Marion Robert Morrison (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), known professionally as John Wayne and nicknamed Duke, was an American actor and filmmaker who became a through his starring roles in films made during , especially in Western and war movies. His career flourished from the of the 1920s through the , as he appeared in a total of 179 film and television productions. He was among the top box-office draws for three decades, and he appeared with many other important Hollywood stars of his era. In 1999, the selected Wayne as one of the of classic American cinema. Wayne was born in , but grew up in . He lost a football scholarship to the as a result of a accident, and began working for the . He appeared mostly in small parts, but his first leading role came in 's Western ' (1930), an early widescreen film epic which was a box-office failure. He played leading roles in numerous during the 1930s, most of them also Westerns, without becoming a major name. 's ' (1939) made Wayne a mainstream star, and he starred in 142 motion pictures altogether. According to one biographer, "John Wayne personified for millions the nation's frontier heritage." Wayne's other roles in Westerns include a cattleman driving his herd on the in ' (1948), a veteran whose niece is abducted by a tribe of s in ' (1956), a troubled rancher competing with a lawyer () for a woman's hand in ' (1962), and a in ' (1969), for which he received the . He is also remembered for his roles in ' (1952), ' (1959) with , and ' (1962). In his final screen performance, he starred as an aging gunfighter battling cancer in ' (1976). He made his last public appearance at the ceremony on April 9, 1979 before succumbing to stomach cancer two months later. He was posthumously awarded the , the highest civilian honor of the United States.

Early life

Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907, at 224 South Second Street in . The local paper, ''Winterset Madisonian'', reported on page 4 of the edition of May 30, 1907, that Wayne weighed 13 lb (around 6 kg) at birth. Wayne claimed his middle name was soon changed from Robert to Michael when his parents decided to name their next son Robert, but extensive research has found no such legal change. Wayne's legal name remained Marion Robert Morrison his entire life. Wayne's father, Clyde Leonard Morrison (1884–1937), was the son of American Civil War veteran Marion Mitchell Morrison (1845–1915). Wayne's mother, the former Mary "Molly" Alberta Brown (1885–1970), was from . Wayne had , , and ancestry. His great-great grandfather Robert Morrison (b. 1782) left , Ireland, with his mother, arriving in New York in 1799 and eventually settling in . The Morrisons were originally from the Isle of Lewis in the , Scotland. He was raised Presbyterian. Wayne's family moved to , and then in 1916 to at 404 Isabel Street, where his father worked as a pharmacist. He attended , where he performed well in both sports and academics. Wayne was part of his high school's football team and its debating team. He was also the president of the Latin Society and contributed to the school's newspaper sports column. 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 , Duke.Munn, Michael (2003). ''John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth''. London: Robson Books. p. 7. . He preferred "Duke" to "Marion", and the nickname stuck. Wayne attended Wilson Middle School in Glendale. As a teen, he worked in an ice-cream shop for a man who horses for Hollywood studios. He was also active as a member of the . He played football for the 1924 league champion team. Wayne applied to the , but was not accepted. Instead, he attended the (USC), majoring in . He was a member of the and fraternities. Wayne also played on the under coach . A broken collarbone injury curtailed his athletic career; Wayne later noted that he was too terrified of Jones' reaction to reveal the actual cause of his injury, a accident. He lost his athletic scholarship, and without funds, had to leave the university.Shephard, Richard
. JWayne.com. Retrieved March 11, 2010.


Early works and first lead role

As a favor to coach Jones, who had given silent Western film star tickets to USC games, director and Mix hired Wayne as a prop boy and extra. Wayne later credited his walk, talk, and persona to his acquaintance with , who was good friends with Tom Mix. Wayne soon moved to s, establishing a longtime friendship with the director who provided most of those roles, John Ford. Early in this period, he had a minor, uncredited role as a guard in the 1926 film '. Wayne also appeared with his USC teammates playing football in ' (1926), ' (1927), and ' (1929) and ' (filmed in 1930, released in 1931).
. Think Quest: Library.
While working for in bit roles, Wayne was given on-screen credit as "Duke Morrison" only once, in ' (1929). Director saw him moving studio furniture while working as a prop boy and cast him in his first starring role in ' (1930). For his screen name, Walsh suggested "Anthony Wayne", after General . Fox Studios chief rejected it as sounding "too Italian". Walsh then suggested "John Wayne". Sheehan agreed, and the name was set. Wayne 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 then-staggering cost over $2 million (over $32.8 million equivalent in 2021), using hundreds of extras and wide vistas of the , still largely unpopulated at the time. To take advantage of the breathtaking scenery, it was filmed in two versions, a standard version and another in the new process, using an innovative camera and lenses. Many in the audience who saw it in Grandeur stood and cheered, but only a handful of theaters were equipped to show the film in its widescreen process, and the effort was largely wasted at the time. The film was considered a huge box-office flop at the time, but came to be highly regarded by modern critics.

