John Wayne

Marion Mitchell Morrison[a] (born Marion Robert Morrison;[2] May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), known professionally as John Wayne and nicknamed 'Duke', was an American actor, filmmaker and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.[3][4] He was among the top box office draws for three decades.[5][6]

Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa but grew up in Southern California. He was president of Glendale High School class of 1925.[7] He found work at local film studios. Wayne lost his football scholarship to the University of Southern California as a result of a bodysurfing accident,[1]:63–64 initially working for the Fox Film Corporation. He appeared mostly in small parts, but his first leading role came in Raoul Walsh's Western The Big Trail (1930), an early widescreen film epic which was a box-office failure. Only leading roles in numerous B movies followed during the 1930s, most of them also Westerns.

Wayne's career was rejuvenated when John Ford's Stagecoach (1939) made him an instant mainstream star. He starred in 142 motion pictures altogether. According to one biographer, "John Wayne personified for millions the nation's frontier heritage. Eighty-three of his movies were Westerns, and in them he played cowboys, cavalrymen, and unconquerable loners extracted from the Republic's central creation myth."[8]

Wayne's other roles in Westerns include a cattleman driving his herd on the Chisholm Trail in Red River (1948), a Civil War veteran whose niece is abducted by a tribe of Comanches in The Searchers (1956), a troubled rancher competing with a lawyer (James Stewart) for a woman's hand in marriage in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and a cantankerous one-eyed marshal in True Grit (1969). He is also remembered for his roles in The Quiet Man (1952), Rio Bravo (1959) with Dean Martin, and The Longest Day (1962). In his final screen performance, he starred as an aging gunfighter battling cancer in The Shootist (1976). He appeared with many important Hollywood stars of his era, and made his last public appearance at the Academy Awards ceremony on April 9, 1979.[9][10][11]

John Wayne
Publicity photo of John Wayne
Wayne c. 1965
Born
Marion Robert Morrison

May 26, 1907
DiedJune 11, 1979 (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placePacific View Memorial Park
33°36′34″N 117°51′12″W / 33.60953°N 117.85336°W
Other names
  • Marion Mitchell Morrison
  • 'Duke'
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1926–1977
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Children7, including Michael, Patrick, and Ethan
Websitejohnwayne.com
Signature
John Wayne's signature

Early life

John Wayne birthplace
The house in Winterset, Iowa, where Wayne was born in 1907

Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907 at 224 South Second Street in Winterset, Iowa.[12] The local paper, Winterset Madisonian, reported on page 4 of the edition of May 30, 1907 that Wayne weighed 13 lbs. (around 6 kg.) at birth. His middle name was soon changed from Robert to Mitchell when his parents decided to name their next son Robert.[1]:8–9[13] 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 Lancaster County, Nebraska. Wayne's ancestry included English, Scottish and Irish.[14] He was raised Presbyterian.[15][16]

Wayne's family moved to Palmdale, California, and then in 1916 to Glendale at 404 Isabel Street, where his father worked as a pharmacist. He attended Glendale Union High School where he performed well in both sport 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.[17]

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, Duke.[1]:37[18] 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 shod horses for Hollywood studios. He was also active as a member of the Order of DeMolay. He played football for the 1924 league champion Glendale High School team.[19]

Wayne applied to the U.S. Naval Academy, but was not accepted. Instead, he attended the University of Southern California (USC), majoring in pre-law. He was a member of the Trojan Knights and Sigma Chi fraternities.[20]:30 Wayne also played on the USC football team under coach Howard Jones. 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 bodysurfing accident.[21] He lost his athletic scholarship, and without funds, had to leave the university.[22][23]

As a favor to USC football coach Howard Jones, who had given silent western film star Tom Mix tickets to USC games, director John Ford and Mix hired Wayne as a prop boy and extra.[24][25] Wayne later credited his walk, talk, and persona to his acquaintance with Wyatt Earp, who was good friends with Tom Mix.[24] Wayne soon moved to bit parts, 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 Bardelys the Magnificent. Wayne also appeared with his USC teammates playing football in Brown of Harvard (1926), The Dropkick (1927), and Salute (1929) and Columbia's Maker of Men (filmed in 1930, released in 1931).[26]

Acting career

Early film career

John Wayne in Riders of Destiny (1933) 02
John Wayne as "Singin' Sandy" Saunders in Riders of Destiny (1933)

