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Tall in the Saddle

August 16, 1992

Regarding "His Own Man . . . Always," by Hilary de Vries (Aug. 2):

An important contribution of Clint Eastwood's has been overlooked because it has long been part of his work. Since the early '70s, when Eastwood cemented his Hollywood star by playing law-and-order hero Dirty Harry, he has consistently cast his films with more blacks, Latinos, women and, yes, even American Indians than any other major white film star in cinema history.

In the 1975 film "The Eiger Sanction," special agent Eastwood has an open romance with a black character played by Vonetta McGee. In the same film, his character shares a few other things about life besides mountain climbing with his female American Indian instructor.

The real tribute in this open racial casting is that the politically conservative Eastwood has done this without fanfare. In his mind, he is only reflecting one of America's greatest assets--its racial diversity. Whoever becomes President next year should call Eastwood for a tip on casting his White House Cabinet.

CHRISTOPHER KOEFOED

Hollywood

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