Subsequent films, breakthrough, and war years

After the commercial failure of ''The Big Trail'', Wayne was relegated to small roles in A pictures, including Columbia's ' (1931), in which he played a corpse. He appeared in the ' (1933), an updated version of the novel in which the protagonists were soldiers in the in then-contemporary North Africa. He played the lead, with his name over the title, in many low-budget Westerns, mostly at and serials for . By Wayne's own estimation, he appeared in about 80 of these s from 1930 to 1939. In ' (1933), he became one of the first s of film, albeit via dubbing. Wayne also appeared in some of the ' Westerns, whose title was a on the Dumas classic. He was mentored by in riding and other skills. Stuntman and Wayne developed and perfected stunts and onscreen fisticuffs techniques that are still in use. One of the main innovations with which Wayne is credited in these early Poverty Row Westerns is allowing the good guys to fight as convincingly as the bad guys, by not always making them fight clean. Wayne claimed, "Before I came along, it was standard practice that the hero must always fight clean. The heavy was allowed to hit the hero in the head with a chair or throw a kerosene lamp at him or kick him in the stomach, but the hero could only knock the villain down politely and then wait until he rose. I changed all that. I threw chairs and lamps. I fought hard and I fought dirty. I fought to win." Wayne's second breakthrough role came with John Ford's ' (1939). Because of Wayne's 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 major studios, Ford struck a deal with independent producer in which —a much bigger star at the time—received top billing. ''Stagecoach'' was a huge critical and financial success, and Wayne became a mainstream star. Cast member credited Ford as saying at the time that Wayne would become the biggest star ever because of his appeal as the archetypal "everyman".
pp. 40:
America's entry into resulted in a deluge of support for the war effort from all sectors of society, and Hollywood was no exception. Wayne was exempted from service due to his age (34 at the time of ) and family status (classified as 3-A – family deferment). Wayne repeatedly wrote to John Ford saying he wanted to enlist, on one occasion inquiring whether he could get into Ford's military unit. Wayne did not attempt to prevent his reclassification as 1-A (draft eligible), but was emphatically resistant to losing him, since he was their only A-list actor under contract. , president of Republic, threatened Wayne with a lawsuit if he walked away from his contract, and Republic Pictures intervened in the Selective Service process, requesting Wayne's further deferment. U.S. National Archives records indicate that Wayne, in fact, did make an application to serve in the (OSS), precursor to the modern , and had been accepted within the U.S. Army's allotted billet to the OSS. , OSS commander, wrote Wayne a letter informing him of his acceptance into the Field Photographic Unit, but the letter went to his estranged wife Josephine's home. She never told him about it. Wayne toured U.S. bases and hospitals in the South Pacific for three months in 1943 and 1944, with the . During this trip, he carried out a request from Donovan to assess whether General , commander of the , or his staff were hindering the work of the OSS. Donovan later issued Wayne an OSS Certificate of Service to memorialize Wayne's contribution to the OSS mission. By many accounts, his failure to serve in the military later became the most painful part of his life. His widow later suggested that his patriotism in later decades sprang from guilt, writing: "He would become a 'superpatriot' for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying home." Wayne's first color film was ' (1941), in which he co-starred with his longtime friend . The following year, he appeared in his only film directed by , the epic ' (1942), in which he co-starred with and ; it was one of the rare times he played a character with questionable values. Like most Hollywood stars of his era, Wayne appeared as a guest on radio programs, such as: ''The Show'' and ''The Show''. He made a number of appearances in dramatic roles, mainly recreations for radio of his own film roles, on such programs as ' and '. For six months in 1942, Wayne starred in his own radio adventure series, ''Three Sheets to the Wind'', produced by film director . In the series, an international spy/detective show, Wayne played Dan O'Brien, a detective who used alcoholism as a mask for his investigatory endeavors. The show was intended by Garnett to be a pilot of sorts for a film version, though the motion picture never came to fruition. No episodes of the series featuring Wayne seem to have survived, though a demonstration episode with in the leading role does exist. Wayne, not Donlevy, played the role throughout the series' run on . Director offered the starring role in ' (1949) to Wayne, but he refused, believing the script to be un-American in many ways. , who was eventually cast in the role, won the 1949 Oscar for best male actor, ironically beating out Wayne, who had been nominated for ' (1949).