While working for Fox Film Corporation in bit roles, Wayne was given on-screen credit as "Duke Morrison" only once, in Words and Music (1929). Director Raoul Walsh saw him moving studio furniture while working as a prop boy and cast him in his first starring role in The Big Trail (1930). For his screen name, Walsh suggested "Anthony Wayne", after Revolutionary War general "Mad" Anthony Wayne. Fox Studios chief Winfield Sheehan 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.[1]:84 His pay was raised to $105 a week.[27]

The Big Trail was to be the first big-budget outdoor spectacle of the sound era, made at a then-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 35 mm version and another in the new 70 mm Grandeur film process, using an innovative camera and lenses. Many in the audience who saw it in Grandeur stood and cheered. However, only a handful of theaters were equipped to show the film in its widescreen process, and the effort was largely wasted. Despite being highly regarded by modern critics, the film was considered a huge box office flop at the time.[28]

Conflict (1936) 1
With Jean Rogers and Ward Bond in Conflict (1936)

After the commercial failure of The Big Trail, Wayne was relegated to small roles in A-pictures, including Columbia's The Deceiver (1931), in which he played a corpse. He appeared in the serial The Three Musketeers (1933), an updated version of the Alexandre Dumas novel in which the protagonists were soldiers in the French Foreign Legion in then-contemporary North Africa. He played the lead, with his name over the title, in many low-budget Poverty Row Westerns, mostly at Monogram Pictures and serials for Mascot Pictures Corporation. By Wayne's own estimation, he appeared in about 80 of these horse operas from 1930 to 1939.[29] In Riders of Destiny (1933), he became one of the first singing cowboys of film, albeit via dubbing.[30] Wayne also appeared in some of the Three Mesquiteers Westerns, whose title was a play on the Dumas classic. He was mentored by stuntmen in riding and other Western skills.[26] Stuntman Yakima Canutt and Wayne developed and perfected stunts and onscreen fisticuffs techniques which are still in use.[31]

Stagecoach and the war years

Wayne's breakthrough role came with John Ford's Stagecoach (1939). Because of Wayne's B-movie 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 Walter Wanger in which Claire Trevor—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 Louise Platt credited Ford as saying at the time that Wayne would become the biggest star ever because of his appeal as the archetypal "everyman".[32]

John Wayne - Joan Blondell - 1942
With Joan Blondell in Lady for a Night (1942)

America's entry into World War II 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 Pearl Harbor) 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, but consistently kept postponing it until after "he finished just one or two pictures".[1]:212 Wayne did not attempt to prevent his reclassification as 1-A (draft eligible), but Republic Studios was emphatically resistant to losing him since he was their only A-list actor under contract. Herbert J. Yates, President of Republic, threatened Wayne with a lawsuit if he walked away from his contract,[1]:220 and Republic Pictures intervened in the Selective Service process, requesting Wayne's further deferment.[1]:213

Wayne (right) acting in a short clip from Angel and the Badman (1947) (click to play)

U.S. National Archives records indicate that Wayne, in fact, did make an application[33] to serve in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), precursor to the modern CIA, and had been accepted within the U.S. Army's allotted billet to the OSS. William J. Donovan, 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. Donovan also issued an OSS Certificate of Service to Wayne.[34]

Wayne's first color film was Shepherd of the Hills (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, the Technicolor epic Reap the Wild Wind (1942), in which he co-starred with Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard; it was one of the rare times he played a character with questionable values. Wayne toured U.S. bases and hospitals in the South Pacific for three months in 1943 and 1944.[1]:253 with the USO.[35][36][37]

By many accounts, his failure to serve in the military later became the most painful part of his life.[1]:212 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."[38]

Radio work

Like most Hollywood stars of his era, Wayne appeared as a guest on radio programs, such as: The Hedda Hopper Show and The Louella Parsons Show. He made a number of appearances in dramatic roles, mainly recreations for radio of his own film roles, on programs like Screen Directors Playhouse and Lux Radio Theatre. For six months in 1942, Wayne starred in his own radio adventure series, Three Sheets to the Wind, produced by film director Tay Garnett. 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 Brian Donlevy in the leading role does exist. Wayne, not Donlevy, played the role throughout the series run on NBC.[39]

Post-war

Director Robert Rossen offered the starring role in All the King's Men (1949) to Wayne. Wayne refused, believing the script to be un-American in many ways.[1] Broderick Crawford, who was eventually cast in the role, won the 1949 Oscar for best male actor, ironically beating out Wayne, who had been nominated for Sands of Iwo Jima.

