John Wayne
Overview
Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height. He was also known for his conservative
American conservatism
Conservatism in the United States has played an important role in American politics since the 1950s. Historian Gregory Schneider identifies several constants in American conservatism: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, preservation of "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and...

 political views and his support, beginning in the 1950s, for anti-communist positions.

John Wayne is also the biggest box office draw of all time appearing within the Quigley annual list of "Top 10 Money Maker's Poll" a record 25 times, with the exception of 1958 he was on this list every year from 1949 to 1974.

A Harris Poll
Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive , headquartered in New York, New York, is a custom market research firm, known for the Harris Poll. Harris works in a wide range of industries...

, released January 2011, placed Wayne third among America's favorite film stars, the only deceased star to ever appear on the list and the only one who has appeared on the poll every year since it first began in 1994.

In June 1999, the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

 named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Screen Legends of All Time.
Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison at 216 South Second Street in Winterset, Iowa
Winterset, Iowa
Winterset is a city in Madison County, Iowa, United States. The population was 4,768 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Madison County....

.
Encyclopedia
Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height. He was also known for his conservative
American conservatism
Conservatism in the United States has played an important role in American politics since the 1950s. Historian Gregory Schneider identifies several constants in American conservatism: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, preservation of "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and...

 political views and his support, beginning in the 1950s, for anti-communist positions.

John Wayne is also the biggest box office draw of all time appearing within the Quigley annual list of "Top 10 Money Maker's Poll" a record 25 times, with the exception of 1958 he was on this list every year from 1949 to 1974.

A Harris Poll
Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive , headquartered in New York, New York, is a custom market research firm, known for the Harris Poll. Harris works in a wide range of industries...

, released January 2011, placed Wayne third among America's favorite film stars, the only deceased star to ever appear on the list and the only one who has appeared on the poll every year since it first began in 1994.

In June 1999, the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

 named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Screen Legends of All Time.

Early life

Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison at 216 South Second Street in Winterset, Iowa
Winterset, Iowa
Winterset is a city in Madison County, Iowa, United States. The population was 4,768 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Madison County....

. His middle name was soon changed from Robert to Mitchell when his parents decided to name their next son Robert.

Wayne's father, Clyde Leonard Morrison (1884–1937), was the son of American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 veteran Marion Mitchell Morrison (1845–1915). Wayne's mother, the former Mary "Molly" Alberta Brown (1885–1970), was from Lancaster County, Nebraska
Lancaster County, Nebraska
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 250,291 people, 99,187 households, and 60,702 families residing in the county. The population density was 298 people per square mile . There were 104,217 housing units at an average density of 124 per square mile...

. Wayne was of Scots-Irish and Scottish descent on both sides of his family, and he was brought up as a Presbyterian
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

.

Wayne's family moved to Palmdale, California
Palmdale, California
Palmdale is a city located in the center of northern Los Angeles County, California, United States.Palmdale was the first community within the Antelope Valley to incorporate as a city on August 24, 1962; 47 years later, voters approved creating a charter city in November, 2009. Palmdale is...

, and then in 1911 to Glendale, California
Glendale, California
Glendale is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the city population is 191,719, down from 194,973 at the 2000 census. making it the third largest city in Los Angeles County and the 22nd largest city in the state of California...

, where his father worked as a pharmacist. A local fireman at the station on his route to school in Glendale started calling him "Little Duke" because he never went anywhere without his huge Airedale Terrier
Airedale Terrier
The Airedale Terrier is a breed of the terrier type that originated in Airedale, a geographic area in Yorkshire, England. It is traditionally called the "King of Terriers" because it is the largest of the terrier breeds...

, Duke. He preferred "Duke" to "Marion", and the name stuck for the rest of his life.

As a teen, Wayne worked in an ice cream shop for a man who shod
Horseshoe
A horseshoe, is a fabricated product, normally made of metal, although sometimes made partially or wholly of modern synthetic materials, designed to protect a horse's hoof from wear and tear. Shoes are attached on the palmar surface of the hooves, usually nailed through the insensitive hoof wall...

 horses for Hollywood studios. He was also active as a member of the Order of DeMolay, a youth organization associated with the Freemasons. He attended Wilson Middle School in Glendale. He played football for the 1924 champion Glendale High School
Glendale High School (Glendale, California)
Glendale High School is a high school located at 1440 Broadway Avenue East in Glendale, California. The school is the Flagship School of the Glendale Unified School District.-History:...

 team.

Wayne applied to the U.S. Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

, but was not accepted. He instead attended the University of Southern California
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

 (USC), majoring in pre-law. He was a member of the Trojan Knights
Trojan Knights
The Trojan Knights are an American service and spirit organization associated specifically with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California...

 and Sigma Chi
Sigma Chi
Sigma Chi is the largest and one of the oldest college Greek-letter secret and social fraternities in North America with 244 active chapters and more than . Sigma Chi was founded on June 28, 1855 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio when members split from Delta Kappa Epsilon...

 fraternities. Wayne also played on the USC football team under legendary coach Howard Jones
Howard Jones (football coach)
Howard Harding Jones was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Syracuse University , Yale University , Ohio State University , the University of Iowa , Duke University , and the University of Southern California , compiling a career record of...

. An injury curtailed his athletic career; Wayne later noted he was too terrified of Jones's reaction to reveal the actual cause of his injury, which was bodysurfing
Bodysurfing
Bodysurfing is the art and sport of riding a wave without the assistance of any buoyant device such as a surfboard or bodyboard. Bodysurfers typically equip themselves only with a pair of specialized swimfins that stay on during turbulent conditions and optimize propulsion.-Technique:To get on the...

 at the "Wedge"
The Wedge (surfing)
The Wedge is a world-famous surfing and bodysurfing spot located at the extreme east end of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California. During a south swell of the right size and direction, the Wedge can produce huge waves up to high....

 at the tip of the Balboa Peninsula
Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach, California
The Balboa Peninsula is a neighborhood of the city of Newport Beach, Orange County, California. It is named for the famous Spanish explorer, Vasco Núñez de Balboa....

 in Newport Beach
Newport Beach, California
Newport Beach, incorporated in 1906, is a city in Orange County, California, south of downtown Santa Ana. The population was 85,186 at the 2010 census.The city's median family income and property values consistently place high in national rankings...

. He lost his athletic scholarship and, without funds, had to leave the university.

Wayne began working at the local film studios. Prolific silent western film star Tom Mix
Tom Mix
Thomas Edwin "Tom" Mix was an American film actor and the star of many early Western movies. He made a reported 336 films between 1910 and 1935, all but nine of which were silent features...

 had gotten him a summer job in the prop department in exchange for football tickets. Wayne soon moved on to bit part
Bit part
A bit part is a supporting acting role with at least one line of dialogue . In British television, bit parts are referred to as under sixes...

s, establishing a longtime friendship with the director who provided most of those roles, John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

. Early in this period, Wayne appeared with his USC teammates playing football in Brown of Harvard
Brown of Harvard (1926 film)
Brown of Harvard is a 1926 silent film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring William Haines. The film is the best known of the three Brown of Harvard films, having been John Wayne's screen debut. Uncredited, Wayne played a "Yale Football Player". Grady Sutton and Robert Livingston, both of...

(1926), The Dropkick (1927), and Salute (1929) and Columbia's
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

 Maker of Men
Maker of Men
Maker of Men is a 1931 American melodramatic sports film directed by Edward Sedgwick and written by Howard J. Green and Edward Sedgwick. The film starred Jack Holt, Richard Cromwell, and Joan Marsh, and featured a young John Wayne in a supporting role...

(filmed in 1930, released in 1931).

Film career

While working for Fox Film Corporation in bit roles, he was given on-screen credit as "Duke Morrison" only once, in Words and Music
Words and Music (1929 film)
Words and Music is a 1929 American musical comedy film, directed by James Tinling, and starring Lois Moran, David Percy, Helen Twelvetrees, and Frank Albertson...

(1929). In 1930, director Raoul Walsh
Raoul Walsh
Raoul Walsh was an American film director, actor, founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the brother of silent screen actor George Walsh...

 cast him in his first starring role in The Big Trail
The Big Trail
The Big Trail is a lavish early widescreen movie shot on location across the American West starring John Wayne in his first leading role and directed by Raoul Walsh....

(1930). For his screen name, Walsh suggested "Anthony Wayne", after Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 general "Mad Anthony" Wayne
Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne was a United States Army general and statesman. Wayne adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him a promotion to the rank of brigadier general and the sobriquet of Mad Anthony.-Early...

. Fox Studios chief Winfield Sheehan
Winfield Sheehan
Winfield Sheehan was a film company executive. He was responsible for much of Fox Film Corporation's output during the 1920s and 1930s. As studio head he won an Academy Award for Best Picture for the film Cavalcade and was nominated three more times.A native of Buffalo, New York, Sheehan served...

 rejected it as sounding "too Italian". Walsh then suggested "John Wayne". Sheehan agreed, and the name was set. Wayne himself was not even present for the discussion. His pay was raised to $105 a week.

