The Republicans swept aside the curtain on Thursday to reveal Clint Eastwood as the mystery guest due to speak minutes before Mitt Romney's speech.
For days organisers had teased the 50,000 convention goers with a blank space in one of the prime slots in the speaking schedule, refusing to reveal who would take the stage before a television audience of millions.
The halls of the convention centre in Tampa buzzed with speculation, including theories that the 91-year-old Nancy Reagan might emerge to give Mr Romney her blessing.
Yesterday, delegates were given their first clue as the house band began to practice the distinctive theme song to The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and official confirmation came soon after.
Eastwood, a long-time Republican, endorsed Mitt Romney earlier this month after remaining neutral throughout the party's long primary season.
The 82-year-old told a fundraiser that the immaculately-coiffured candidate was "too handsome to be governor but he does look like he could be president."
Eastwood has made several forays into politics and in 1986 successfully ran as a Republican to become mayor of Carmel, the wealthy Californian beach city where he lived.
However his politics remains idiosyncratic and he has sometimes described himself as a libertarian, supporting abortion rights and same-sex marriage.
Earlier this year he lent his distinctive gravelly voice to a car advertisement during the Superbowl, praising the resurgence of the American auto industry in Detroit.
The ad outraged conservatives, who claimed it was a partisan endorsement of President Barack Obama's bailout of the industry, and Eastwood hastily distanced himself from allegations that he was supporting the Democrat.
The Oscar-winner backed John McCain in 2008 and after a brief burst of enthusiasm for the Obama administration made clear that he was sceptical of the young president. Eastwood at one point described Mr Obama as "a greenhorn" who was too inexperienced to govern effectively.