He lost the leading role of Jimmy Ringo in ' (1950) to due to his refusal to work for Columbia Pictures because its chief, , 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 , which cast Peck in the role Wayne badly wanted, but for which he refused to bend. , the production company co-founded by Wayne in 1952, was named after the fictional shipping company Batjak in ' (1948), a film based on the novel by . (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 productions were ' (1956), which started the classic collaboration between director and star , and ' (1956) with contract player as an outlaw. One of Wayne's most popular roles was in ' (1954), directed by , and based on a novel by . His portrayal of a heroic copilot won widespread acclaim. Wayne also portrayed aviators in ' (1942), ' (1951), ' (1953), ' (1957), and ' (1957). He appeared in nearly two dozen of John Ford's films over 20 years, including ' (1949), ' (1952), ' (1957), etc. The first movie in which he called someone "Pilgrim", Ford's ''The Searchers'' (1956), is often considered to contain Wayne's finest and most complex performance. On May 14, 1958, 's ' had its Los Angeles opening. In it, Wayne had a cameo as himself. On October 2, 's ' has its New York opening, where Wayne plays the lead. Howard Hawks's ''Rio Bravo'' premiered on March 18, 1959. In it, Wayne plays the lead in an ensemble that consists of , , , , and . John Ford's ' had its world premiere in on June 18. Set during the Civil War, Wayne shares the lead with .


In 1960, Wayne directed and produced ''.'' He was nominated as the producer of . That year Wayne also acted in 's '.]In 1961, Wayne acted in 's . On May 23, 1962, Wayne acted in John Ford's ''The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance'' with James Stewart. On May 29, premiered Howard Hawks's ', in which Wayne plays the lead. On October 4, started its theatrical run, where Wayne memorably acted among an ensemble cast. On February 20, 1963, Wayne acted in one of the segments of . On June 12, Wayne played the lead in his final John Ford film named '. On November 13, another film starring Wayne premiered, 's '. In 1964, Wayne acted in Henry Hathaway's . On February 15, 1965, Wayne played the role of a centurion in 's '. On April 6, he shared the screen with in 's '. On June 13, he acted in Henry Hathaway's '. In 1966, Wayne appeared in 's ' with Kirk Douglas. On May 24, 1967, Wayne acted in 's ' with Kirk Douglas. His second movie that year, Howard Hawks's , a highly successful partial of ''Rio Bravo'' with playing 's original role, premiered on June 7. In 1968, Wayne co-directed with ''.'' the only major film made during the in support of the war. Wayne wanted to make this movie because at that time Hollywood had little interest in making movies about the Vietnam War. During the filming of ''The Green Berets'', the 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. Also that year, Wayne acted in Andrew V. McLaglen's . On June 13, 1969, Henry Hathaway's ' premiered. For his role as Rooster Cogburn, Wayne won at the . In November of that year another film starring Wayne was released, Andrew V. McLaglen's with .