The Big Trail was to be the first big-budget outdoor spectacle of the sound era, made at a staggering cost of over $2 million, using hundreds of extras and wide vistas of the American southwest, still largely unpopulated at the time. To take advantage of the breathtaking scenery, it was filmed in two versions, a standard 35mm version and another in "Grandeur", a new process using innovative camera and lenses and a revolutionary 70mm widescreen
Widescreen
Widescreen images are a variety of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film....

 process. Many in the audience who saw it in Grandeur stood and cheered. Unfortunately, only a handful of theaters were equipped to show the film in its widescreen process, and the effort was largely wasted. The film was considered a huge flop.
After the failure of The Big Trail, Wayne was relegated to small roles in A-pictures, including Columbia
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

's The Deceiver
The Deceiver (film)
The Deceiver is a 1931 American mystery film directed by Louis King. The film stars Lloyd Hughes, Ian Keith and Dorothy Sebastian. John Wayne makes a minor appearance as a corpse. The film premiered on November 21, 1931.-Plot overview:...

(1931), in which he played a corpse. He appeared in the serial The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers (1933 serial)
The Three Musketeers is a 1933 film serial produced by Mascot Pictures which updates Dumas' The Three Musketeers by setting the story in contemporary North Africa. The Musketeers are soldiers in the French Foreign Legion, and D'Artagnan , is a pilot in the United States military.The serial is in...

(1933), an updated version of the Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas, père
Alexandre Dumas, , born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world...

 novel in which the protagonists were soldiers in the French Foreign Legion
French Foreign Legion
The French Foreign Legion is a unique military service wing of the French Army established in 1831. The foreign legion was exclusively created for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French Armed Forces...

 in then-contemporary North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. He appeared in many low-budget "Poverty Row
Poverty Row
Poverty Row is a slang term used in Hollywood from the late silent period through the mid-fifties to refer to a variety of small and mostly short-lived B movie studios...

" westerns, mostly at Monogram Pictures
Monogram Pictures
Monogram Pictures Corporation is a Hollywood studio that produced and released films, most on low budgets, between 1931 and 1953, when the firm completed a transition to the name Allied Artists Pictures Corporation. Monogram is considered a leader among the smaller studios sometimes referred to...

 and serials for Mascot Pictures Corporation
Mascot Pictures Corporation
Mascot Pictures Corporation was a minor film company of the 1920s and 1930s best known for producing film serials and B-westerns. Mascot's serial The King of the Kongo was the first serial to include sound, beating Universal Studios by several months.Mascot was formed in 1927 by film producer Nat...

. By Wayne's own estimation, he appeared in about eighty of these horse opera
Horse opera
Horse opera refers to a western movie or television series that is extremely cliched or formulaic . The term, which was originally coined by silent film-era Western star William S. Hart, is used variously to convey either disparagement or affection...

s from 1930 to 1939. In Riders of Destiny
Riders of Destiny
Riders of Destiny is a 1933 Western musical film starring 26-year-old John Wayne as Singin' Sandy Saunders, the screen's first singing cowboy...

(1933) he became one of the first singing cowboy
Singing cowboy
A singing cowboy was a subtype of the archetypal cowboy hero of early Western films, popularized by many of the B-movies of the 1930s and 1940s...

s of film, albeit via dubbing. Wayne also appeared in some of the Three Mesquiteers westerns, whose title was a play
Word play
Word play or wordplay is a literary technique in which the words that are used become the main subject of the work, primarily for the purpose of intended effect or amusement...

 on the Dumas classic. He was mentored by stuntmen
Stunt performer
A stuntman, or daredevil is someone who performs dangerous stunts, often as a career.These stunts are sometimes rigged so that they look dangerous while still having safety mechanisms, but often they are as dangerous as they appear to be...

 in riding and other western
Western (genre)
The Western is a genre of various visual arts, such as film, television, radio, literature, painting and others. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some Westerns are set as early as the Battle of...

 skills. He and famed stuntman Yakima Canutt
Yakima Canutt
Yakima Canutt , also known as Yak Canutt, was an American rodeo rider, actor, stuntman and action director.-Biography:...

 developed and perfected stunts still used today.

Wayne's breakthrough role came with director John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

's classic Stagecoach (1939). Because of Wayne's non-star status and track record in low-budget westerns throughout the 1930s, Ford had difficulty getting financing for what was to be an A-budget film. After rejection by all the top studios, Ford struck a deal with independent producer Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger was an American film producer. An intellectual and a socially conscious movie executive who produced provocative message movies and glittering romantic melodramas, Wanger's career began at Paramount Pictures in the 1920s and led him to work at virtually every major studio as either a...

 in which Claire Trevor
Claire Trevor
Claire Trevor was an Academy Award-winning American actress. She was nicknamed the "Queen of Film Noir" because of her many appearances in "bad girl” roles in film noir and other black-and-white thrillers...

 — a much bigger star at the time — received top billing. Stagecoach was a huge critical and financial success, and Wayne became a star. He later appeared in more than twenty of John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

's films, including She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is a 1949 Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. The film was the second of Ford's trilogy of films focusing on the US Cavalry ; the other two films were Fort Apache and Rio Grande...

(1949), The Quiet Man
The Quiet Man
The Quiet Man is a 1952 American Technicolor romantic comedy-drama film. It was directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Victor McLaglen and Barry Fitzgerald. It was based on a 1933 Saturday Evening Post short story by Maurice Walsh...

(1952), The Searchers
The Searchers (film)
The Searchers is a 1956 American Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, and set during the Texas–Indian Wars...

(1956), The Wings of Eagles
The Wings of Eagles
The Wings of Eagles is a 1957 Metrocolor film about Frank "Spig" Wead and US Naval aviation from its inception through World War II. The film is a tribute to Wead from his friend, director John Ford....

(1957), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a 1962 American Western film directed by John Ford and starring James Stewart and John Wayne. The black-and-white film was released by Paramount Pictures. The screenplay by James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck was adapted from a short story written by Dorothy M...

(1962).

Wayne's first color film was Shepherd of the Hills
The Shepherd of the Hills (film)
The Shepherd of the Hills is a 1941 film starring John Wayne. It was Wayne's first film in Technicolor. The film was based on the novel of the same name by Harold Bell Wright.-Differences from the novel:...

(1941), in which he co-starred with his longtime friend Harry Carey. The following year, he appeared in his only film directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil Blount DeMille was an American film director and Academy Award-winning film producer in both silent and sound films. He was renowned for the flamboyance and showmanship of his movies...

, the Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

 epic Reap the Wild Wind
Reap the Wild Wind
Reap the Wild Wind is a serialized story written by Thelma Strabel in 1940 for The Saturday Evening Post, which was the basis for the 1942 film starring Ray Milland, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard, Robert Preston, and Susan Hayward, and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, his second picture to be filmed in...

(1942), in which he co-starred with Ray Milland
Ray Milland
Ray Milland was a Welsh actor and director. His screen career ran from 1929 to 1985, and he is best remembered for his Academy Award–winning portrayal of an alcoholic writer in The Lost Weekend , a sophisticated leading man opposite a corrupt John Wayne in Reap the Wild Wind , the murder-plotting...

 and Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard was an American film and theatre actress. A former child fashion model and in several Broadway productions as Ziegfeld Girl, she was a major star of the Paramount Studio in the 1940s. She was married to several notable men, including Charlie Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, and Erich...

; it was one of the rare times he played a character with questionable values.

In 1949, director Robert Rossen
Robert Rossen
Robert Rossen was an American screenwriter, film director, and producer whose film career spanned almost three decades. His 1949 film All the King's Men won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, while Rossen was nominated for an Oscar as Best Director...

 offered the starring role of All the King's Men
All the King's Men (1949 film)
All the King's Men is a 1949 drama film based on the Robert Penn Warren novel of the same name. It was directed by Robert Rossen and starred Broderick Crawford in the role of Willie Stark.-Plot:...

to Wayne. Wayne refused, believing the script to be un-American in many ways. Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford was an Academy Award-winning American stage, film, radio and TV actor, often cast in tough-guy roles and best known for his starring role in the television series "Highway Patrol."-Early life:...

, who eventually got the role, won the 1949 Oscar for best male actor, ironically beating out Wayne, who had been nominated for Sands of Iwo Jima
Sands of Iwo Jima
Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 war film that follows a group of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. It stars John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara and Forrest Tucker. The movie was written by Harry Brown and James Edward Grant and directed by Allan Dwan...

.

He lost the leading role in The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter is a 1950 western film starring Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell and Karl Malden . This film was directed by Henry King...

(1950) to Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor.One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an...

 due to his refusal to work for Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

 because its chief, Harry Cohn
Harry Cohn
Harry Cohn was the American president and production director of Columbia Pictures.-Career:Cohn was born to a working-class German-Jewish family in New York City. In later years, he appears to have disparaged his heritage...