He lost the leading role of Jimmy Ringo in The Gunfighter (1950) to Gregory Peck due to his refusal to work for Columbia Pictures because its chief, Harry Cohn, 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.[1][40]

One of Wayne's most popular roles was in The High and the Mighty (1954), directed by William Wellman, and based on a novel by Ernest K. Gann. His portrayal of a heroic copilot won widespread acclaim. Wayne also portrayed aviators in Flying Tigers (1942), Flying Leathernecks (1951), Island in the Sky (1953), The Wings of Eagles (1957), and Jet Pilot (1957).

He appeared in nearly two dozen of John Ford's films over twenty years, including She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Quiet Man (1952), The Wings of Eagles (1957), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) with James Stewart. 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.[41]

Later career

John wayne challenge of ideas screenshot 2
Wayne in The Challenge of Ideas (1961)

Wayne was nominated as the producer of Best Picture for The Alamo (1960), one of two films he directed. The other was The Green Berets (1968), the only major film made during the Vietnam War in support of the war.[22] During the filming of The Green Berets, the Degar 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.[1] Wayne finally won a Best Actor Oscar for True Grit (1969), two decades after his only other nomination.

On April 26, 1970 CBS released the television special Raquel! directed by David Winters, in which he was a guest. It starred Raquel Welch, and other guests included Tom Jones, and Bob Hope.[42] On the day of the premiere, the show received a 51% share on the National ARB Ratings and an impressive Overnight New York Nielsen Rating of 58% share.[43][44]

Wayne took on the role of the eponymous detective in the crime drama McQ (1974). His last film was The Shootist (1976), whose main character, J. B. Books, was dying of cancer—which Wayne himself succumbed to three years later. The Shootist (1976) contains numerous plot similarities to The Gunfighter of nearly thirty years before, a role which Wayne had wanted but turned down.[1].

Batjac, the production company cofounded by Wayne, was named after the fictional shipping company Batjak in Wake of the Red Witch (1948), a film based on the novel by Garland Roark. (A spelling error by Wayne's secretary was allowed to stand, accounting for the variation.)[1] 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 Seven Men From Now (1956), which started the classic collaboration between director Budd Boetticher and star Randolph Scott, and Gun the Man Down (1956) with contract player James Arness as an outlaw.

In the Motion Picture Herald Top Ten Money-Making Western Stars poll, Wayne was listed in 1936 and 1939.[45] He appeared in the similar Box Office poll in 1939 and 1940.[46] 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 Clint Eastwood (21) who is in second place.[47]

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, 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."[48] Reviewing The Cowboys (1972), Vincent Canby 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".

Political views

Throughout most of his life, Wayne was a vocally prominent conservative Republican in Hollywood, supporting anti-communist positions.[49] However, he did vote for Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election and expressed admiration for Roosevelt's successor, fellow Democratic President Harry S. Truman.[50] He took part in creating the conservative Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals in February 1944, and was elected president of that organization in 1949. An ardent anti-communist and vocal supporter of the House Un-American Activities Committee, he made Big Jim McLain (1952) with himself as a HUAC investigator to demonstrate his support for the cause of anti-communism. Declassified Soviet documents reveal that, despite being a fan of Wayne's movies, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin according to some sources contemplated assassination of Wayne for his frequently espoused anti-communist politics.[51][52]

Richard M. Nixon and Henry Kissinger meeting with Marion "John" Wayne - NARA - 194768
Wayne meets with President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in San Clemente, California, July 1972

Wayne supported Vice President Richard Nixon in the presidential election of 1960, but expressed his vision of patriotism when John F. Kennedy won the election: "I didn't vote for him but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."[53] He used his star power to support conservative causes, including rallying support for the Vietnam War by producing, codirecting, and starring in the financially successful The Green Berets (1968).[54]

Due to his status as the highest profile Republican star in Hollywood, wealthy Texas Republican Party backers asked Wayne to run for national office in 1968, as had his friend and fellow actor Senator George Murphy. He declined, joking that he did not believe the public would seriously consider an actor in the White House. Instead, he supported his friend Ronald Reagan's runs for Governor of California in 1966 and 1970. He was asked to be the running mate for Democratic Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968, but he rejected the offer[49] and actively campaigned for Richard Nixon;[55] Wayne addressed the Republican National Convention on its opening day in August 1968. For a while, he was also a member of the anti-communist John Birch Society.[56]

Wayne openly differed with the Republican Party over the issue of the Panama Canal, as he supported the Panama Canal Treaty in the mid-1970s;[57] conservatives had wanted the U.S. to retain full control of the canal, but Wayne believed that the Panamanians had the right to the canal and sided with President Jimmy Carter and the Democrats. Wayne was a close friend of the late Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos Herrera, 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.[58][59]

John Wayne portrait
in Rio Bravo, 1959

1971 Playboy interview

In May 1971, Playboy magazine published an interview with Wayne, in which he expressed his support for the Vietnam War,[1]:580 and made headlines for his opinions about social issues and race relations in the United States:[60] [61]

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 the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.

