Keep your eyes peeled for young Clint Eastwood in a tiny role on Svengoolie
In fact, all you can see are his eyes.
Clint Eastwood didn't just leap into stardom, squinting under a cowboy hat with a sneer on his lips. Long before he was "The Man with No Name" he was literally an uncredited actor. Half a decade before his breakout role as Rowdy Yates on Rawhide, Eastwood was working as a contract player for Universal Studios, earning $100 per week.
Though he was signed and pulling in a modest paycheck, the twentysomething hopeful struggled to land roles. Funnily enough, directors criticized the newcomer for reciting lines through his teeth. That would eventually become the Clint Eastwood trademark. At the time, it irked filmmakers. Perhaps that is why his mouth is covered in one of his earliest roles.
First, let's quickly review his screen debut. Eastwood, at last, nabbed a part in 1955's Revenge of the Creature, the sequel to Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was hardly a lead part. The tall tough guy played a technician in a lab coat — a far cry from chaps and bandoliers. Later that year, Clint popped up as "First Saxon" in Lady Godiva of Coventry. Yes, in his few words of dialogue, he spoke with a British accent, if you could call it that. "A column of soldiers is approaching," was his big line. Well, one of two.
Shortly thereafter, Jack Arnold, director of Revenge of the Creature, booked Eastwood again for his latest sci-fi horror flick, Tarantula! It was indeed one of many Atomic Age thrillers about giant mutant creatures.
"Clint, almost unrecognizable in a flight helmet, plays the pilot leading a group of jets in an attack on the creature," Richard Schickel wrote in his biography Clint Eastwood. The author described the gig as "another day's work." Emphasis on "day."
"Fire two rockets on this first pass," his unnamed, uncredited pilot orders. Sure enough, the rockets hit the tarantula.
When his contract came up for renewal, Eastwood stayed inked with Universal. But the studio opted not to give him a raise. His career seemed to be flatlining. But we think he did alright in the long run.