, had mistreated him years before when he was a young contract player. Cohn had bought the project for Wayne, but Wayne's grudge was too deep, and Cohn sold the script to Twentieth Century Fox, which cast Peck in the role Wayne badly wanted but for which he refused to bend.

One of Wayne's most popular roles was in The High and the Mighty
The High and the Mighty (film)
The High and the Mighty is a 1954 American "disaster" film directed by William A. Wellman and written by Ernest K. Gann who also wrote the novel on which his screenplay was based. The film's cast was headlined by John Wayne, who was also the project's co-producer...

(1954), directed by William Wellman, and based on a novel by Ernest K. Gann
Ernest K. Gann
Ernest Kellogg Gann was an American aviator, author, filmmaker, sailor, fisherman and conservationist.-Early life:...

. His portrayal of a heroic copilot won widespread acclaim. Wayne also portrayed aviators in Flying Tigers
Flying Tigers (film)
Flying Tigers is a 1942 black-and-white war film, starring John Wayne and John Carroll as mercenary fighter pilots fighting the Japanese in China prior to the U.S. entry into World War II....

 (1942),
Flying Leathernecks
Flying Leathernecks
Flying Leathernecks is a 1951 action film directed by Nicholas Ray, produced by Edmund Grainger, and starring John Wayne and Robert Ryan. The movie details the exploits and personal battles of United States Marine Corps aviators during World War II...

(1951), Island in the Sky
Island in the Sky (1953 film)
Island in The Sky is a 1953 American aviation adventure/drama film written by Ernest K. Gann based on his 1944 novel of the same name, directed by William A. Wellman, and starring and co-produced by John Wayne. It was released by Warner Bros...

(1953), The Wings of Eagles
The Wings of Eagles
The Wings of Eagles is a 1957 Metrocolor film about Frank "Spig" Wead and US Naval aviation from its inception through World War II. The film is a tribute to Wead from his friend, director John Ford....

(1957), and Jet Pilot (1957).

The Searchers
The Searchers (film)
The Searchers is a 1956 American Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, and set during the Texas–Indian Wars...

(1956) continues to be widely regarded as perhaps Wayne's finest and most complex performance. In 2006, Premiere Magazine ran an industry poll in which Wayne's portrayal of Ethan Edwards was rated the 87th greatest performance in film history. He named his youngest son Ethan after the character.

John Wayne won a Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 Oscar
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 for True Grit (1969). Wayne was also nominated as the producer of Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

 for The Alamo
The Alamo (1960 film)
The Alamo is a 1960 American historical epic released by United Artists. The film was directed by John Wayne, who also starred as Davy Crockett. The cast also includes Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie and Laurence Harvey as William B...

(1960), one of two films he directed. The other was The Green Berets
The Green Berets (film)
The Green Berets is a 1968 war film featuring John Wayne, George Takei, David Janssen, Jim Hutton and Aldo Ray, nominally based on the eponymous 1965 book by Robin Moore, though the screenplay has little relation to the book....

(1968), the only major film made during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 to support the war. During the filming of Green Berets, the Degar
Degar
The Degar are the indigenous peoples of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The term Montagnard means "mountain people" in French and is a carryover from the French colonial period in Vietnam. In Vietnamese, they are known by the term thượng - this term can also be applied to other minority ethnic...

 or Montagnard people of Vietnam's Central Highlands, fierce fighters against communism, bestowed on Wayne a brass bracelet that he wore in the film and all subsequent films. His last film was The Shootist
The Shootist
The Shootist is a 1976 Western starring John Wayne in his final film role. It was based on the 1975 novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout. Scott Hale and Miles Hood Swarthout wrote the screenplay...

(1976), whose main character, J. B. Books, was dying of cancer — the illness to which Wayne himself succumbed three years later.

According to the Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database is an online database of information related to movies, television shows, actors, production crew personnel, video games and fictional characters featured in visual entertainment media. It is one of the most popular online entertainment destinations, with over 100 million...

, Wayne played the lead in 142 of his film appearances.

Batjac
Batjac Productions
Batjac Productions is an independent film production company founded by John Wayne in the early 1950s as a vehicle for Wayne to produce as well as star in movies. Its first release was Big Jim McLain with Warner Brothers in 1952, and its final film was also with Warner Brothers, McQ, in 1974...

, the production company co-founded by Wayne, was named after the fictional shipping company Batjak in Wake of the Red Witch
Wake of the Red Witch
Wake of the Red Witch is a 1948 drama film from Republic Pictures starring John Wayne and Gail Russell, produced by Edmund Grainger, and based upon the novel by Garland Roark...

(1948), a film based on the novel by Garland Roark
Garland Roark
Garland Roark was an American author best known for his nautical/adventure fiction. Published in 1946, his first novel Wake of the Red Witch was a Literary Guild selection and later adapted by Republic Pictures as a movie starring John Wayne.- Life :In his own words:"I was born in Groesbeck, Texas...

. (A spelling error by Wayne's secretary was allowed to stand, accounting for the variation.) Batjac (and its predecessor, Wayne-Fellows Productions) was the arm through which Wayne produced many films for himself and other stars. Its best-known non-Wayne production was the highly acclaimed Seven Men From Now
Seven Men from Now
Seven Men from Now is a 1956 Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and produced by John Wayne's Batjac Productions.-Plot summary:Ben Stride walks into an encampment in the desert at night during a rainstorm. He encounters two men taking shelter next to a fire and asks to join them...

(1956), which started the classic collaboration between director Budd Boetticher
Budd Boetticher
Oscar "Budd" Boetticher, Jr. was a film director during the classical period in Hollywood most famous for the series of low-budget Westerns he made in the late 1950s starring Randolph Scott.Known for their sparse style, dramatic rocky locations near Lone Pine, California, and recurring stories of...

 and star Randolph Scott
Randolph Scott
Randolph Scott was an American film actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962. As a leading man for all but the first three years of his cinematic career, Scott appeared in a variety of genres, including social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals , adventure tales, war films, and even a few...

.

In the Motion Picture Herald Top Ten Money-Making Western Stars poll, Wayne was listed in 1936 and 1939. He appeared in the similar Box Office poll in 1939 and 1940. While these two polls are really an indication only of the popularity of series stars, Wayne also appeared in the Top Ten Money Makers Poll of all films from 1949 to 1957 and 1958 to 1974, taking first place in 1950, 1951, 1954 and 1971. With a total of 25 years on the list, Wayne has more appearances than any other star, beating Clint Eastwood (21) into second place.

In later years, Wayne was recognized as a sort of American natural resource, and his various critics, of his performances and his politics, viewed him with more respect. Abbie Hoffman
Abbie Hoffman
Abbot Howard "Abbie" Hoffman was a political and social activist who co-founded the Youth International Party ....

, the radical of the 1960s, paid tribute to Wayne's singularity, saying, "I like Wayne's wholeness, his style. As for his politics, well — I suppose even cavemen felt a little admiration for the dinosaurs that were trying to gobble them up." Reviewing The Cowboys
The Cowboys
The Cowboys is a 1972 Western motion picture starring John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Slim Pickens, A Martinez and Bruce Dern. Robert Carradine makes his film debut with fellow child actor Stephen R. Hudis. It was filmed at various locations in New Mexico, Colorado and at Warner Brothers Studio in...

(1972), Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby was an American film critic who became the chief film critic for The New York Times in 1969 and reviewed more than 1000 films during his tenure there.-Life and career:...

 of the New York Times, who did not particularly care for the film, wrote: "Wayne is, of course, marvelously indestructible, and he has become an almost perfect father figure."

Filmography

1964 illness

Wayne had been a chain-smoker of cigarettes since young adulthood. In 1964, Wayne was diagnosed with lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

, and underwent successful surgery to remove his entire left lung and four ribs. Despite efforts by his business associates to prevent him from going public with his illness (for fear it would cost him work), Wayne announced he had cancer and called on the public to get preventive examinations. Five years later, Wayne was declared cancer-free. Despite the fact that Wayne's diminished lung capacity left him incapable of prolonged exertion and frequently in need of supplemental oxygen, within a few years of his operation he chewed tobacco and began smoking cigars until the day he died.

Politics

Wayne claimed in his Playboy interview to have been a socialist during his years at college, and he admitted voting for Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 in the 1936 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1936
The United States presidential election of 1936 was the most lopsided presidential election in the history of the United States in terms of electoral votes. In terms of the popular vote, it was the third biggest victory since the election of 1820, which was not seriously contested.The election took...

. In the same interview, he also expressed admiration for Democratic President Harry S Truman. For most of his career, however, he was a vocally conservative Republican. He took part in creating the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals
Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals
The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals was an American organization of high-profile, politically conservative members of the Hollywood film industry...

 in February 1944 and was elected president of that organization in 1947. He was an ardent anti-communist
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

 and vocal supporter of the House Un-American Activities Committee
House Un-American Activities Committee
The House Committee on Un-American Activities or House Un-American Activities Committee was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. In 1969, the House changed the committee's name to "House Committee on Internal Security"...