... I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from the Indians. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.[20]:289[62]

In the same Playboy interview, Wayne calls the two lead characters in Midnight Cowboy "fags" for the alleged "love of those two men".[63] He also responded to questions about whether social programs 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.[1]:580

In March 2019, the Playboy interview resurfaced, which resulted in calls for John Wayne Airport to be renamed.[64] 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."[65]

Personal life

Wayne was married three times and divorced twice. His three wives, one of Spanish American descent and two of Hispanic descent, were Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. He had four children with Josephine: Michael Wayne (November 23, 1934 – April 2, 2003), Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava (February 25, 1936 – December 6, 2000), Patrick Wayne (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), John Ethan Wayne (born February 22, 1962), and Marisa Wayne (born February 22, 1966). Pilar was an avid tennis player. In 1973, she encouraged him to develop the John Wayne Tennis Club, which today is the Palisades Tennis Club in Newport Beach, CA.

JohnPilarWayneKBF1971
Wayne with third wife Pilar Pallete at Knott's Berry Farm in 1971

Several of Wayne's children entered the film and television industry; 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 television series. His granddaughter Jennifer Wayne is a member of the country music group Runaway June.[66]

His stormiest divorce was from Esperanza Baur, a former Mexican actress. She believed that Wayne and co-star Gail Russell were having an affair, a claim which both Wayne and Russell denied. The night the film Angel and the Badman (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.[1]

Wayne had several high-profile affairs, including one with Marlene Dietrich that lasted for three years and one with Merle Oberon that lasted from 1938 to 1947.[1]:195–197 After his separation from his wife, Pilar, in 1973, Wayne became romantically involved and lived with his former secretary Pat Stacy (1941–1995) until his death in 1979.[22] She published a biography of her life with him in 1983, titled Duke: A Love Story.[67]

Wayne's hair began to thin in the 1940s, and he had begun to wear a hairpiece by the end of the decade.[68] He was occasionally seen in public without the hairpiece (such as, according to Life magazine, at Gary Cooper's funeral). During an appearance at Harvard University, 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."[69]

A close friend of Wayne's, California Congressman Alphonzo E. Bell Jr., 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.'"[70]

Wayne biographer Michael Munn chronicled Wayne's drinking habits.[18] According to Sam O'Steen's memoir, Cut to the Chase, studio directors knew to shoot Wayne's scenes before noon, because by afternoon he "was a mean drunk".[71] 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[72] 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.[73]

He was a Freemason, a Master Mason in Marion McDaniel Lodge No. 56 F&AM, in Tucson, Arizona.[74][75][76] 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 York Rite.[77][78] During the early 1960s, Wayne traveled extensively to Panama, during which he purchased the island of Taborcillo off the main coast. It was sold by his estate at his death.

Wayne's yacht, the Wild Goose, was one of his favorite possessions. He kept it docked in Newport Beach Harbor, and it was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2011.[79]

Wayne was fond of literature, his favorite authors being Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. His favorite books were David Copperfield, and Conan Doyle's historical novels The White Company and Sir Nigel.

Wayne's height has been reported as at least 6 ft 4 in (193 cm).[1]:47,54

Death

Although he enrolled in a cancer vaccine study in an attempt to ward off the disease,[72] Wayne died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979, at the UCLA Medical Center.[80] His body was buried in the Pacific View Memorial Park Cemetery in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach. According to his son Patrick and his grandson Matthew Muñoz, who was a priest in the California Diocese of Orange, Wayne converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before his death.[81][82][83] He requested that his tombstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal", a Spanish epitaph Wayne described as meaning "ugly, strong, and dignified".[84] The grave, which went unmarked for 20 years, is now marked with a quotation from his controversial 1971 Playboy 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."[85][86]

