Margaret Ruth <I>Runner</I> Eastwood Wood

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Margaret Ruth Runner Eastwood Wood

Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA
Death 4 Feb 2006 (aged 97)
Carmel Valley, Monterey County, California, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 13271147 · View Source
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Mother of Actor/Director Clint Eastwood. Widow of Clinton Eastwood (1906-1970), and John Wood (1913-2004). She was the daughter of Waldo (Walt) Errol Runner and Virginia May McClanaham. Ruth was often her son's date at the Academy Awards. Her favorite Clint Eastwood Movie was "Paint Your Wagon." Before she went to the Academy Awards, Rogers said Mrs. Wood always told him that if "anyone in Hollywood asked" about her hair, she would tell them where she got it done. Mrs. Wood was 97.

Obit in the Monterey Herald February 8, 2006:

Margaret Ruth Wood, mother of famed actor and director Clint Eastwood, and a Carmel Valley resident, died Saturday at 97. Mrs. Wood had lived on the Monterey Peninsula since the late 1960s and maintained strong bonds locally with her son and daughter, Jeanne Bernhardt of Carmel. At 84, Mrs. Wood accompanied her son to the 1993 Academy Awards presentation, where he told a worldwide audience that she was the most important woman in his life.
As Eastwood won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for the gritty western "Unforgiven," he praised his mother, who was beaming in the crowd wearing a black and silver gown. "It's like every mother's dream," Mrs. Wood told a San Francisco Chronicle reporter the next day. "It was pretty unbelievable to have him say that, although we are naturally close." Judie Hoyt, an assistant at Eastwood's film company Malpaso Productions in Burbank, said the actor-director would not be releasing a statement about his mother's death. By all accounts, Eastwood and his mother had a very strong relationship, and he often turned to her for advice. She first suggested casting Meryl Streep opposite Eastwood in the steamy romance "The Bridges of Madison County," which he directed. "He always sought her advice," said Carmel resident and civic volunteer Pat Sippel, who met Eastwood and his mother in 1970 while working on a benefit celebrity tennis tournament at Pebble Beach. At the 2004 Academy Awards, Eastwood and his mother walked hand in hand on the red carpet. "I just felt a close mother-son bond," Sippel said. "She seemed to give good advice and he enjoyed her company... I'm sure it's going to be a big loss to him and to the family." Her death came on the eve of this week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a golf tournament with which Eastwood has been closely linked for years -- first as a celebrity participant and, most recently, as chairman of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the event organizer.
Eastwood is taking part in some tournament activities, but probably will not be as visible as years past, a tournament official said. Though she was not fond of film violence, Mrs. Wood was a devoted fan of her son's movies, saying once that she watched several of them many times and was "the first one in the theater every time." Her favorite Eastwood movie, however, occupies an almost forgotten corner of his celluloid output: the musical "Paint Your Wagon." In 1986, after Eastwood was sworn in as the mayor of Carmel, Mrs. Wood told reporters attending the event that her son would be "a fine mayor."
"Don't cut it down too fine," Eastwood joked. "I'll be great." Displaying the same brand of laconic humor that Eastwood possesses, Mrs. Wood told the Carmel City Council in 1993 how her own film debut -- as an extra in a train-boarding scene in "Unforgiven" -- was edited out after her director son filmed the scene eight times. "I ended up on the cutting room floor," she said, as she accepted a city certificate of appreciation for Eastwood's 1986-88 tenure as Carmel mayor. Mrs. Wood was born in 1909 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She and Eastwood's father, Clinton Eastwood, lived in Piedmont, a wealthy community next to Oakland, before moving to Pebble Beach in the 1960s. He died of a heart attack in July 1970.
She married John Wood, a retired lumber executive in 1972, after meeting him on a trip to Hawaii. For her second marriage, Eastwood walked his mother down the aisle. The Woods traveled extensively and she played golf like her son. She and her husband moved to Hacienda Carmel in Carmel Valley in 1988. John Wood died in February 2004.
Roy Rogers, a Carmel hairdresser who did Mrs. Wood's hair for years, said he "enjoyed her and her young spirit."
Before she went to the Academy Awards, Rogers said Mrs. Wood always told him that if "anyone in Hollywood asked" about her hair, she would tell them where she got it done.
"Her favorite thing was to go to Hawaii," Rogers said. "In recent years, she always would say, 'This is my last trip,' but she went again just a few months ago."
Her daughter frequently picked up Mrs. Wood at Roger's shop, but Clint Eastwood often did too.
"He was devoted to her," he said.
Born Margaret Ruth Runner, she met Clinton Eastwood, a high school football and swimming star, when they were teenagers in Piedmont.
She, too, was tall and attractive like her future husband, according to Eastwood biographer Richard Schickel. But she was too tall to realize her childhood dream of being a ballet star.
Clinton and Ruth were ideal parents, one acquaintance told Schickel.
"She certainly has lived a long life and probably an interesting one," Sippel said.

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  • Created by: The Perplexed Historian
  • Added: 8 Feb 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 13271147
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Margaret Ruth Runner Eastwood Wood (18 Jan 1909–4 Feb 2006), Find a Grave Memorial no. 13271147, ; Maintained by The Perplexed Historian (contributor 46589271) Unknown.