. In 1952, he made Big Jim McLain
Big Jim McLain
Big Jim McLain is a 1952 political thriller film starring John Wayne and James Arness as HUAC investigators hunting down communists in the post-war Hawaii organized labor scene. Edward Ludwig directed....

to show his support for the anti-communist cause. A supporter of Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

's candidacy in the United States presidential election in 1960
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

, he expressed his vision of patriotism when John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 won the election: "I didn't vote for him but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."

Wayne used his iconic status to support conservative causes, including rallying support for the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 by producing, co-directing, and starring in the critically panned The Green Berets
The Green Berets (film)
The Green Berets is a 1968 war film featuring John Wayne, George Takei, David Janssen, Jim Hutton and Aldo Ray, nominally based on the eponymous 1965 book by Robin Moore, though the screenplay has little relation to the book....

in 1968. In the mid-1970s, however, he went against many fellow conservatives in supporting the Panama Canal Treaty.

Due to his enormous popularity, and his status as the most famous Republican star in Hollywood, wealthy Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 Republican Party backers asked Wayne to run for national office in 1968, as had his friend and fellow actor, Senator George Murphy
George Murphy
George Lloyd Murphy was an American dancer, actor, and politician.-Life and career:He was born in New Haven, Connecticut of Irish Catholic extraction, the son of Michael Charles "Mike" Murphy, athletic trainer and coach, and Nora Long. He was educated at Peddie School, Trinity-Pawling School, and...

. He declined, joking that he did not believe the public would seriously consider an actor in the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. However, he did support his friend Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

's runs for Governor of California
Governor of California
The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced...

 in 1966 and 1970. He was also asked to be the running mate for Democratic Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 Governor George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

 in 1968. Wayne vehemently rejected the offer. Wayne actively campaigned for Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, and addressed the Republican National Convention
Republican National Convention
The Republican National Convention is the presidential nominating convention of the Republican Party of the United States. Convened by the Republican National Committee, the stated purpose of the convocation is to nominate an official candidate in an upcoming U.S...

 on its opening day in August 1968. Wayne also was a member of the conservative and anti-communist John Birch Society
John Birch Society
The John Birch Society is an American political advocacy group that supports anti-communism, limited government, a Constitutional Republic and personal freedom. It has been described as radical right-wing....

.

Wayne openly differed with the Republican Party over the issue of the Panama Canal. Conservatives wanted America to retain full control, but Wayne, believing that the Panamanians had the right to the canal, sided with President Jimmy Carter and the Democrats to win passage of the treaty returning the canal in the Senate. Mr. Wayne was a close friend of the late Panamanian leader, Brig. Gen. Omar Torrijos Herrera. Mr. Wayne's first wife, Josephine, whom he divorced in 1946, was a native of Panama.

Soviet documents released in 2003 revealed, despite being a fan of Wayne's movies, Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 ordered Wayne's assassination due to his strong anti-communist politics. Stalin died before the killing could be accomplished. His successor, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

, reportedly told Wayne during a 1959 visit to the United States that he had personally rescinded the order.

Military service

America's entry into World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 resulted in a deluge of support for the war effort from all sectors of society, and Hollywood was no exception. Many established stars rushed to sign up for military service.

As the majority of male leads left Hollywood to serve overseas, John Wayne saw his just-blossoming stardom at risk. Despite enormous pressure from his inner circle of friends, he put off enlisting. Wayne was exempted from service due to his age (34 at the time of Pearl Harbor) and family status, classified as 3-A (family deferment). Wayne's secretary recalled making inquiries of military officials on behalf of his interest in enlisting, "but he never really followed up on them". He repeatedly wrote to John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

, asking to be placed in Ford's military unit, but consistently postponed it until "after he finished one more film", Republic Studios
Republic Pictures
Republic Pictures was an independent film production-distribution corporation with studio facilities, operating from 1934 through 1959, and was best known for specializing in westerns, movie serials and B films emphasizing mystery and action....

 was emphatically resistant to losing Wayne, especially after the loss of Gene Autry
Gene Autry
Orvon Grover Autry , better known as Gene Autry, was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television for more than three decades beginning in the 1930s...

 to the Army.

Correspondence between Wayne and Herbert J. Yates (the head of Republic) indicates Yates threatened Wayne with a lawsuit if he walked away from his contract, though the likelihood of a studio suing its biggest star for going to war was minute. Whether or not the threat was real, Wayne did not test it. Selective Service
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

 records indicate he did not attempt to prevent his reclassification as 1-A (draft eligible), but apparently Republic Pictures intervened directly, requesting his further deferment. In May, 1944, Wayne was reclassified as 1-A (draft eligible), but the studio obtained another 2-A deferment (for "support of national health, safety, or interest"). He remained 2-A until the war's end. Thus, John Wayne did not illegally "dodge" the draft, but he never took direct positive action toward enlistment.

Wayne was in the South Pacific theater of the war for three months in 1943–1944, touring U.S. bases and hospitals, as well as doing some work for OSS
Office of Strategic Services
The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 commander William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan
William Joseph Donovan
William Joseph Donovan was a United States soldier, lawyer and intelligence officer, best remembered as the wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services...

, who "hoped that a celebrity like Wayne could provide information denied his own operatives. Donovan was particularly interested in Wayne's assessment of MacArthur himself. Wayne's mission was only partly successful. He never met MacArthur, and although he filed a report with Donovan when he got back to the States, he had nothing substantial to offer Donovan." Donovan gave him a plaque and commendation for serving with the OSS, but Wayne dismissed it as meaningless.

The foregoing facts influenced the direction of Wayne's later life. By many accounts, Wayne's failure to serve in the military during World War II was the most painful experience of his life. Some other stars, for various reasons, did not enlist, but Wayne, by virtue of becoming a celluloid war hero in several patriotic war films, as well as an outspoken supporter of conservative political causes and the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, became the focus of particular disdain from both himself and certain portions of the public, particularly in later years. While some hold Wayne in contempt for the paradox between his early actions and his later attitudes, his widow suggests Wayne's rampant patriotism in later decades sprang not from hypocrisy but from guilt. Pilar Wayne wrote, "He would become a 'superpatriot' for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying home."

Statements to Playboy magazine

In an interview with Playboy
Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

magazine published on May 1, 1971, Wayne made several controversial remarks about race and class in the United States. The interview became a hot topic and many stores had trouble keeping the issue in stock. He noted that, as someone living in the 20th century, he was not responsible for the way people who lived one hundred years before him had treated Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, stating:

I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them if that's what you're asking. Our so called stealing of this country was just a question of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves ... Look, I'm sure there have been inequalities. If those inequalities are presently affecting any of the Indians now alive, they have a right to a court hearing. But what happened 100 years ago in our country can't be blamed on us today. I'm quite sure that the concept of a Government-run reservation ... seems to be what the socialists
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 are working for now — to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave ... What happened between their forefathers and our forefathers is so far back — right, wrong or indifferent — that I don't see why we owe them anything. I don't know why the government should give them something that it wouldn't give me.


Wayne responded to questions about whether social programs like Medicare and Social Security were good for the country:

I know all about that. In the late Twenties, when I was a sophomore at USC, I was a socialist myself — but not when I left. The average college kid idealistically wishes everybody could have ice cream and cake for every meal. But as he gets older and gives more thought to his and his fellow man's responsibilities, he finds that it can't work out that way — that some people just won't carry their load ... I believe in welfare — a welfare work program. I don't think a fella should be able to sit on his backside and receive welfare. I'd like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living. I'd like to know why they make excuses for cowards who spit in the faces of the police and then run behind the judicial sob sisters. I can't understand these people who carry placards to save the life of some criminal, yet have no thought for the innocent victim.


In the interview he previously had discussed race relations, including his response to Angela Davis's assertion that her removal from a position as an assistant professor in the UCLA philosophy department on the grounds that she was an active member the Communist party was actually because she was black:

With a lot of blacks, there's quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.


When asked how blacks could address their perceived lack of leadership experience and the inequities of the past, Wayne replied:

It's not my judgment. The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically. But some blacks have tried to force the issue and enter college when they haven't passed the tests and don't have the requisite background ... By going to school. I don't know why people insist that blacks have been forbidden to go to school. They were allowed in public schools wherever I've been. Even if they don't have the proper credentials for college, there are courses to help them become eligible. But if they aren't academically ready for that step, I don't think they should be allowed in. Otherwise, the academic society is brought down to the lowest common denominator ... What good would it do to register anybody in a class of higher algebra or calculus if they haven't learned to count? There has to be a standard. I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves. Now, I'm not condoning slavery. It's just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and has to wear braces so he can't play football with the rest of us. I will say this, though: I think any black who can compete with a white today can get a better break than a white man. I wish they'd tell me where in the world they have it better than right here in America.


