Clint Eastwood (USA, b. 1930) is a veteran among the grand masters of contemporary American cinema, whose rise through the system took a highly unusual form. After playing iconic roles in Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns of the 1960s, he returned to Hollywood and underwent a controversial reincarnation as the ultraviolent cop Harry. In the 1970s Eastwood began to direct and, in the style of the great directors of the past, made masterpieces in genres ranging from the western (Unforgiven, 1992) to film noir (Mystic River, 2003), a war epic (Letters from Iwo Jima, 2006), a jazz bio-pic (Bird, 1988), a melodrama (The Bridges of Madison County, 1995) and a sports picture (Million Dollar Baby, 2004). His most recent film, Invictus, takes Eastwood to South Africa and the historic figure of Nelson Mandela, as he continues to explore the question underlying all his films: can human beings overcome experiences of violence and evil?