Every Dirty Harry Partner (& Who Survived Their Films)


Dirty Harry’s partners were famously short-lived, but how many of them managed to survive? The original Dirty Harry marked Eastwood’s switch from Western actor to movie star. The first outing was both hugely successful and controversial, from its mirroring of the real-life Zodiac case to its depiction of police brutality. Dirty Harry cemented Eastwood’s onscreen persona, with several scenes – such as the “Do I feel lucky?” monologue – becoming instant classics.


Eastwood returned for four sequels in the years that followed. The follow-ups weren’t nearly as acclaimed, but all of them were solid hits. Eastwood retired from the role following 1988’s The Dead Pool – a rare Eastwood slasher movie – which is regarded as the weakest outing. Harry Callahan might see himself as a loner, but he was partnered with a new detective in each film. In Dirty Harry he already had a reputation for losing partners, with officers Tom Fanducci and Fred Dietrich being mentioned as killed and wounded respectively. Here’s a guide to every character unlucky enough to partner with “Dirty” Harry.

Related: Dirty Harry True Story: Was John Wayne Almost Cast Over Clint Eastwood?

Dirty Harry – Chico Gonzalez (Survived)

Played by Reni Santoni, Chico is a young cop partnered with Harry on the Scorpio case. He serves as something of an audience surrogate during Dirty Harry’s first half, as he accompanies Callaghan on the “dirty” jobs he’s often assigned. Despite Harry’s skepticism, Chico proves himself both capable and useful and even saves his partner’s life during a shootout. This also leaves him wounded, and Chico decides to retire to become a teacher; Eastwood’s – whose final cop movie The Rookie should have been a Dirty Harry sequel – Callaghan later confirmed in Magnum Force that Chico began teaching college.

Magnum Force – Early Smith (Killed)

Magnum Force sees Harry take on a ring of vigilante cops within the force, who are murdering criminals of all varieties that they deem guilty. The 1973 sequel sees Harry paired with Felton Perry’s “Early,” who is often left shocked by Harry’s glib attitude to the various horrors they come across. They grow a bond though, but Early is later killed by a bomb planted in his mailbox by the vigilante officers.

The Enforcer – Frank DiGiorgio (Killed)

Played by Robert Mitchum’s brother John, Frank DiGiorgio was one of the few recurring characters through the first three Dirty Harry films. He was a comic relief character who was mentioned as a past partner to Harry and later helps him find Scorpio (who was based on the Zodiac Killer) at Kezar Stadium. DiGiorgio was killed in the third entry The Enforcer, where he’s stabbed in the back by villain Maxwell (DeVeren Bookwalter). He later dies in hospital.

The Enforcer – Kate Moore (Killed)

The big hook of The Enforcer was that old-school Harry would be paired with a female detective, played by future Cagney & Lacey star Tyne Daly. While the sequel takes some annoying jabs at the mere idea of a woman becoming a police officer, Kate is easily the most compelling and fleshed-out of Harry’s partners. Despite their different ways of thinking they form a mutual respect, but Kate is later gunned down by Maxwell in the finale. Harry gains revenge for DiGiorgio and Moore when he blasts the terrorist with a rocket launcher.

Related: The Only Clint Eastwood Movie Where He Plays A Supernatural Character

Sudden Impact – Horace King (Killed)

One of the stranger recurring gags of the Eastwood Dirty Harry franchise was casting actor Albert Popwell in different roles in each film. He played the bank robber on the receiving end of the “Do I feel lucky?” speech in Dirty Harry and appeared in every sequel bar The Dead Pool. In Sudden Impact, he played Horace, an old cop friend of Harry who helps him out on a case and “gifts” him a dog called Meathead. Horace’s throat is later cut by the sequel’s antagonists when he’s ambushed in Harry’s hotel room.

The Dead Pool – Al Quan (Survived)

The final Dirty Harry thriller introduced yet another partner in Evan C. Kim’s Al. A running gag is that Al is aware of the grim fates that have befallen most of Callahan’s partners, with Harry all but begging his superiors not to be assigned another partner. He advises Al to wear a bulletproof vest, and like in the previous Dirty Harry – which definitely WON’T get a sixth movie – films, Harry forms a grudging respect with Al. The pair are later caught in an explosion, with the bulletproof vest saving Al’s life, though he remains in hospital for the rest of the movie.

Next: Which Dirty Harry Movie The “Make My Day” Quote Comes From


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