Wayne later made controversial pro-war comments when asked why a North-South joint election in Vietnam could not have been administered in lieu of armed conflict:
That would be no more practical than if France, after coming to help us in the Revolution, suggested having an election to decide what we wanted to do. It would be an exact parallel. The majority of those living in the Colonies didn't want war at that time. If there had been a general election then, we probably wouldn't be here today. As far as Vietnam is concerned, we've made mistakes. I know of no country that's perfect. But I honestly believe that there's as much need for us to help the Vietnamese as there was to help the Jews in Germany. The only difference is that we haven't had any leadership in this war. All the liberal senators have stuck their noses in this, and it's out of their bailiwick. They've already put far too many barriers in the way of the military. Our lack of leadership has gone so far that now no one man can come in, face the issue and tell people that we ought to be in an all-out war.

Personal life

Wayne was married three times and divorced twice. His wives, all of them Hispanic women, were Josephine Alicia Saenz
Josephine Alicia Saenz
Josephine S. Wayne was the first wife of American film actor John Wayne. The union produced four children including film producer Michael Wayne and actor Patrick Wayne.-Biography:...

, Esperanza Baur
Esperanza Baur
Esperanza Baur Díaz was a Mexican actress, and was the second wife of John Wayne.-Biography:Born Esperanza Díaz Ceballos, nicknamed "Chata", she appeared in a small number of Spanish language films, both in leading and supporting roles.Esperanza met John Wayne in 1941 in Mexico City while he was...

, and Pilar Pallete
Pilar Pallete
Pilar Pallete is a former Peruvian actress and third wife of the American film star John Wayne.-Biography:Pilar was born into an upper class family, the daughter of a Peruvian senator. She married and divorced professional big-game hunter Richard Weldy...

. He had four children with Josephine:
  • Michael Wayne
    Michael Wayne
    Michael Anthony Morrison was an American film producer and actor, and the eldest son of legendary Hollywood actor John Wayne and his first wife, Josephine Alicia Saenz.-Biography:...

     (film producer) — Born November 23, 1934 / Died April 2, 2003
  • Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava — Born February 25, 1936 / Died December 6, 2000
  • Patrick Wayne
    Patrick Wayne
    Patrick John Morrison, better known by his stage name Patrick Wayne , is an American actor, the second son of movie star John Wayne and his first wife, Josephine Alicia Saenz. He made over 40 films in his career, including nine with his father...

     (actor) — Born July 15, 1939
  • Melinda Wayne Munoz — Born December 3, 1940


and three with Pilar:
  • Aissa Wayne (actress, now attorney) — Born March 31, 1956
  • John Ethan Wayne
    Ethan Wayne
    John Ethan Morrison, better known by his stage name Ethan Wayne is an American actor, son of actor John Wayne and his third wife Pilar Pallete Wayne. Ethan grew up in Newport Beach where he shared his father's love of the ocean and outdoors...

     (actor) — Born February 22, 1962
  • Marisa Wayne (actress) — Born February 22, 1966


Heavyweight boxer Tommy Morrison
Tommy Morrison
Tommy David Morrison is an American heavyweight boxer and a former World Boxing Organization champion. He lost only three out of a total of 52 professional fights. Morrison's nickname, "The Duke," is based on disputed claims that he is a grandnephew of Hollywood star John Wayne...

 alleges that Wayne is his great-uncle. Wayne's son Ethan was billed as John Ethan Wayne in a few films, and played one of the leads in the 1990s update of the Adam-12
Adam-12
Adam-12 was a television police drama which followed two police officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, Pete Malloy and Jim Reed, as they patrolled the streets of Los Angeles in their patrol unit, 1-Adam-12. Created by Jack Webb who is known for creating Dragnet, the series captured a...

television series.

His stormiest divorce was from Esperanza Baur, a former Mexican actress. She convinced herself that Wayne and co-star Gail Russell
Gail Russell
Gail Russell was an American film and television actress.-Career:She was born Elizabeth L. Russell to George and Gladys Russell in Chicago, Illinois, and then moved to the Los Angeles, California, area when she was a teenager. Russell's extraordinary beauty brought her to the attention of...

 were having an affair. The night the film Angel and the Badman
Angel and the Badman
Angel and the Badman is a 1947 black-and-white Western film, starring John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey and Bruce Cabot which examines the ability of a gunman to renounce violence. This film, which was the first one Wayne produced as well as starred in, was a departure for this genre at the...

(1947) wrapped, there was the usual party for cast and crew, and Wayne came home very late. Esperanza was in a drunken rage by the time he arrived, and she attempted to shoot him as he walked through the front door.

Wayne's hair began thinning in the 1940s, and he started wearing a hairpiece by the end of that decade (though his receding hairline is quite evident in Rio Grande). He was occasionally seen in public without the hairpiece (notably, according to Life Magazine photos, at Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
Frank James Cooper, known professionally as Gary Cooper, was an American film actor. He was renowned for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic, but at times intense screen persona, which was particularly well suited to the many Westerns he made...

's funeral). The only time he unintentionally appeared on film without it was for a split second in North to Alaska. On the first punch of the climactic fistfight, Wayne's hat flies off, revealing a brief flash of his unadorned scalp. Wayne also has several scenes in The Wings of Eagles
The Wings of Eagles
The Wings of Eagles is a 1957 Metrocolor film about Frank "Spig" Wead and US Naval aviation from its inception through World War II. The film is a tribute to Wead from his friend, director John Ford....

where he is without his hairpiece. (During a widely noted appearance at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, Wayne was asked by a student, "Is your hair real?" Wayne responded in the affirmative, then added, "It's not mine, but it's real!")

Wayne had several high-profile affairs, including one with Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer.Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films...

 that lasted for three years. In the years prior to his death, Wayne was romantically involved with his former secretary Pat Stacy (1941–1995). She wrote a biography of her life with him, DUKE: A Love Story (1983).

A close friend of Wayne's, California Congressman Alphonzo Bell
Alphonzo E. Bell, Jr.
Alphonzo "Al" Bell, Jr. was an eight-term United States Representative from California, who represented Los Angeles, California's influential Westside.-Family Background & Early Life:...

, wrote of him, "Duke's personality and sense of humor were very close to what the general public saw on the big screen. It is perhaps best shown in these words he had engraved on a plaque: 'Each of us is a mixture of some good and some not so good qualities. In considering one's fellow man it's important to remember the good things ... We should refrain from making judgments just because a fella happens to be a dirty, rotten SOB.'"

During the early 1960s, John Wayne traveled extensively to Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

. During this time, the actor reportedly purchased the island of Taborcillo
Taborcillo
Isla Taborcillo is a small private island off the coast of Panama which was once owned by American film actor John Wayne. Currently owned by Austrian businessman Ralph Hübner, the island contains a resort hotel and theme park, and is a vacation destination for European and American tourists.-...

 off the main coast of Panama. It was sold by his estate at his death and changed hands many times before being opened as a tourist attraction.

Wayne was a Freemason
Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge...

, a Master Mason in Marion McDaniel Lodge #56 F&AM, in Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States. The city is located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116 with a metropolitan area population at 1,020,200...

. He became a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and later joined the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

. He became a member of the York Rite
York Rite
The York Rite or American Rite is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority...

.

Wayne biographer Michael Munn writes of Wayne's love of alcohol. According to Sam O'Steen
Sam O'Steen
Samuel Alexander O'Steen was an American film editor and director. He had an extended, notable collaboration with the director Mike Nichols, with whom he edited twelve films between 1966 and 1994...

's memoir, Cut to the Chase, studio directors knew to shoot Wayne's scenes before noon, because by afternoon Wayne "was a mean drunk".

John Wayne's height has been perennially described as at least 6'4" (193 cm), but claims abound that he was shorter. However, Wayne's high school athletic records indicate he was 6'3" at age 17, and his University of Southern California athletic records state that by age 18, he had grown to 6'4".

Death

Although he enrolled in a cancer vaccine study in an attempt to ward off the disease, John Wayne died of stomach cancer
Stomach cancer
Gastric cancer, commonly referred to as stomach cancer, can develop in any part of the stomach and may spread throughout the stomach and to other organs; particularly the esophagus, lungs, lymph nodes, and the liver...

 on June 11, 1979, at the UCLA Medical Center, and was interred in the Pacific View Memorial Park cemetery in Corona del Mar. According to his son Patrick and his grandson Matthew Muñoz, a priest in the California Diocese of Orange
Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is a particular church of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church whose territory comprises the whole of Orange County, California, in the United States...

, he converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before his death. He requested his tombstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal", a Mexican epitaph Wayne described as meaning "ugly, strong and dignified". However, the grave, unmarked for twenty years, is now marked with a quotation from his controversial 1971 Playboy
Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

interview: "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

Among the 220 or so cast and crew who filmed the 1956 film, The Conqueror
The Conqueror (film)
The Conqueror is a 1956 CinemaScope epic film produced by Howard Hughes and starring John Wayne as the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan. Other performers included Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, and Pedro Armendáriz. Directed by actor/director Dick Powell, the film was principally shot near St...

, on location near St. George, Utah
St. George, Utah
St. George is a city located in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Utah, and the county seat of Washington County, Utah. It is the principal city of and is included in the St. George, Utah, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is 119 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 303 miles ...

