Larry Vaughn with Mentora Vaughn Gratrix
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Happy 65th Birthday—Mom’s Clint Eastwood story!

They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.
– Clint Eastwood

Yesterday, August 20th, was my mom’s 65th birthday! My mom is one of the most giving and loving people I know: she is my mentor, my inspiration, and my friend. In honor of her special day, here’s one of my favorite stories: the evening she met Clint Eastwood at a VIP party.

Excerpts from Hollywood’s Chosen:

While talking with Mr. DeVito, I looked across the room and saw Doneata standing beside Clint Eastwood. From his demeanor, it was obvious Mr. Eastwood was enjoying his conversation with Doneata. I couldn’t help but notice his body language as he leaned in and whispered something in her ear. Doneata looked surprised as she turned and glanced up at him. She said something to him and then pointed toward me. He looked at me and nodded his head, as though he were agreeing with her.

I thought to myself, “I wonder what they are talking about? I’d best mosey on over to them and find out.” It took me a minute to get there, but I finally made my way over.

Clint Eastwood extended his hand and said, “Hello, Larry Vaughn. Doneata and I have been talking about you. She tells me that you have been faithful in playing all my films.”

“Mr. Eastwood, I believe that to be correct. I have done a lot of business with Warner Brothers down through the years, and I don’t think I’ve missed playing many of your films.”

After a most enjoyable conversation, Doneata and I stepped aside to let some other folks have a chance to speak with Mr. Eastwood. At this point, I simply had to find out what Doneata and Clint Eastwood had been talking about. I began, “What did Clint Eastwood whisper in your ear earlier?”

Doneata put her hands on her sides and gave me a very serious look. “Larry Vaughn, do you know what he asked me?”

“No, what?”

“He wanted to know what I was doing later this evening!”

My mouth dropped, and I stammered, “You’re kidding?”

“No, I’m not!”

“And what did you say?”

“I pointed toward you and said, ‘I’ll be with my husband—that tall man right over there.’ That’s when I had the opportunity to tell him that you were the buyer for Wometco.”

“Then what did he say?”

“He said, ‘Have I met him?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I’ll call Larry over.’”

At this point, I thought to myself, “Humph! Clint Eastwood’s trying to come on to my wife.”

The most interesting event came later in the evening when Clint saw Doneata for the second time—he put his words into action, Hollywood style! Read the rest of this unbelievable story in Hollywood’s Chosen, available September 5th at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Movie Trivia:

In the early sixties, Clint Eastwood had played the cowboy Rowdy Yates on the TV series Rawhide. From there, the Italian director Sergio Leone had asked Eastwood to be in a low-budget, Italian “spaghetti” western (as they were called by their critics). When Sergio Leone cast the young American actor to play the lead role in the film, little did he know that decision would launch Eastwood’s career. The Dollars trilogy made Clint Eastwood a household name and, well, the rest is history! Clint Eastwood went off to Italy as a young TV actor, but he returned to America as a full-blown Hollywood star.

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4 Responses

  1. Joe Valvo says:

    Happy belated birthday Doneata!!

  2. Happy Belated Birthday. What a gorgeous picture!!!

    • Mentora Vaughn Gratrix says:

      Thank you, Tracy! I’ve been enjoying your blog. Sounds like you had a great trip to Ireland. I loved that Grace was able to go with you. What sweet memories!

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