Sondra Locke (Sandra Louise Anderson) was an actress and director. In junior high, she was a cheerleader and class valedictorian. She was also a member of the girls’ basketball team, a PTSA representative, and the French club’s president. Before going to Hollywood, Locke worked as a bookkeeper for Tyson Foods and a real estate company secretary. She also worked as a model for The Tennessean’s fashion page, appeared in commercials, and earned further stage experience with Circle Players Inc.’s plays.
Locke made her debut in Hollywood with the movie ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter’ alongside Alan Arkin in 1968. The Hollywood newcomer was nominated for an Oscar for best-supporting actress for her performance. At the Show-A-Rama film exhibitor convention, she was named “Most Promising New Star of the Year.”. Next, she played Melisse in Cover Me Babe (1970), opposite Robert Forster. Bruce Davison and Ernest Borgnine co-starred with Locke in the psychological thriller Willard, which became a surprise box office hit.
The role that changed her career began when she appeared opposite Clint Eastwood in ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ in 1975. Locke’s career was revived by the film, which ranked among the top 15 grossing films of 1976. Then, she replaced Henry Fonda and Barbra Streisand, who bowed out of the production due to a reported clash of egos, in the action film The Gauntlet (1977).
Locke was approached by Rosemary Clooney, who requested her to star in her biopic. She accepted the request and portrayed the role of ‘Rosemary Clooney’ in the biopic movie ‘Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story.’
Throughout the first half of the 1970s, Locke appeared as a guest star on popular television drama shows such as ‘The F.B.I.,’ ‘Cannon,’ ‘Barnaby Jones,’ and ‘Kung Fu.’ Her representatives told her to avoid working in television, but she believed it was a waste of time to sit around and do nothing between films.
Locke had long been interested in film directing and had observed how Eastwood and others directed the pictures she was in. In 1986, she made her feature directorial debut with Ratboy, a fable about a half-rat youth produced by Eastwood’s company Malpaso. She also directed ‘Impulse,’ ‘Death in Small Doses’ and ‘Trading favors.’
In 1967, Locke married sculptor Gordon Leigh Anderson. Anderson has been her friend since they met in seventh grade at Shelbyville Mills School in 1956. The marriage was “tantamount to sister and brother,” according to a 1989 declaration, and they never completed it. When she died, the two were still legally married, according to her death certificate.
She dated Brad Crandal, her P.R. department supervisor at WSM-TV, in the mid-1960s. Former coworkers at the station speculated after Locke’s death that he was promoted to the department due to nepotism. Locke also dated co-stars Bruce Davison, Paul Sand, Bo Hopkins, producer Hawk Koch, and John F. Kennedy’s nephew Robert Shriver.
Relationship with Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood and Sondra Lock had been in a 13-year live-in relationship. She first encountered Eastwood in 1972, when she auditioned for the title part in his film Breezy (1973) but was unsuccessful. Before their affair became public in 1978, Eastwood was married during the early years of their relationship. During the 1970s, she had two abortions and later underwent a tubal ligation, and Eastwood was responsible for each of these decisions. However, Eastwood refuted the allegations, claiming that her decision was solely her own.
He relocated all of her belongings and changed the locks on their Bel-Air home in 1989. Locke sued him for ‘Palimony .’ After a year of litigation, she settled for a film development/directing contract with ‘Warner Bros.’ In 1999, she again filed a lawsuit, alleging that the deal was bogus (as Warner Bros. never used her as a director and rejected all of her 30 projects), and the case was tried in 1996. She, however, settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Locke also dated co-stars Bruce Davison, Paul Sand, and Bo Hopkins and producer Hawk Koch and John F. Kennedy’s nephew Robert Shriver.
Sondra Locke’s death
Locke had a double mastectomy and chemotherapy for breast cancer. On November 3, 2018, she died at the age of 74 at her Los Angeles home from cardiac arrest to breast and bone cancers.
Below are some glamorous photos of young Sondra Locke from her life and career.