Among the cast and crew who filmed The Conqueror (1956) on location near St. George, Utah, 91 cast/crew members developed some form of cancer at various times, including stars Wayne, Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, Pedro Armendáriz, and director Dick Powell. The film was shot in southwestern Utah, east of and generally downwind from the site of recent U.S. Government nuclear weapons tests in southeastern Nevada. Many contend that radioactive fallout from these tests contaminated the film location and poisoned the film crew working there.[87][88] Despite the suggestion that Wayne's 1964 lung cancer and his 1979 stomach cancer resulted from nuclear contamination, he believed his lung cancer to have been a result of his six-pack-a-day cigarette habit.[89]

Legacy

Awards, celebrations, and landmarks

John Wayne - 1961
Wayne in The Comancheros (1961)

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 May 26, 1979, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Hollywood figures and American leaders from across the political spectrum, including Maureen O'Hara, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Mike Frankovich, Katharine Hepburn, General and Mrs. Omar Bradley, Gregory Peck, Robert Stack, James Arness, and Kirk Douglas, testified to Congress in support of the award. Robert Aldrich, president of the Directors Guild of America, made a particularly notable statement:

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 sharpshooting 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.[90]

Wayne was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 9, 1980, by President Jimmy Carter. He had attended Carter's inaugural ball "as a member of the loyal opposition", 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 American Film Institute (AFI) named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Screen Legends of Classic Hollywood cinema.

Various public locations are named in honor of Wayne, including the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, where a nine-foot bronze statue of him stands at the entrance;[60] the John Wayne Marina[92] for which Wayne bequeathed the land, near Sequim, Washington; John Wayne Elementary School (P.S. 380) in Brooklyn, New York, which boasts a 38-foot mosaic mural commission by New York artist Knox Martin[93] entitled "John Wayne and the American Frontier";[94] and a 100-plus-mile trail named the "John Wayne Pioneer Trail" in Washington's Iron Horse State Park. 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, 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 Maricopa, Arizona, part of Arizona State Route 347 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[95] and the American Cancer Society.[96][97] The weekend-long event each fall in Casa Grande, Arizona, includes a golf tournament, an auction of John Wayne memorabilia, and a team roping competition.[96]

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 Michael Martin Murphey and Riders in the Sky, 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 Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Wayne into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.[98]

In 2016 Republican assemblyman Matthew Harper proposed marking May 26 as "John Wayne Day" in California.[99] 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 John Birch Society and the House Un-American Activities Committee.[99][100]

Cultural image as an 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.[101] 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.[102] At a party in 1957, Wayne confronted actor Kirk Douglas about the latter's decision to play the role of Vincent van Gogh in the film Lust for Life, 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."[103]

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 Iwo Jima.[104] 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.[105] Likewise when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visited the United States in 1959, he made two requests: to visit Disneyland and meet Wayne.[106]

Wayne is the only actor to appear in every edition of the annual Harris Poll of Most Popular Film Actors, and the only actor to appear on the list after his death. Wayne has been in the top ten in this poll for 19 consecutive years, starting in 1994, 15 years after his death.[107]

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.[108] The foundation's mission is to "bring courage, strength, and grit to the fight against cancer".[108] The foundation provides funds for innovative programs that improve cancer patient care, including research, education, awareness, and support.[108]

Dispute with Duke University

Newport Beach, California-based John Wayne Enterprises, a business operated by Wayne's heirs, sells products, including Kentucky straight bourbon, bearing the "Duke" brand and using Wayne's picture. When the company tried to trademark the image appearing on one of the bottles, Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, 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."[109] The university's official position was not to object provided Wayne's image appeared with the name.[109] On September 30, 2014, the Orange County, California federal judge David Carter dismissed the company's suit deciding the plaintiffs had chosen the wrong jurisdiction.[110]

Filmography

Between 1926 and 1977, Wayne appeared in over one hundred and seventy films, and became one of America's biggest box office stars. Only Clark Gable sold more tickets than Wayne, although the ticket prices were not commensurate since, although both actors started their careers at the same time, Gable's career height preceded Wayne's by approximately fifteen years.

