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Clint Eastwood was going to quit acting until he got this movie

By 2002, Clint Eastwood had already become a legend for his action movie roles. And he was ready to throw in the towel, until one movie changed everything.

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Can you imagine a world without Clint Eastwood? At 93 years old, the Western movie legend has one of the longest careers in the industry — but he credits one film in particular for stopping him from retiring from acting back in 2002. Clint Eastwood might have starred in some of the best movies of all time, but at the start of the millennia, he was getting tired.


In a 2008 interview with Reuters, Eastwood recalled how he was prepared to stop acting entirely after wrapping the action movie Blood Work.

“I think I started saying that back a few years ago, I said ‘I don’t think I’ll act anymore, I’ll stay behind the camera,” he said.

“But then Million Dollar Baby came along,” he added. “I liked that role.” In Million Dollar Baby, Eastwood plays Frankie Dunn: a grizzled, jaded boxing coach and gym owner who reluctantly agrees to train waitress and aspiring boxer Maggie (Hilary Swank).

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The sports movie, which Eastwood also directed and produced, ended up being a critical hit and scooped four Academy Awards — including Best Picture and Best Director for Eastwood.

With its heart-wrenching story and strong leading performances, it’s clear why Million Dollar Baby is considered one of the best Clint Eastwood movies of all time. And now, over 20 years later, he’s still working away as he gears up to direct new movie, Juror No. 2. Retirement who?

For more sports, check out our list of the Rocky movies in order, the hidden meanings behind the Rocky and Creed villains, and how to watch the recent Ben Affleck movie, Air.