1970s: later career

On June 24, Andrew V. McLaglen's ' started to play in cinemas. Wayne takes the role of the owner of a cattle ranch, who finds out that a businessman is trying to own neighboring land illegally. On September 16, ' ''Rio Lobo'' premiered. Wayne plays Col. Cord McNally, who confronts Confederate soldiers who stole a shipment of gold at the end of the Civil War. On June 1971, 's ' made its debut. Wayne plays the role of estranged father who must track down a gang who kidnapped his grandson. In 1972, Wayne starred in 's ''.'' of ', who did not particularly care for the film, wrote: "Wayne is, of course, marvelously indestructible, and he has become an almost perfect father figure". On February 7, 1973, Burt Kennedy's ' opened; Wayne appears alongside and . On June 27, Andrew V. McLaglen's ' premiered, with Wayne alongside and . In 1974, Wayne took on the role of the eponymous detective in 's crime drama '. On March 25, 1975, 's premiered. In it, Wayne played a Chicago police lieutenant named Jim Brannigan on the hunt organized-crime leader. On October 17, ' started its theatrical run; Wayne reprised his role as Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn. In 1976, Wayne starred in 's '. It was Wayne's final cinematic role, whose main character, J. B. Books, was dying of cancer, to which Wayne himself succumbed three years later. It contains numerous plot similarities to ''The Gunfighter'' of nearly 30 years before, a role which Wayne had wanted, but turned down. Upon its theatrical release, it grossed $13,406,138 domestically. About $6 million were earned as US . It was named one of the Ten Best Films of 1976 by the National Board of Review. Film critic of the ' ranked ''The Shootist'' number 10 on his list of the 10 best films of 1976. The film was nominated for an Oscar, a , a , and a award. The film currently has an 86% "Fresh" rating on the review aggregator website , based on 22 reviews. The film was nominated by the as one of the best Western films in 2008.


Although he enrolled in a study in an attempt to ward off the disease, Wayne died of on June 11, 1979, at the . He was buried in the Cemetery in . According to his son Patrick and his grandson Matthew Muñoz, who was a priest in the California , Wayne converted to shortly before his death. He requested that his tombstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal", a Spanish epitaph Wayne described as meaning "ugly, strong, and dignified". His grave, which was unmarked for 20 years, has been marked since 1999 with the quotation:

Political views

Throughout most of his life, Wayne was a vocally prominent in Hollywood, supporting positions., "John Wayne". ''Films in Review'', Volume 28, Number 5, May 1977, pp. 265–284. However, he voted for President in the and expressed admiration for Roosevelt's successor, fellow Democratic President . He took part in creating the conservative in February 1944 and was elected president of that organization in 1949. An ardent anti-communist and vocal supporter of the , he made ' (1952) with himself as a investigator to demonstrate his support for the cause of anti-communism. His personal views found expression as a proactive inside enforcer of the "", denying employment and undermining careers of many actors and writers who had expressed their personal political beliefs earlier in life. Soviet leader is alleged to have said that Wayne should be assassinated for his frequently espoused anti-communist politics, despite being a fan of his movies. Wayne was a supporter of Senator . Wayne supported Vice President in the , but expressed his vision of patriotism when won the election: "I didn't vote for him, but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job." He used his star power to support conservative causes, including rallying support for the by producing, co-directing, and starring in the financially successful film ' (1968). In 1960, he joined the anti-communist , but quit after the organization denounced of water supplies as a communist plot. Due to his status as the highest-profile Republican star in Hollywood, wealthy Republican Party backers asked Wayne to run for national office in 1968, like his friend and fellow actor Senator . He declined, joking that he did not believe the public would seriously consider an actor in the . Instead, he supported his friend 's campaigns for in 1966 and 1970. He was asked to be the running mate for Democratic Governor in 1968, but he immediately rejected the offer and actively campaigned for Richard Nixon; Wayne addressed the on its opening day. Wayne openly differed with many conservatives over the issue of returning the , as he supported the in the mid-1970s; while Republican leaders such as Reagan, , and had wanted the U.S. to retain full control of the canal, Wayne and fellow conservative believed that the Panamanians had the right to the canal and sided with President . Wayne was a close friend of Panamanian leader , and Wayne's first wife Josephine was a native of Panama. His support of the treaty brought him hate mail for the first time in his life. Left-wing activist 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."

1971 ''Playboy'' interview

In May 1971, ' magazine published an interview with Wayne, in which he expressed his support for the , and made headlines for his opinions about social issues and race relations in the United States: In the same ''Playboy'' interview, Wayne calls the two lead characters in ' "fags" for the alleged "love of those two men". He also responded to questions about whether were good for the country: In February 2019, the ''Playboy'' interview resurfaced, which resulted in calls for to be renamed. John Wayne's son, Ethan, defended him, stating, "It would be an injustice to judge someone based on an interview that's being used out of context." The calls for changing the airport back to Orange County Airport were renewed during the in June 2020. Similarly, in October 2019, USC student activists called for the removal of an exhibit dedicated to the actor, citing the interview. In July 2020, it was announced that the exhibit would be removed.