, 91 at various times developed some form of cancer (41%), including stars Wayne, Susan Hayward
Susan Hayward
Susan Hayward was an American actress.After working as a fashion model in New York, Hayward travelled to Hollywood in 1937 when open auditions were held for the leading role in Gone with the Wind . Although she was not selected, she secured a film contract, and played several small supporting...

, and Agnes Moorehead
Agnes Moorehead
Agnes Robertson Moorehead was an American actress. Although she began with the Mercury Theatre, appeared in more than seventy films beginning with Citizen Kane and on dozens of television shows during a career that spanned more than thirty years, Moorehead is most widely known to modern audiences...

, and director Dick Powell
Dick Powell
Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell was an American singer, actor, producer, director and studio boss.Despite the same last name he was not related to William Powell, Eleanor Powell or Jane Powell.-Biography:...

. The film was shot in southwestern Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

, east of and generally downwind
Downwinders
Downwinders refers to individuals and communities who are exposed to radioactive contamination or nuclear fallout from atmospheric or underground nuclear weapons testing, and nuclear accidents...

 from the site of recent U.S. Government nuclear weapons tests in southeastern Nevada
Nevada Test Site
The Nevada National Security Site , previously the Nevada Test Site , is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in southeastern Nye County, Nevada, about northwest of the city of Las Vegas...

. Although the 41% incidence of cancer in the cast and crew is identical to that of the general population, many contend radioactive fallout from these tests contaminated the film location and poisoned the film crew working there. Despite the suggestion that Wayne's 1964 lung cancer and his 1979 stomach cancer resulted from nuclear contamination, he himself believed his lung cancer to have been a result of his six-pack-a-day cigarette habit.

Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom

John Wayne's enduring status as an iconic American was formally recognized by the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 on May 26, 1979, when he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Hollywood figures and American leaders from across the political spectrum, including Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

, Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

, Mike Frankovich
Mike Frankovich
Mitchell John “M.J.” Frankovich was an American film producerFrankovich was born in Bisbee, Arizona. He played football for UCLA and was inducted into UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986...

, Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

, General and Mrs. Omar Bradley
Omar Bradley
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army...

, Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor.One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an...

, Robert Stack
Robert Stack
Robert Stack was an American actor. In addition to acting in more than 40 films, he was the star of the 1959-1963 ABC television series The Untouchables and later served as the host of Unsolved Mysteries.-Early life:...

, James Arness
James Arness
James King Arness was an American actor, best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon in the television series Gunsmoke for 20 years...

, and Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Out of the Past , Champion , Ace in the Hole , The Bad and the Beautiful , Lust for Life , Paths of Glory , Gunfight at the O.K...

, testified to Congress of the merit and deservedness of this award. Most notable was the testimony of Robert Aldrich
Robert Aldrich
Robert Aldrich was an American film director, writer and producer, notable for such films as Kiss Me Deadly , The Big Knife , What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? , Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte , The Flight of the Phoenix , The Dirty Dozen , and The Longest Yard .-Biography:Robert...

, then president of the Directors Guild of America
Directors Guild of America
Directors Guild of America is an entertainment labor union which represents the interests of film and television directors in the United States motion picture industry...

: "It is important for you to know that I am a registered Democrat and, to my knowledge, share none of the political views espoused by Duke. However, whether he is ill disposed or healthy, John Wayne is far beyond the normal political sharp shooting in this community. Because of his courage, his dignity, his integrity, and because of his talents as an actor, his strength as a leader, his warmth as a human being throughout his illustrious career, he is entitled to a unique spot in our hearts and minds. In this industry, we often judge people, sometimes unfairly, by asking whether they have paid their dues. John Wayne has paid his dues over and over, and I'm proud to consider him a friend and am very much in favor of my Government recognizing in some important fashion the contribution that Mr. Wayne has made."

Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara is an Irish film actress and singer. The famously red-headed O'Hara has been noted for playing fiercely passionate heroines with a highly sensible attitude. She often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne...

, Wayne's close friend, initiated the petition for the medal and requested the words that would be placed onto the medal: "It is my great honor to be here. I beg you to strike a medal for Duke, to order the President to strike it. And I feel that the medal should say just one thing, 'John Wayne, American.'" The medal crafted by the United States Mint
United States Mint
The United States Mint primarily produces circulating coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce. The Mint was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of State...

 has on one side John Wayne riding on horseback, and the other side has a portrait of Wayne with the words, "John Wayne, American". This Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the family of John Wayne in a ceremony held on March 6, 1980, at the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

. Copies were made and sold in large numbers to the public.

On June 9, 1980, Wayne was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 by Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, at whose inaugural ball Wayne had appeared "as a member of the loyal opposition", as Wayne described it in his speech to the gathering. Thus, Wayne received the two highest civilian decorations awarded by the United States government.

American icon

Wayne rose beyond the typical recognition for a famous actor to that of an enduring icon who symbolized and communicated American values and ideals. By the middle of his career, Wayne had developed a larger-than-life image, and as his career progressed, he selected roles that would not compromise his off-screen image. By the time of his last film The Shootist
The Shootist
The Shootist is a 1976 Western starring John Wayne in his final film role. It was based on the 1975 novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout. Scott Hale and Miles Hood Swarthout wrote the screenplay...

(1976), Wayne refused to allow his character to shoot a man in the back as was originally scripted, saying "I've made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back. Change it."

Wayne's rise to being the quintessential movie war hero began to take shape four years after World War II, when Sands of Iwo Jima
Sands of Iwo Jima
Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 war film that follows a group of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. It stars John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara and Forrest Tucker. The movie was written by Harry Brown and James Edward Grant and directed by Allan Dwan...

(1949) was released. His footprints at Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood were laid in concrete that contained sand from Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima, officially , is an island of the Japanese Volcano Islands chain, which lie south of the Ogasawara Islands and together with them form the Ogasawara Archipelago. The island is located south of mainland Tokyo and administered as part of Ogasawara, one of eight villages of Tokyo...

. His status grew so large and legendary that when Japanese Emperor Hirohito visited the United States in 1975, he asked to meet John Wayne, the symbolic representation of his country's former enemy.

Wayne was a popular visitor to the war zones in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. By the 1950s, perhaps in large part due to the military aspect of films such as the Sands of Iwo Jima
Sands of Iwo Jima
Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 war film that follows a group of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. It stars John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara and Forrest Tucker. The movie was written by Harry Brown and James Edward Grant and directed by Allan Dwan...

, Flying Tigers
Flying Tigers (film)
Flying Tigers is a 1942 black-and-white war film, starring John Wayne and John Carroll as mercenary fighter pilots fighting the Japanese in China prior to the U.S. entry into World War II....

, They Were Expendable
They Were Expendable
They Were Expendable is a 1945 American war film directed by John Ford and starring Robert Montgomery and John Wayne. The film is based on the book by William L. White, relating the story of the exploits of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three, a PT boat unit defending the Philippines against Japanese...

, and the Ford cavalry trilogy, Wayne had become an icon to all the branches of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, even in light of his actual lack of military service. Many veterans have said their reason for serving was in some part related to watching Wayne's movies. His name is attached to various pieces of gear, such as the P-38
P-38 can opener
The P-38, developed in 1942, is a small can opener issued in the canned field rations of the United States Armed Forces from World War II to the 1980s. Originally designed for and distributed in the K-ration, it was later included in the C-ration.- Design :...

 "John Wayne" can opener, so named because "it can do anything", paper towels known as "John Wayne toilet paper" because "it's rough and it's tough and don't take shit off no one," and C-ration
C-ration
The C-Ration, or Type C ration, was an individual canned, pre-cooked, or prepared wet ration intended to be issued to U.S. military land forces when fresh food or packaged unprepared food prepared in mess halls or field kitchens was impractical or not available, and when a survival ration was...

 crackers are called "John Wayne crackers" because presumably only someone as tough as Wayne could eat them. A rough and rocky mountain pass used by military tanks and jeeps at Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County, California, is aptly named "John Wayne Pass".

Various public locations, named in memory of John Wayne, include John Wayne Airport
John Wayne Airport
John Wayne Airport is an airport in an unincorporated area in Orange County, California, with its mailing address in the city of Santa Ana, which is also the county seat, hence the International Air Transport Association airport code. The main entrance to the airport is off of MacArthur Blvd in...

 in Orange County, California
Orange County, California
Orange County is a county in the U.S. state of California. Its county seat is Santa Ana. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,010,232, up from 2,846,293 at the 2000 census, making it the third most populous county in California, behind Los Angeles County and San Diego County...

, where his nine-foot bronze statue graces the entrance; the John Wayne Marina that Wayne bequeathed the land for, near Sequim, Washington
Sequim, Washington
Sequim is a city in Clallam County, Washington, United States. The 2010 US Census counted a population of 6,606. Sequim is located along the Dungeness River near the base of the Olympic Mountains...

; John Wayne Elementary School
John Wayne Elementary School
John Wayne Elementary SchoolP.S. 380, located at 370 Marcy Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.Dedicated in honor of John Wayne on October 28, 1982, "John Wayne Elementary School Day".John Wayne's seven children attended the dedication....

