy, so she cinched it with an O.

Shed her southern accent in studio diction class.

Locke was first introduced to future long-term love Clint Eastwood by screenwriter Jo Heims on the Universal lot in 1972. When she chatted with Eastwood in his office bungalow, he held a golf club the whole time and chipped balls across the room while she sat on the couch with her legs folded up underneath her, trying to convince him that she was the *only* actress to play the title role in his sophomore directorial effort, Breezy (1973). Producer Robert Daley was also there, but Locke never got an audition because she was simply too old to be credible in the part. They didn't see each other again until 1975.

Dated Kennedy clansman Robert Shriver, movie producer Hawk Koch, writer Philip Kaufman, real estate agent Herb Goldfarb, lawyer Gary Gober and actors Bo Hopkins, David Soul, Paul Sand, Bruce Davison and Robert Fields.

Mid '60s-era beau George Crook was elected mayor of Belle Meade, Tn. [2000]

A potentially interesting project that got away from Sondra was the film treatment of Robert Nathan's novel "The Color of Evening," to be directed by Frank De Felitta. Its tentative screen title was "Lovemakers" and Universal Pictures planned to begin filming in April 1969. Sondra was to receive a regular salary plus 10 percent of the profits to play an enigmatic heroine similar to the one in Nathan's Portrait of Jennie (1948). This particular character, Halys, is the love object of two artists, one middle-aged and the other young. Eli Wallach and Robert F. Lyons were being sought for those roles. Unfortunately the whole project fell apart for lack of funds.

Is cited under the pseudonym 'Miss Smith' in bestselling self-help book "Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach" (1982), co-authored by Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw.

Stuck to an avocado-and-grapefruit regimen for decades, practiced transcendental meditation (TM), and was a lifelong non-smoker save for a few film roles.

In 1992, she served as honorary chairwoman for the "Starry, Starry Night" auction in Costa Mesa, Calif. to benefit Human Options, a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Agent for most of her career was Leonard Hirshan.

Her publicist was Charlotte Parker.

Had a maternal half-brother named Donald Locke (born Donald Joseph Elkins on 26 April 1946), who ran an air-conditioning and refrigerator business. It wasn't until grammar school that Sandra found out not only did she and Don have different fathers, Alfred Locke - the man they called "Dad" - wasn't related to either of them. Alfred was the third husband of their mother Pauline, who also had an annulled marriage to painter Thomas H. Nelson.

Was a no show at her mother's funeral. [June 1997]

Widower Gordon Anderson is a sculptor very much in demand by private collectors. One of his creations, a miniature set of characters from Alice in Wonderland, was eventually acquired by Demi Moore.

Appeared in commercials for clothing store Rich-Schwartz, Belle Camp chocolates and Southerland mattresses during her modeling days in Nashville. As late as 1972 local stations still aired the mattress spot.

The role of Gus Mally in The Gauntlet (1977) was originally slated for Barbra Streisand, but Clint Eastwood grew impatient with her hesitance about taking the role and opted to cast his far less bankable live-in. 12 years later, Streisand would date Eastwood for a brief period immediately after he and Locke broke up. Coincidentally, she is now married to James Brolin whose first ex-wife, the late Jane Cameron Agee, was an old friend of Locke's - and alleged side piece of Eastwood's.

A strong believer in kismet.

She left behind a reported fortune of $20 million.

Ex-de-facto-daughter-in-law of Ruth Wood. Their last communication was a card Ruth sent Sondra over the Christmas holiday of 1989 with a tearful Winnie the Pooh drawing on the front, and printed inside: "I'm so sorry." It was actually in response to a Christmas card Sondra sent her.

Director Brian De Palma supposedly interviewed Locke for Carrie (1976), but her manager at the time advised against the studio's proposed scale salary. After she declined to do a screen test, the role was given to Sissy Spacek. What's ironic is that Locke was 32 in 1976 - twice the age of the character - and De Palma chose 29-year-old Betty Buckley to play Carrie's gym teacher.

She was robbed of her purse at knifepoint in 1974. Following the incident, she kept a .25 caliber automatic pistol in her house and often took it along when she went out alone.

Was naturally a brunette.

Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story (1982) is the only movie of hers in which she plays a mother.

Born four days after Patti LaBelle, one day before Helmut Berger and two days before Meredith MacRae, in the same month of the same year.

Favorite genre was suspense.

Was a star on her high school girls' basketball team, PTSA representative, president of the French club in her junior year and member of the National Honor Society.

Better known for her personal life than her work on-screen, she was more or less unanimously considered the worst actress to ever appear in multiple feature films.

Coming out of retirement, minus fanfare, to play Helen in Ray Meets Helen (2017) opposite Keith Carradine. No intention of getting back into the business, but she's a friend of director Alan Rudolph and his wife, and they gave her the script and she couldn't resist. Filming takes place in Lake Elsinore, Calif. [February 2016]

Before she sued Eastwood for fraud, Locke met with feminist attorney Gloria Allred. Allred was interested in the case but as gender discrimination. Locke felt that gender bias was not the primary issue and didn't want to risk being stereotyped. She ultimately hired Peggy Garrity to represent her. After a two-week trial, 10 out of 12 jurors were ready to decide in her favor. Eastwood, knowing the jig was up, suddenly offered a sizable settlement, which Locke accepted. Garrity recounts the courtroom drama in a new book, "In the Game: The Highs and Lows of a Trailblazing Trial Lawyer" (2016). In a surprising twist, she ended up having to sue Locke for cutting her out of $1 million in fees. That case, which garnered minimal press, was settled out of court in October 1999.