Personal life

Wayne was married three times and divorced twice. His three wives included one of descent, Josephine Alicia Saenz, and two from , and . He had four children with Josephine: (November 23, 1934April 2, 2003), Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava (February 25, 1936December 6, 2000), (born July 15, 1939), and Melinda Wayne Munoz (born December 3, 1940). He had three more children with Pilar: Aissa Wayne (born March 31, 1956), (born February 22, 1962), and Marisa Wayne (born February 22, 1966). Pilar was an avid tennis player. In 1973, she encouraged him to build the in Newport Beach, California. In 1995, the club was sold to , former general manager, and became the . Several of Wayne's children entered the film and television industry. Son Ethan was billed as John Ethan Wayne in a few films, and played one of the leads in the 1990s update of the ' television series. Granddaughter Jennifer Wayne, daughter of Aissa, is a member of the country music group . His stormiest divorce was from Esperanza Baur, a Mexican former actress. She believed that Wayne and co-star were having an affair, a claim that both Wayne and Russell denied. The night the film ' (1947) wrapped, the usual party was held 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 had several high-profile affairs, including one with that lasted from 1938 to 1947. After his separation from Pilar, in 1973, Wayne became romantically involved and lived with his former secretary Pat Stacy (1941–1995) until his death in 1979. She published a book about her life with him in 1983, titled ''Duke: A Love Story''. Wayne's hair began to thin in the 1940s, and he had begun to wear a hairpiece by the end of the decade. He was occasionally seen in public without the hairpiece (such as, according to ', at 's funeral). During an appearance at , Wayne was asked by a student, "Is it true that your toupée is real mohair?" He responded: "Well sir, that's real hair. Not mine, but real hair." A close friend, California Congressman , wrote of Wayne: "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 S.O.B.'" Wayne biographer Michael Munn chronicled Wayne's drinking habits. According to 's memoir, ''Cut to the Chase'', studio directors knew to shoot Wayne's scenes before noon, because by afternoon, he "was a mean drunk". He had been a chain smoker of cigarettes since young adulthood and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1964. He 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 that 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. Wayne has been credited with coining the term "the Big C" as a euphemism for cancer. He was a , a Master Mason in Marion McDaniel Lodge No. 56 F&AM, in . He became a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and later joined the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple in Los Angeles. He became a member of the . During the early 1960s, Wayne traveled often to , and he purchased the island of off the coast. It was sold by his estate at his death. Wayne's yacht, the , was one of his favorite possessions. He kept it docked in , and it was listed on the U.S. in 2011. Wayne was fond of literature, his favorite authors being , , and . His favorite books were ', and Conan Doyle's ' and '. In ''The Quiet Man'', Wayne tells Michaeleen "Óge" Flynn he is six-foot "four and a half" (194 cm), a height backed up by his widow Pilar Wayne in her book ''John Wayne: My Life With the Duke''. He used the same in many of the Westerns in which he appeared.


