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Sondra Locke (born May 28, 1947) is an American actress, singer and film director.

She made her film debut in 1968 in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Early life

Sondra Locke was born and raised in Shelbyville, Tennesseemarker. Her parents are Alfred and Pauline Locke. She has one older brother, Don. Locke was the valedictorian of the Shelbyville Central High School class of 1962. She attended Middle Tennessee State University for a year, before dropping out to pursue an acting career.


Locke 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 the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as two Golden Globe Awards, one for Best Supporting Actress and the other for Most Promising Newcomer. Despite her early success, it took several years before her career took off again. In the early 1970s, she appeared in a number of independent films such as Willard and guest starred on television shows, including Barnaby Jones and Kung Fu.

Locke got a career boost in 1976 when she played a 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 notable film roles include playing a foul-mouthed prostitute in the action film The Gauntlet and a spoiled heiress in offbeat Bronco Billy. She played a country singer in the comedy Every Which Way But Loose, which was the second-highest grossing film of 1978. She reprised her role in the sequel, Any Which Way You Can. She starred as a revenge-seeking murderess in Sudden Impact, which became the most successful of the film Dirty Harry franchise.

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 directed and continued to work, but her projects were few and far between. She directed the made-for-television movie Death in Small Doses and the independent film Do Me A Favor. She also appeared in the independent films The Prophet's Game and Clean and Narrow, both in 1999. Locke hasn't worked in the film industry since then. She was the inspiration for the 2005 film Our Very Own, which focuses on five southern teenagers from her native hometownwho celebrate Locke's success.

Personal life


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.

Relationship with Clint Eastwood

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.

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 him, 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 he 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.

Current status

Locke resides in the Hollywood Hillsmarker with her companion of the last 12 years, Scott Cunneen, a director of surgery at Cedars Sinai Hospital. She is a breast cancer survivor.

Actress filmography

  • The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968) as Mick Kelly
  • Cover Me Babe (1970) as Melisse
  • Willard (1971) as Joan
  • ‘’The Gondola (1973) as Jackie
  • ‘’A Reflection of Fear (1973) as Marguerite
  • The Second Coming of Suzanne (1974) as Suzanne
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) as Laura Lee
  • '’Death Game (1977) as Agatha Jackson
  • The Shadow of Chikara (1977) as Drucilla Wilcox
  • The Gauntlet (1977) as Gus Malley
  • Every Which Way But Loose (1978) as Lynne Halsey-Taylor
  • Friendships, Secrets and Lies (1979) as Jessie
  • Bronco Billy (1980) as Antoinette Lilly
  • Any Which Way You Can (1980) as Lynne Halsey-Taylor
  • Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story (1982) as Rosemary Clooney
  • Sudden Impact (1983) as Jennifer Spencer
  • Ratboy (1986) as Nikki Morrison
  • Tales of the Unexpected (1995, video release comprising four episodes of the 1979-1988 UK TV series)
  • The Prophet’s Game (1999) as Adele Smith
  • Clean and Narrow (1999) as Betsy Brand

Director filmography

  • Do Me a Favor (1997)
  • Death in Small Doses (1995) (TV)
  • Impulse (1990)
  • Ratboy (1986)

Television appearances


External links

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