Was considered for the role of Ethel in Mountain Rest (2018).

In 1990, Locke was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. She died on November 3, 2018, at the age of 74 from a cardiac arrest related to breast and bone cancers. Her death was not publicly announced and was confirmed by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health six weeks after she died. There was no funeral or memorial service, and no explanation of why not. Her body was cremated and the ashes were given to her widower, Gordon Anderson, whom she married in 1967.

On her death certificate, she and Gordon Anderson are listed as residing at the same address. An AP report said attempts to reach Anderson for comment were unsuccessful.

She was standoffish toward her family and, upon hearing of her death, her half-brother said she'd only visited twice in 50 years.

Co-workers at WSM insinuated that Locke held a job in the Channel 4 PR department through a romantic tie with Bradford Francis Crandall, Jr. (1920 - 1973), the department head.

At one point, she discussed remaking the Gary Cooper/Ingrid Bergman classic Saratoga Trunk (1945) with Clint Eastwood as well as a movie about Marie Antoinette.

The aqua sequined gown she wore to the Academy Awards in 1969 was hand-sewn by WB seamstresses from her husband's design.

Employees at the box factory where her estranged mother worked were warned not to ask about Sondra, because she'd burst into tears at the mention of her name. Speaking on the record in 1989, Pauline Locke said she hadn't seen her daughter in about 15 years and shared the following thought: "One of those children Clint made her abort could have been the grandson I've always wanted." (Pauline's three grandchildren were all girls.).

Despite what her publicity suggested, at 5'4" she was not remarkably short - an illusion attributed to usually wearing flat shoes instead of heels and being paired with a tall actor in most of her films. Authentic stars such as Julie Christie and Natalie Wood, for counterexample, were a couple inches shorter than Locke was.

While it was common for women of Locke's era, especially actresses, to "fib" about their age, she took it to a whole other level, telling reporters during a junket for The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) that she was a dozen years younger than she really was. The Nashville Tennessean "outed" her in December 1967 and again in May 1989, yet she ceaselessly continued to lie about her age even near the end of her life. In her last interview for a podcast called The Projection Booth, she said that she "was just graduating high school" when she made The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968) when she was in fact in her mid-20s. Locke had been the oldest nominee for Most Promising Newcomer at that year's Golden Globes, though she led people to believe otherwise with her retconned narrative. So deep were her stratagems entrenched in the public consciousness, that Australian journalist Dorian Wild, one year Locke's junior, described her at age 45 as "a rather pretty young thing" in an article ostensibly slanted against her.

Among her closest friends was realtor Denise Fraker, widow of William A. Fraker, who directed her in A Reflection of Fear (1972).

Died at 12:16 AM PST.

News coverage of Locke's death was unprecedentedly low-key. After being kept secret six weeks, it got about 15 seconds on ABC News and a mere two sentences in People magazine (which she'd appeared twice on the cover of), and she was omitted from the Oscars' In Memoriam segment despite being a past nominee. Neither her widower nor exes gave a public statement. On top of that, her former friends, co-stars and colleagues (e.g. Stacy Keach, Sally Kellerman, Ted Neeley, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Cynthia Sikes) were tellingly silent on social media. In absence of any explanation, some have inferred that Locke requested the blackout in her final wishes, perhaps to keep her true age from being exposed. It's deducible, given Locke's vanity and history of deceiving the public, that she coordinated with end-of-life caregivers, mortuary staff etc, to ensure news of her own death would be suppressed as much as possible.

In the late 1960s there was talk of Locke starring in a biopic about Christine Jorgensen, the first celebrity transsexual, but it didn't come to fruition.

Threw shade at John Wayne for wearing a toupee and Clint Eastwood for getting hair transplants. Locke herself wore wigs when she went bald in her seventies.

In 1973, was attached to star in "Terminal Circle," a San Francisco-based drama written and directed by Mal Karman with Robert Primes and Jordan Belson committed to cinematography. The project was ultimately scrapped.

Contrary to what she always said in print, Locke and Gordon Anderson were not "childhood friends." They didn't meet until they were at least 14.

Started her career as secretary to Tom Griscom in local sales for WSM radio. In 1965 she was promoted to public relations for its television affiliate. Also working at WSM the same time as Locke were Richard Law and Dick McMahon. The job brought her into contact with personalities ranging from The Monkees to future Watergate prosecutor James Neal.

She has appeared in one film that has been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976).

4 of the 6 Locke/Eastwood movies were directed by Eastwood himself. In those directed by Eastwood, Locke's character is a victim of sexual assault.

Was known to disguise her intelligence behind feminine wiles.

On 22 August 1987, Sondra and Clint were traveling with Harrison Ford when their private jet broke down during a Paris-to-L.A. flight and made an emergency landing in Bangor, Maine. Mechanics from California were flown out to Bangor to fix the plane and once repairs were finished, the group got back on board and continued their flight.

Turned down the role of Ruby in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969).

Her first screen credit was as Jill in a 1966 Television show called "For Better, For Worse".

Unlike contemporary Jessica Walter, Locke refused to play character parts, hence why she retired from the screen in the mid-'80s.

Had at least two facelifts, blepharoplasty and other cosmetic surgeries.