Awards, celebrations, and landmarks

Wayne's enduring status as an iconic American was formally recognized by the U.S. government in the form of the two highest civilian decorations. On his 72nd birthday on May 26, 1979, Wayne was awarded the . Hollywood figures and American leaders from across the political spectrum, including , , , , , General and Mrs. , , , , and , testified to Congress in support of the award. , president of the , made a particularly notable statement: Wayne was posthumously awarded the on June 9, 1980, by President Jimmy Carter. He had attended Carter's inaugural ball in 1977 "as a member of the ", as he described it. In 1998, he was awarded the Naval Heritage Award by the US Navy Memorial Foundation for his support of the Navy and military during his film career. In 1999, the named Wayne 13th among the of classic Hollywood cinema. Various public locations are named in honor of Wayne, including the in , where a bronze statue of him stands at the entrance; the John Wayne Marina for which Wayne bequeathed the land, near ; () in , New York, which boasts a mural commission by New York artist entitled "John Wayne and the American Frontier"; and over a named the "John Wayne Pioneer Trail" in Washington's . A larger-than-life-sized bronze statue of Wayne atop a horse was erected at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard in , at the former offices of the Great Western Savings and Loan Corporation, for which Wayne had made a number of commercials. In the city of , part of is named John Wayne Parkway, which runs through the center of town. In 2006, friends of Wayne and his former Arizona business partner, Louis Johnson, inaugurated the "Louie and the Duke Classics" events benefiting the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the .Olson, Jim. 
"Louie and the Duke Classics 2006"
. – ''Grande Living''. – October 2006. – (Adobe Acrobat *.PDF document).
The weekend-long event each fall in , includes a golf tournament, an auction of John Wayne memorabilia, and a competition. Several celebrations took place on May 26, 2007, the centennial of Wayne's birth. A celebration at the John Wayne birthplace in Winterset, Iowa, included chuck-wagon suppers, concerts by and , a Wild West Revue in the style of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, and a Cowboy Symposium with Wayne's costars, producers, and costumers. Wayne's films ran repetitively at the local theater. Ground was broken for the new John Wayne Birthplace Museum and Learning Center at a ceremony consisting of over 30 of Wayne's family members, including Melinda Wayne Muñoz, Aissa, Ethan, and Marisa Wayne. Later that year, California Governor and First Lady inducted Wayne into the , located at . In 2016, Republican assemblyman proposed marking May 26 as "John Wayne Day" in California. This resolution was struck down by a vote of 35 to 20, due to Wayne's views on race and his support of controversial organizations such as the and the House Un-American Activities Committee.

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. Using the power of communication through silent films and radio, Wayne was instrumental in creating a national culture from disparaged areas of the US, and made the creation of a national hero possible. 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. Wayne embodied the icon of strong American masculinity and rugged individualism in both his films and his life. At a party in 1957, Wayne confronted actor about the latter's decision to play the role of in the film , saying: "Christ, Kirk, how can you play a part like that? There's so goddamn few of us left. We got to play strong, tough characters. Not these weak queers." However, actor was notably critical of Wayne's public persona and of the cultural insensitivity of Wayne's characters, arguing on ' that, "We mericanslike to see ourselves as perhaps John Wayne sees us. That we are a country that stands for freedom, for rightness, for justice," before adding that "it just simply doesn't apply." 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'' (1949) was released. His footprints at Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood were laid in concrete that contained sand from . His status grew so large and legendary that when Japanese visited the United States in 1975, he asked to meet John Wayne, the symbolic representation of his country's former enemy. Likewise when Soviet leader visited the United States in 1959, he made two requests: to visit Disneyland and meet Wayne. 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, surpassing (21) who is in second place. Wayne is the only actor to appear in every edition of the annual of Most Popular Film Actors, and the only actor to appear on the list after his death. Wayne was in the top 10 in this poll for 19 consecutive years, starting in 1994, 15 years after his death. declared in a 2015 filmed interview: " was sublime, there I have to say, now he, was part of the stars, Gary Cooper, , John Wayne, those great Americans who I've met really were unbelievable guys, there aren't any like them anymore."

John Wayne Cancer Foundation

The John Wayne Cancer Foundation was founded in 1985 in honor of John Wayne, after his family granted the use of his name (and limited funding) for the continued fight against cancer. The foundation's mission is to "bring courage, strength, and grit to the fight against cancer". The foundation provides funds for innovative programs that improve cancer patient care, including research, education, awareness, and support.

Dispute with Duke University

-based John Wayne Enterprises, a business operated by Wayne's heirs, sells products, including Kentucky straight , bearing the "Duke" brand and using Wayne's picture. When the company tried to trademark the image appearing on one of the bottles, in , filed a notice of opposition. According to court documents, Duke has tried three times since 2005 to stop the company from trademarking the name. The company sought a declaration permitting registration of their trademark. The company's complaint filed in federal court said the university did "not own the word 'Duke' in all contexts for all purposes." The university's official position was not to object provided Wayne's image appeared with the name. On September 30, 2014, federal judge David Carter dismissed the company's suit, deciding the plaintiffs had chosen the wrong jurisdiction.


Between 1926 and 1977, Wayne appeared in over 170 films. According to Quigley Polling, which has taken place every year since 1932 to find the top box-office stars, John Wayne was named the top money maker (as of 2005).

