Sitting on her beloved bed with sun streaming in the windows, her dark hair pulled back in a bun, Dina Eastwood munches on recently delivered Mexican food, talking intently to her daughter and a friend while simultaneously listening to the bickering of an episode of Real Housewives in the background.
“How was the first day at your new school, honey?” she asks Morgan, her sixteen-year-old. Laughing off a sarcastic remark, Eastwood replies, “You don’t have to go there anymore if you don’t want to.”
This banter is a classic example of Eastwood’s laid-back and humorous parenting style and approach to almost anything these days. Haphazardly scattered around her are gossip magazines, beads for jewelry making, yoga training workbooks, and her phone, which glows bright with a new message almost every second in the darkened room. In photos around the room one is reminded that Dina is in fact the wife of the very famous actor and director, Clint Eastwood, a marriage that Dina insists hasn’t changed her one bit.
“When you’re married to [him], you’re at the Academy Awards one night, and the next day you’re driving your daughter to kindergarten.”
While admittedly Clint has brought her experiences that “likely only a president could otherwise offer,” Dina has certainly made a name in her own right. Perhaps most recently, and most notably, was her stint on her reality show Mrs. Eastwood and Company, which premiered in May of 2012. At the time, Eastwood was still managing her band, Overtone, whom she brought over from South Africa, and her singular motivation for the reality show was to launch their career.
“The show was only supposed to be about a mom managing a boy band, and the mom has zero experience and two teenagers at home,” Eastwood says. “Little by little the show morphed into something that kind of got out of my control…but overall the show was a great experience. It was a once in a lifetime, incredible experience.”
Besides the short-lived reality show, Eastwood currently dabbles in multiple other endeavors. Writing a monthly article for Carmel Magazine and guest anchoring on KSBW has occupied her for the past few years, and as of late she has received her yoga teacher certification, which she admits is more for personal benefits, other than possibly substituting at her yoga studio in the future. Additionally, Eastwood served on multiple charity boards for many years, such as Make-A-Wish, Freedom Fields, California Museum and Hall of Fame, Action Counsel of Monterey County, Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, and more. Her admirable and outstanding activism in the community does not go unnoticed.
“[Dina] organized and ran the Eagle Invitational Golf Tournament for many years, which has raised thousands of dollars for needy women on the Monterey Peninsula,” says longtime Carmel Valley resident Jeff Britton. “[She] has done a lot for the community.” Suzanne Marden, a friend of Eastwood for over 40 years, echoes that sentiment: “She is extraordinarily generous and giving.”
Lately, however Eastwood has been taking time for herself and her family to travel and just enjoy being a homebody.
“I run hard, and I play hard, and playing hard for me means a lot of doing nothing. I have no problem sitting around all day painting or sketching; I love to read pop culture magazines, I’ll read anything in a magazine. I love to paddleboard, I like to play golf, I love to hang out with Morgan and her pals. I’m really fortunate in that I do get time to play right now. I’m very blessed.”
Truly if anyone is deserving of some down time, it is Eastwood. Growing up in Mission Viejo with her young parents and brother, she lived modestly and got her first job the day she could. Eastwood piled up work experience, whether it was working at McDonald’s, teaching gymnastics, cleaning apartments, or waitressing at numerous restaurants. Eastwood even admits that she “feels guilty not having a job.” After putting herself through five colleges while working three jobs, and finally graduating from San Francisco State, she started her career in broadcasting.
When Eastwood became pregnant with daughter Morgan in 1996, she quit her job as a news anchor at KSBW to be a stay-at-home mom. She indeed had a full plate, with the added task of raising the three youngest Eastwood kids as well as her own, which she says she thinks of as her bonus family.
“Ever since [quitting my job], I’ve been fortunate enough to have a life that is just based on family. And family is absolutely the most important thing to me. What was great about [taking in Clint’s other children] is that I didn’t have to have a bunch of children, they appeared, and I consider them my own. My relationship with Morgan is unusually close; she doesn’t hold back anything from me, I don’t hold back anything from her.”
“She is an amazing person,” says Athena McPartland, her daughter Morgan’s best friend. “Throughout the 16 years I have know her, she has always acted as a second mom to me.”
For those who know Eastwood, it is clear that the wealth and status that she gained through her marriage to Clint has not changed her. She is humorous, generous, and humble, and kind and self-deprecating to everyone that she meets.