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Sondra Locke

Sondra LockeBorn: 28-May-1944 [1]
Birthplace: Shelbyville, TN

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Former squeeze and co-star of Clint Eastwood

Sondra Locke won a nationwide talent search to land her first movie role, in 1968's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, as a lonely teenaged girl who befriends a suicidal deaf-mute; her performance was nominated for an Oscar. In 1971, she starred in the rodent thriller Willard. Locke later appeared in a series of schlock roles in movies and on TV dramas like Cannon, Kung Fu, and Barnaby Jones. Her career took off when she appeared in The Outlaw Josey Wales, directed by Clint Eastwood, whom she dated. They had a 12-year relationship, and Eastwood cast her in several of his movies through the 1970s and 80s, including The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, and Any Which Way You Can.

Eastwood's Malpaso Company funded Locke's directorial debut, a 1986 atrocity called Ratboy, the tale of a dwarfish human boy with rat-like features, befriended and exploited by Locke's character. Ten years later, Nathan Lane appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, and revealed that he had auditioned to play one of Ratboy's kidnappers. He didn't get the part, he said, because he found the script so ludicrous he couldn't keep from laughing while delivering his lines.

In 1989[2], Locke filed a palimony suit against Eastwood, then dropped her case when Eastwood agreed to set up a $1.5 million deal with Warner Brothers to allow her to develop film projects. Locke sued again when she became convinced -- after having 30 separate projects rejected by Warner -- that the arrangement was a sham, and that Warner's executives were far more concerned with keeping Eastwood happy than in doing anything for Locke. That lawsuit was in jurors' hands in 1996, with analysts predicting that Locke would win, but Eastwood's lawyers suggested a settlement.

She has not worked much as an actress since then, and has directed only two more feature films. Impulse, a 1990 mobster drama, received lukewarm reviews, and Do Me A Favor (1997), went straight to video.


[1] Most printed publications list her birthdate as 1947. But the MTSU yearbook from 1963 has a photograph of her appearing in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible. If born in 1947, this would make Locke a 16-year-old university student, an unlikely scenario.

[2] Anne Taylor Fleming, "For Movies' Tough Guy, a War at Home", The New York Times, 10 May 1989. Article cites the palimony suit, and her additional claims that Eastwood "forced" her to have two abortions and a tubal ligation. Some online sources erroneously claim this lawsuit to have been filed in 1990.

Father: Alfred Locke
Mother: Pauline
Brother: Don
Husband: Gordon Anderson (sculptor, m. 25-Sep-1967, separated)
Boyfriend:
Clint Eastwood (cohabited 1975-88, filed palimony suit on 26-Apr-1989)
Boyfriend: Scott Cunneen (Chief of Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, cohabited since 1996)

    High School: Shelbyville Central High School, Shelbyville, TN (1962)
    University: Middle Tennessee State University (dropped out)

    Abortion twice
    Tubal Ligation
    Mastectomy double
    Risk Factors: Breast Cancer

    FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
    Do Me a Favor (1997)
    Death in Small Doses (16-Jan-1995)
    Impulse (6-Apr-1990)
    Ratboy (17-Oct-1986)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    The Prophet's Game (1999)
    Ratboy (17-Oct-1986)
    Sudden Impact (9-Dec-1983) · Jennifer Spencer
    Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story (8-Dec-1982) · Rosemary Clooney
    Any Which Way You Can (17-Dec-1980)
    Bronco Billy (11-Jun-1980)
    Every Which Way But Loose (20-Dec-1978) · Lynn Halsey-Taylor
    The Gauntlet (10-Feb-1978) · Gus Mally
    Death Game (May-1977)
    The Outlaw Josey Wales (30-Jun-1976)
    The Second Coming of Suzanne (Oct-1974)
    A Reflection of Fear (12-Feb-1973)
    Willard (18-Jun-1971)
    Cover Me Babe (1-Oct-1970)
    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (31-Jul-1968) · Mick


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