December 07, 2008 03:00 PM

Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

At the age of 63, Clint Eastwood, already the father of six, was completely focused on his career and the thought of marriage — and even more so, kids — could not have been farther from his mind when contemplating the future. However, his previous thoughts to remain single were quickly forgotten when Clint was introduced to reporter Dina Ruiz during a scheduled interview. Unable to deny the obvious chemistry, Clint and Dina tied the knot in Hawaii; A few weeks later, Dina revealed even more unexpected news to her husband, who once believed he had planned the rest of his life! "We were in Hawaii on our honeymoon. After a few weeks, she said she felt a little nausea. She asked me to stop at a gas station so she could buy one of those sticks," says Clint. Moments later, the newlyweds were celebrating the fact that, in a few short months, the two would welcome their first child together. Clint jokes.

With their daughter Morgan, now 11 — whom the adoring father says is a "great kid, smart as can be" — welcomed into a "dysfunctional family," Clint shares that shortly after the birth, he "figured I’d had enough of acting. Maybe I’d just direct a project occasionally." The resolution was not long lasting however, as Clint — now a changed man — returned to the industry with his next film, Mystic River. According to his wife Dina, the 78-year-old actor no longer cares "about how he’s portrayed on film. He likes now being seen as a grandfather, as vulnerable, as crying over his daughters."

As Clint continues to produce, direct, and star in countless classics, he credits Dina, "a great asset," with running the household and keeping the family — including Clint’s children and their mothers — together. Her secret? Clint reveals,

Maintaining relationships with Kimber, 44, his daughter with Roxanne Tunis, Kyle, 40, and Alison, 36, his children with Maggie Johnson, Scott, 22, and Kathryn, 20, his children with Jacelyn Reeves, and Francesca, 15, with Frances Fisher, is important to the busy father — an issue that was made quite clear when Frances was severely burned in a fire in Canada. Upon receiving the news, Clint and Dina immediately "flew there right away and brought Frannie back and got her to a burn center."   

Source: PARADE

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