Rawhide was one of the many early TV Westerns that inspired viewers all over the country. The series also helped Clint Eastwood become one of the most famous Western cowboys of the '60s. For many years, Eastwood was a mainstay in the Western world.
Unlike a few other TV Western stars, Clint Eastwood didn't want off of his horse. Eastwood played the role of Rowdy Yates on Rawhide for 8 seasons.
"I'll play Rowdy Yates in Rawhide until the cows come home, or as we say on the show, until we get the herd to Sedalia," he said in a 1961 interview with Daily News.
Sedalia is the main place that Eric Fleming (Gil Favor) and Eastwood (Yates) would ride horses, herd cattle and fight off all the challenges that came along with it.
Before Rawhide, Eastwood was drafted into the Army in 1951. He worked as an instructor in swimming and survival courses. While there, a movie was being filmed at the camp. Eastwood met the director, who suggested that he try Hollywood.
Eastwood pursuing a passion in acting was almost an accident, but Eastwood taking the role as Rowdy Yates was accidental, too.
After his service was complete, Eastwood visited a friend in Hollywood. A TV producer emerged from a casting meeting and noticed him. According to the interview, there had been some difficulty casting the second lead in Rawhide.
The producer asked Eastwood if he had any experience in acting... and well, the rest was history.
"I know it sounds too easy," Eastwood said. "But that's exactly how it happened. Of course, the fact that I had studied acting for seven years didn't hurt any."
"I've never had it so good since I've been playing Rowdy Yates, and I'll stick in the saddle as long as they let me."
Eastwood was living in Los Angeles at the time, but according to the interview, he had ambitions of owning a ranch.
"I wasn't much of a rider when I first started acting in Rawhide," he said. "I could stay on and that's about all. I hit the saddle pretty hard the first couple of weeks. Now I'm not too bad on a horse, and I think I'd really enjoy owning and working on a ranch."
In 1986 Eastwood bought a property in Carmel, California. The Mission Ranch sits on about 22 acres. In an interview with Architectural Digest, Eastwood's home was described as having over 30 luxurious guest rooms, a renovated restaurant and bar with some of the best views in California.
"I just gradually became a part of the community," he said. "Carmel gave me a different perspective from the movie business."
Eastwood got his dream ranch, making him one of the longest-running Old West stars to date.