BEFORE WE DISCUSS THE MORAL fiber of Clint Eastwood, let us consider the fiber of the suit in which he got married on March 31 at the Las Vegas home of casino magnate Steve Wynn. “It is dark blue but a special stretch fabric,” says Italian designer Nino Cerruti, who guessed that Eastwood would be “very surprised” when he put it on. “You have a perfect suit on the outside,” Cerruti continues, “but you move inside it like you have a jogging suit on—that’s high technology!” State-of-the-art stretchability may be a strange quality in a wedding garment, but this was not your average wedding. The 65-year-old actor exchanged vows with Dina Ruiz, 30, before one Reverend Judy, who usually works the wedding chapel at the Treasure Island hotel. And when Wynn, as best man, tried to pass the ring to the groom, the gold band wound up on the floor. No problem. Compared to what can go wrong in an Eastwood romance, this was, as they sometimes say at weddings, a piece of cake.
At least the happy couple did one thing according to tradition: they exuded affection. “It was my dream wedding,” says Ruiz, who had six friends serve as bridesmaids. To those who have been around them, “it’s obvious that they’re in love,” says Laura Clark, news director at KSBW-TV, the Salinas, Calif., station where Ruiz anchors the 6 and 11 o’clock news. Even a self-described friend of Eastwood’s in his hometown of Carmel, Calif., says she has come around on Ruiz now that Eastwood has gotten all the way to—well, if not the altar, then at least the patio of the man whose Mirage hotel is home to Siegfried and Roy. “I guess he really, really likes her,” she says. “Maybe this is it.”
For sure, it’s the first marriage for Ruiz (who wore a long, white, nonstretch silk Cerruti dress) and the second for Eastwood, who divorced his wife of 25 years, Maggie, in 1978, after a long separation. But Eastwood has had other significant relationships. In addition to his two children with Maggie—Kyle, 28, a jazz musician, and Alison, 24, a model—he has a daughter Kimber, 32, an actress, born during his 14-year affair with Roxanne Tunis, an actress he met on the set of his Rawhide TV series. In 1993, he had another daughter, Francesca Ruth, with actress Frances Fisher, with whom he ended a six-year romance in early 1995. “I propose from time to time,” Eastwood once said of life with Fisher, “[but] we never actually get around to getting married.” Fisher, who is raising her child as a single mother, albeit with financial support from Eastwood, issued a four-word statement about her ex’s nuptials: “I wish them well.”
As a partner, Eastwood has not specialized in happy endings. His divorce was bitter despite a $25 million settlement, and his breakup with Sondra Locke, whom he met while filming The Outlaw Josey Wales in 1975, culminated in an unsuccessful palimony suit in 1989. Today, Locke says she couldn’t care less about his marriage. “The only thing that’s sad,” she says, “is that there are several women in his life who are the mothers of his children, and he chose to marry one who is not.”
Eastwood was still living with Fisher when he met Ruiz, who interviewed him for her TV station in April 1993. She wasn’t attracted at first, she says, but later “I got the attraction. He has a ton of charisma.” They began dating in late 1994, adds Ruiz, and by early 1995 Fisher and Eastwood had broken up. Ruiz’s friends, though, say it would be wrong to think of her as a fortune-hunter. “She’s a nice, girl-next-door kind of person,” says Barbara March, a Carmel magazine publisher. The future anchorwoman grew up in Fremont, Calif., and graduated from San Francisco State in 1989. (Her father, Mike, is a high school math teacher and her mother, Mary Lou, sells appliances at Montgomery Ward.) The next year she joined a TV station in Flagstaff, Ariz., as a reporter, and waitressed to make ends meet. Four years ago, she moved to Carmel to work at KSBW.
After meeting Eastwood, the two spent so much time together that Clark, Ruiz’s boss, says she wasn’t surprised when Ruiz suddenly “called in to see if she could have the day after her wedding off.” The next day, though, Ruiz was back at work—and a new era was at hand. Only days before, Eastwood had won a $650,000 judgment against the National Enquirer, which had printed a phony interview with him in 1993. And now he finds himself married to a news anchor. Yes, former lovers may be out there, seething. But at least Eastwood seems to have come to terms with the press.
PAULA YOO in Los Angeles
PENELOPE ROWLANDS in Carmel