Missed roles

* Wayne turned down the lead role in the 1952 film ' because he felt the film's story was an allegory against , which he actively supported. In a 1971 interview, Wayne said he considered ''High Noon'' "the most un-American thing I've ever seen in my whole life", and that he would "never regret having helped run screenwriter ho was later blacklistedout of the country". * An urban legend has it that in 1955, Wayne turned down the role of in the long-running television series ' and recommended James Arness, instead. While he did suggest Arness for the part and introduced him in a prologue to the first episode, no film star of Wayne's stature would have considered a television role at the time. * 's biographer Lee Hill wrote that the role of Major T. J. "King" Kong in ' (1964) was originally written with Wayne in mind, and that offered him the part after injured his ankle during filming; he immediately turned it down.Lee Hill, ''A Grand Guy: The Life and Art of Terry Southern'' (Bloomsbury, 2001), pp.118–119 * In 1966, Wayne accepted the role of Major Reisman in ' (1967), and asked for some script changes, but eventually withdrew from the project to make ''The Green Berets''. He was replaced by . * Though Wayne actively campaigned for the title role in ' (1971), decided that at 63 he was too old, and cast the 41-year-old . * Director and screenwriter pitched a film in 1971 called that would co-star Wayne along with James Stewart and . They conceived it as a Western that would bring the final curtain down on Hollywood Westerns. Stewart and Fonda both agreed to appear in it, but after long consideration, Wayne turned it down, citing his feeling that his character was more underdeveloped and uninteresting than those of his co-stars, which was largely based on John Ford's recommendation after perusing the script. The project was shelved for some 20 years, until McMurtry rewrote and expanded the original screenplay co-written with Bogdanovich to make the novel and subsequent TV miniseries ', with in Wayne's role and playing the part originally written for Stewart in the extremely popular miniseries. * offered Wayne the role of the Waco Kid (eventually played by ) in ' (1974). After reading the script, Wayne declined, fearing the dialogue was "too dirty" for his family-friendly image, but told Brooks that he would be "first in line" to see the movie. * offered both Wayne and the role of Major General in ' with Wayne also considered for a cameo in the film. After reading the script, Wayne decided not to participate due to ill health, but also urged Spielberg not to pursue the project. Both Wayne and Heston felt the film was unpatriotic. Spielberg recalled, " aynewas really curious and so I sent him the script. He called me the next day and said he felt it was a very un-American movie, and I shouldn't waste my time making it. He said, 'You know, that was an important war, and you're making fun of a war that cost thousands of lives at Pearl Harbor. Don't joke about World War II'.""John Wayne – John Wayne Urged Steven Spielberg Not To Make War Comedy."
''contactmusic.com. '' December 2, 2011. Retrieved: December 2, 2011.

Awards and nominations

Golden Globe Awards

Grammy Awards

Brass Balls Award

In 1973, ', a satirical paper run by students, invited Wayne to receive The Brass Balls Award, created in his "honor", after calling him "the biggest fraud in history". Wayne accepted the invitation as a chance to promote the recently released film ''McQ'', and a Army convoy offered to drive him into on an . The ceremony was held on January 15, 1974, at the Harvard Square Theater and the award was officially presented in honor of Wayne's "outstanding machismo and penchant for punching people". Although the convoy was met with protests by members of the and others, some of whom threw snowballs, Wayne received a standing ovation from the audience when he walked onto the stage. An internal investigation was launched into the Army's involvement in the day.

Additional awards and honors

*1970, Received the DeMolay Legion of Honor *1970, Received the Golden Plate Award of the *1973, Awarded the Gold Medal from the National Football Foundation *1974, Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum *1979, Received the Congressional Gold Medal *1980, Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Jimmy Carter *1986, Inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame

See also

* * * * * *


Footnotes Citations



Further reading

* * * (1979), ''John Wayne - Man and Myth of the West'', in Bold, Christine (ed.), ' No. 1, Autumn 1979, pp. 13 – 16 * * * * * * * Jensen, Richard (2012). ''When the Legend Became Fact – The True Life of John Wayne''. Nashville: Raymond Street Publishers, 2012. * * * * * * * * *

External links

John Wayne Cancer Foundation

John Wayne Cancer Institute

FBI file on John Wayne

Birthplace of John Wayne official website
* * *
"On the Set of The Alamo"
Behind-the-scenes footage from the production of the film, from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Wayne, John Members of The Lambs Club