 (P.S. 380) in Brooklyn, New York, which boasts a 38-foot mosaic
Mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

 mural
Mural
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.-History:Murals of...

 commission by New York artist Knox Martin
Knox Martin
Knox Martin is an American painter, sculptor and muralist.Born in 1923 in Barranquilla, Colombia, he studied at the Art Students League of New York from 1946 till 1950. He is one of the leading members of New York School - a group of artists and writers. He lives and works in New York City."Art is...

 entitled "John Wayne and the American Frontier"; and a 100-plus-mile trail named the "John Wayne Pioneer Trail" in Washington state's Iron Horse State Park
Iron Horse State Park
Iron Horse State Park, part of the Washington State Park System, is a state park located in the Cascade Mountains and Yakima River Valley, between Cedar Falls on the west and the Columbia River on the east....

. A larger than life-size bronze statue of Wayne atop a horse was erected at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California
Beverly Hills, California
Beverly Hills is an affluent city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. With a population of 34,109 at the 2010 census, up from 33,784 as of the 2000 census, it is home to numerous Hollywood celebrities. Beverly Hills and the neighboring city of West Hollywood are together...

 at the former offices of the Great Western Savings & Loan Corporation, for whom Wayne had made a number of commercials. (The building now houses Larry Flynt
Larry Flynt
Larry Claxton Flynt, Jr. is an American publisher and the president of Larry Flynt Publications . In 2003, Arena magazine listed him as the number one on the "50 Powerful People in Porn" list....

 Enterprises.)

In the city of Maricopa, Arizona
Maricopa, Arizona
-Surrounding Municipalities:-Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 43,482 people, 14,359 households, and 11,110 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,356.8 people per square mile . There were 17,240 housing units at an average density of 540.4 per square mile...

, part of Arizona State Route 347 is named John Wayne Parkway, which runs through the center of town.

On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

 and First Lady Maria Shriver
Maria Shriver
Maria Owings Shriver is an American journalist and author of six best-selling books. She has received a Peabody Award, and was co-anchor for NBC's Emmy-winning coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics. As executive producer of The Alzheimer's Project, Shriver earned two Emmy Awards and an Academy of...

 inducted Wayne into the California Hall of Fame
California Hall of Fame
Conceived by First Lady Maria Shriver, the California Hall of Fame was established at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts to honor individuals and families who embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history...

, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts
The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts
The California Museum, formerly The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts – home of the California Hall of Fame – is housed in the State Archives Building in Sacramento, one block from the State Capitol...

.

Celebrations and landmarks

Several celebrations took place on May 26, 2007, the centennial of John Wayne's birth.

At the John Wayne birthplace in Winterset, Iowa, the John Wayne Birthday Centennial Celebration was held on May 25–27, 2007. The celebration included chuck-wagon suppers, concerts by Michael Martin Murphey
Michael Martin Murphey
Michael Martin Murphey is an American singer-songwriter best known for writing and performing Western music, Country music, and Popular music. A multiple Grammy nominee, Murphey has six gold albums, including Cowboy Songs, the first album of cowboy music to achieve gold status since Gunfighter...

 and Riders in the Sky, a Wild West Revue in the style of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, a Cowboy Symposium with John Wayne co-stars, Gregg Palmer, Ed Faulkner, and Dean Smith, along with Paramount producer A.C. Lyles and costumer Luster Bayless were all there to talk about their friendships with Wayne. They had cavalry and trick horse demonstrations, as well as many of John Wayne's films running at the local theater.

This event also included the groundbreaking for the New John Wayne Birthplace Museum and Learning Center at his birthplace house. Over 30 family members were there, including Melinda Wayne Munoz, Aissa, Ethan and Marisa Wayne. Several grandchildren and great-grandchildren were also present. An old gas station is being torn down to make way for the new museum. This groundbreaking was held with Ethan Wayne at the controls of the equipment.

In 2006, friends of Wayne's and his former Arizona business partner, Louis Johnson, inaugurated the "Louie and the Duke Classics" events benefiting the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is the "nationwide community-based voluntary health organization" dedicated, in their own words, "to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and...

. The weekend long event each fall in Casa Grande, Arizona
Casa Grande, Arizona
Casa Grande is a city in Pinal County, approximately halfway between Phoenix and Tucson in the U.S. state of Arizona. According to 2010 Census, the population of the city is 48,571...

 includes a golf tournament, an auction of John Wayne memorabilia and a team roping
Team roping
Team roping also known as heading and heeling is a rodeo event that features a steer and two mounted riders. The first roper is referred to as the "header," the person who ropes the front of the steer, usually around the horns, but it is also legal for the rope to go around the neck, or go around...

 competition.

Missed roles

  • John Wayne desperately wanted the role of "Jimmy Ringo" in the 1950 film The Gunfighter, directed by Henry King, but the role went to Gregory Peck
    Gregory Peck
    Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor.One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an...

     instead. John Wayne's final film, The Shootist
    The Shootist
    The Shootist is a 1976 Western starring John Wayne in his final film role. It was based on the 1975 novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout. Scott Hale and Miles Hood Swarthout wrote the screenplay...

    (1976), directed by Don Siegel was very similar to The Gunfighter.
  • An urban legend has it that John Wayne was offered the leading role of Matt Dillon in the longtime favorite television show Gunsmoke
    Gunsmoke
    Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West....

    , but he turned it down, recommending instead James Arness
    James Arness
    James King Arness was an American actor, best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon in the television series Gunsmoke for 20 years...

     for the role. The only part of this story that is true is that Wayne did indeed recommend Arness for the part. Wayne introduced Arness in a prologue to the first episode of Gunsmoke.
  • Wayne was approached by Mel Brooks
    Mel Brooks
    Mel Brooks is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. He began his career as a stand-up comic and as a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows...

     to play the part of the Waco Kid in the film Blazing Saddles
    Blazing Saddles
    Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, and Al Uger, and was based on Bergman's story and draft. The movie was nominated for three...

    .
    After reading the script he said, "I can't be in this picture, it's too dirty ... but I'll be the first in line to see it."
  • He reportedly had initially strongly considered taking the role of Major Reisman in The Dirty Dozen
    The Dirty Dozen
    The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 film directed by Robert Aldrich and released by MGM. It was filmed in England and features an ensemble cast, including Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Telly Savalas, and Robert Webber. The film is based on E. M...

    , even asking MGM to make changes to the script to accommodate him. But ultimately, he turned it down to make The Green Berets
    The Green Berets (film)
    The Green Berets is a 1968 war film featuring John Wayne, George Takei, David Janssen, Jim Hutton and Aldo Ray, nominally based on the eponymous 1965 book by Robin Moore, though the screenplay has little relation to the book....

    . The role went to Lee Marvin
    Lee Marvin
    Lee Marvin was an American film actor. Known for his gravelly voice, white hair and 6' 2" stature, Marvin at first did supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers and other hardboiled characters, but after winning an Academy Award for Best Actor for his dual roles in Cat Ballou , he landed more...

    .
  • Wayne had lobbied to play the lead in Dirty Harry
    Dirty Harry
    Dirty Harry is a 1971 American crime thriller produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the title role, in his first outing as San Francisco Police Department Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan....

    , but Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

     felt that at age 63, he was too old for the role. The role eventually went to Clint Eastwood
    Clint Eastwood
    Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide...

    .
  • Prior to his death, Wayne had bought the film rights to Buddy Atkinson's novel, Beau John, and was in the pre-production stage of the movie when he took ill. The film was a comedy set in Kentucky
    Kentucky
    The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

     during the 1920s, and would have co-starred Ron Howard
    Ron Howard
    Ronald William "Ron" Howard is an American actor, director, and producer. He came to prominence as a child actor, playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, and later the teenaged Richie Cunningham in the sitcom Happy Days for six years...

     and Hal Linden
    Hal Linden
    Hal Linden is an American stage and television actor and television director, best known for his role in the television comedy series Barney Miller and as presenter on the ABC educational series Animals, Animals, Animals....

    .

Academy Award

Wayne was nominated for three Academy Awards, which are presented annually by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures...

 (AMPAS) to recognize excellence in the film industry, winning one of them.

Best Actor

The winner for each year is highlighted in yellow.

- 1949 -
1949 in film
The year 1949 in film involved some significant events.-Top grossing films :- Awards :Academy Awards:*Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff, starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello...

- 1969 -
1969 in film
The year 1969 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* Last year for prize giving at the Venice Film Festival until it is revived in 1980...

Actor Film Actor Film
Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford was an Academy Award-winning American stage, film, radio and TV actor, often cast in tough-guy roles and best known for his starring role in the television series "Highway Patrol."-Early life:...

All the King's Men
All the King's Men
All the King's Men is a novel by Robert Penn Warren first published in 1946. Its title is drawn from the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. In 1947 Warren won the Pulitzer Prize for All the King's Men....

Best Picture
Richard Burton
Richard Burton
Richard Burton, CBE was a Welsh actor. He was nominated seven times for an Academy Award, six of which were for Best Actor in a Leading Role , and was a recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony Awards for Best Actor. Although never trained as an actor, Burton was, at one time, the highest-paid...

Anne of the Thousand Days
Anne of the Thousand Days
Anne of the Thousand Days is a 1969 costume drama made by Hal Wallis Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Charles Jarrott and produced by Hal B. Wallis. The film tells the story of Anne Boleyn...

Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Out of the Past , Champion , Ace in the Hole , The Bad and the Beautiful , Lust for Life , Paths of Glory , Gunfight at the O.K...

Champion
Champion (1949 film)
Champion is an American film noir drama based on a short story by Ring Lardner. Filmed in black-and-white, it recounts the struggles of boxer "Midge" Kelly fighting his own demons while working to achieve success in the boxing ring. The drama was directed by Mark Robson, with cinematography by...

Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters....

Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It was written by Waldo Salt, directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Dustin Hoffman and newcomer Jon Voight in the title role. Notable smaller roles are filled by Sylvia Miles, John...

Best Picture
Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor.One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an...

Twelve O'Clock High
Twelve O'Clock High
Twelve O'Clock High is a 1949 American war film about aircrews in the United States Army's Eighth Air Force who flew daylight bombing missions against Nazi Germany and occupied France during the early days of American involvement in World War II. The film was adapted by Sy Bartlett, Henry King ...

Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole is an Irish actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most...

Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a novel by James Hilton, published in the United States in June 1934 by Little, Brown and Company and in the United Kingdom in October of that same year by Hodder & Stoughton...

Richard Todd
Richard Todd
Richard Todd OBE was an Irish-born British stage and film actor and soldier.-Early life:Richard Todd was born as Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd in Dublin, Ireland. His father, Andrew William Palethorpe Todd, was an Irish physician and an international Irish rugby player who gained three caps for...

The Hasty Heart
The Hasty Heart
The Hasty Heart is a 1949 British-American co-production film based on the play of the same name by John Patrick. It tells the story of a group of wounded Allied soldiers in a mobile surgery unit at the end of World War II who, after initial resentment and ostracism, rally around a loner, a...

Jon Voight
Jon Voight
Jonathan Vincent "Jon" Voight is an American actor. He has received an Academy Award, out of four nominations, and three Golden Globe Awards, out of nine nominations. Voight is the father of actress Angelina Jolie....

Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It was written by Waldo Salt, directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Dustin Hoffman and newcomer Jon Voight in the title role. Notable smaller roles are filled by Sylvia Miles, John...

Best Picture
John Wayne Sands of Iwo Jima
Sands of Iwo Jima
Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 war film that follows a group of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. It stars John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara and Forrest Tucker. The movie was written by Harry Brown and James Edward Grant and directed by Allan Dwan...

John Wayne True Grit

Producer

- 1960 -
1960 in film
The year 1960 in film involved some significant events, with Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho the top-grossing release in the U.S.-Events:* April 20 - for the first time since coming home from military service in Germany, Elvis Presley returns to Hollywood, California to film G.I...

Producer Film
Bernard Smith
Bernard Smith (editor)
Bernard Smith was an American literary editor, film producer, and literary critic. He is best remembered for his work at the Knopf publishing house, where he edited B. Traven, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett, and Langston Hughes.He attended City University of New York, and in 1928 began...

Elmer Gantry
Elmer Gantry (film)
Elmer Gantry is a 1960 drama film about a con man and a female evangelist selling religion to small town America. Adapted by director Richard Brooks, the film is based on the 1927 novel of the same name by Sinclair Lewis and stars Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons.Lancaster won an Academy Award for...

Jerry Wald
Jerry Wald
Jerry Wald was an American producer and screenwriter for motion pictures and radio shows.Born Jerome Irving Wald in Brooklyn, New York, he had a brother and sons who were active in show business. Jerry began writing a radio column for the New York Evening Graphic while a student at New York...

Sons and Lovers
Sons and Lovers
Sons and Lovers is a 1913 novel by the English writer D. H. Lawrence. The Modern Library placed it ninth on their list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century.-Plot introduction and history:...

John Wayne The Alamo
The Alamo (1960 film)
The Alamo is a 1960 American historical epic released by United Artists. The film was directed by John Wayne, who also starred as Davy Crockett. The cast also includes Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie and Laurence Harvey as William B...

Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder was an Austro-Hungarian born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age...

The Apartment
The Apartment
The Apartment is a 1960 American comedy-drama film produced and directed by Billy Wilder, and starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray. It was Wilder's follow-up to the enormously popular Some Like It Hot and, like its predecessor, was a commercial and critical hit, grossing $25...

Fred Zinnemann
Fred Zinnemann
Fred Zinnemann was an Austrian-American film director. He won four Academy Awards and directed films like High Noon, From Here to Eternity and A Man for All Seasons.-Life and career:...

The Sundowners
The Sundowners
The Sundowners is a 1960 film that tells the story of an Australian outback family torn between the father's desires to continue his nomadic sheep-herding ways and the wife's and son's desire to settle down in one place...


Golden Globe

The Golden Globe Awards are presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is an organization composed of working journalists who cover the United States film industry for a variety of outlets, including newspapers and magazines in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America. Today, the 90 members of the HFPA represent at least 55...

 (HFPA) to recognize outstanding achievements in the entertainment industry, both domestic and foreign, and to focus wide public attention upon the best in motion pictures and television. Wayne won a Golden Globe Award for his performance in "True Grit".

The Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures is an annual award given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at the Golden Globe Award ceremonies in Hollywood, California. It was named in honor of Cecil B. DeMille (1881–1959), one of the industry's most successful filmmakers; John Wayne won this particular award in 1966.

See also

  • Hall of Great Western Performers
    Hall of Great Western Performers
    The Hall of Great Western Performers is a Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A. It is sometimes referred to as the "Western Performers Hall of Fame"...

  • List of film director and actor collaborations
  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
    National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
    The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with more than 28,000 Western and American Indian art works and artifacts. The facility also has the world's most extensive collection of American rodeo, photographs, barbed wire, saddlery, and early rodeo trophies...

  • Red Scare
    Red Scare
    Durrell Blackwell Durrell Blackwell The term Red Scare denotes two distinct periods of strong Anti-Communism in the United States: the First Red Scare, from 1919 to 1920, and the Second Red Scare, from 1947 to 1957. The First Red Scare was about worker revolution and...



Further reading

  • Baur, Andreas, and Bitterli, Konrad. "Brave Lonesome Cowboy. Der Mythos des Westerns in der Gegenwartskunst oder: John Wayne zum 100. Geburtstag". Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg. Nuremberg 2007 ISBN 978-3-939738-15-2.
  • Roberts, Randy, and James S. Olson. John Wayne: American. New York: Free Press, 1995 ISBN 978-0029238370.
  • Campbell, James T. "Print the Legend: John Wayne and Postwar American Culture". Reviews in American History, Volume 28, Number 3, September 2000, pp. 465–477.
  • Shepherd, Donald, and Robert Slatzer, with Dave Grayson. Duke: The Life and Times of John Wayne. New York: Doubleday, 1985 ISBN 0-385-17893-X.
  • Carey, Harry Jr.
    Harry Carey, Jr.
    Harry Carey, Jr. is an American film actor. He appeared in over 90 films. He is mostly remembered for appearing in Western films — notably those by his friend John Ford — and in television programs.-Early life:...

     A Company of Heroes: My Life as an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1994 ISBN 0-8108-2865-0.
  • Clark, Donald & Christopher Anderson. John Wayne's The Alamo: The Making of the Epic Film. New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1995 ISBN 0-8065-1625-9. (pbk.)
  • Eyman, Scott. Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999 ISBN 0-684-81161-8.
  • McCarthy, Todd. Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood. New York: Grove Press, 1997 ISBN 0-8021-1598-5.
  • Maurice Zolotow
    Maurice Zolotow
    Maurice Zolotow was a show business biographer. He wrote books and magazine articles. His articles appeared in publications including Life, Collier's Weekly, Reader's Digest, Look , Los Angeles, and many others...

    ., Shooting Star: A Biography of John Wayne. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974 ISBN 0671829696.
  • Jim Beaver
    Jim Beaver
    James Norman "Jim" Beaver, Jr. is an American stage, film, and television actor, playwright, screenwriter, and film historian...

    , "John Wayne". Films in Review, Volume 28, Number 5, May 1977, pp. 265–284.
  • McGivern, Carolyn. John Wayne: A Giant Shadow. Bracknell, England: Sammon, 2000 ISBN 0-9540031-0-1.
  • Davis, Ronald L. Duke: The Life and Times of John Wayne. University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. ISBN 0806133295.
  • Raab, Markus, Beautiful Hearts, Laughers at the World, Bowlers. Worldviews of the Late Western; in: Baur/Bitterli: Brave Lonesome Cowboy. Der Myhos des Westerns in der Gegenwartskunst oder: John Wayne zum 100. Geburtstag, Nuremberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-939738-15-2.


External links

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