Missed roles

  • Wayne rebuffed the lead role in the 1952 film High Noon because he felt the film's story was an allegory against blacklisting, 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 Carl Foreman, [who was later blacklisted] out of the country".[20]:142
  • An urban legend has it that in 1955, Wayne turned down the role of Matt Dillon in the long-running television series Gunsmoke 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.[111]
  • Terry Southern's biographer Lee Hill wrote that the role of Major T. J. "King" Kong in Dr. Strangelove (1964) was originally written with Wayne in mind, and that Stanley Kubrick offered him the part after Peter Sellers injured his ankle during filming; he immediately turned it down.[112]
  • In 1966, Wayne accepted the role of Major Reisman in The Dirty Dozen (1967), and asked Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for some script changes, but eventually withdrew from the project to make The Green Berets. He was replaced by Lee Marvin.[113]
  • Though Wayne actively campaigned for the title role in Dirty Harry (1971), Warner Bros. decided that at 63 he was too old, and cast the 41-year-old Clint Eastwood.[114]
  • Director Peter Bogdanovich and screenwriter Larry McMurtry pitched a film in 1971 called Streets of Larado that would co-star Wayne along with James Stewart and Henry Fonda. They conceived it as a Western that would ring 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 twenty years, until McMurtry rewrote and expanded the original screenplay co-written with Bogdanovich to make the novel and subsequent TV miniseries Lonesome Dove, with Tommy Lee Jones in Wayne's role and Robert Duvall playing the part originally written for Stewart in the extremely popular miniseries.
  • Mel Brooks offered Wayne the role of the Waco Kid (eventually played by Gene Wilder) in Blazing Saddles (1974). After reading the script Wayne declined, fearing the dialogue was "too dirty" for his family image, but told Brooks that he would be "first in line" to see the movie.[115][116]
  • Steven Spielberg offered both Wayne and Charlton Heston the role of Major General Stilwell in 1941 (1979) with Wayne still 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, "[Wayne] was 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'."[117]

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

As shown below, Wayne was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning once for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1969.

Best Actor

The category's nominees for each year in which Wayne was nominated are shown, with that year's winner highlighted in yellow.

- 1949 - - 1969 -
Actor Film Actor Film
Broderick Crawford All the King's Men Richard Burton Anne of the Thousand Days
Kirk Douglas Champion Dustin Hoffman Midnight Cowboy
Gregory Peck Twelve O'Clock High Peter O'Toole Goodbye Mr. Chips
Richard Todd The Hasty Heart Jon Voight Midnight Cowboy
John Wayne Sands of Iwo Jima John Wayne True Grit

Producer

- 1961 -
Producer Film
Bernard Smith Elmer Gantry
Jerry Wald Sons and Lovers
John Wayne The Alamo
Billy Wilder The Apartment
Fred Zinnemann The Sundowners

Golden Globe

The Golden Globe Awards are presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (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. In 1953, Wayne was awarded the Henrietta Award (a now retired award) for being World Film Favorite: Male.

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. It was named in honor of Cecil B. DeMille (1881–1959), one of the industry's most successful filmmakers; John Wayne won the award in 1966.[118]

In 1970, Wayne won a Golden Globe Award for his performance in True Grit.

Brass Balls Award

In 1973, The Harvard Lampoon, a satirical paper run by Harvard University students, invited Wayne to receive The Brass Balls Award, created in his "honor", after calling him "the biggest fraud in history". Harvard Square had become known for leftist intellectualism and protest throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Wayne accepted the invitation as a chance to promote the recently released film McQ, and a Fort Devens Army convoy offered to drive him into the square on an armored personnel carrier.[119][120] 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".[121] Although the convoy was met with protests by members of the American Indian Movement and others, some of whom threw snowballs, Wayne received a standing ovation from the audience when he walked onto the stage.[119] An internal investigation was launched into the Army's involvement in the day.[120]

See also

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ After Wayne gained fame under his stage name, studio publicists erroneously referred to his birth name as Marion Michael Morrison; Wayne went along with this himself, because he "really liked the name Michael."[1]:647 The error infected virtually every biography of Wayne, until Roberts and Olson uncovered the facts in their biography John Wayne: American, drawing on the draft of Wayne's unfinished autobiography, among other sources.

Citations

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Further reading

  • Baur, Andreas; Bitterli, Konrad (2007). "Brave Lonesome Cowboy. Der Mythos des Westerns in der Gegenwartskunst oder: John Wayne zum 100". Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg. Geburstag, Nuremberg. ISBN 978-3-939738-15-2.
  • Beaver, Jim (May 5, 1977). "John Wayne". Films in Review. 28.
  • Campbell, James T. (September 2000). "Print the Legend: John Wayne and Postwar American Culture". Reviews in American History. 28 (3).
  • Carey, Harry Jr. (1994). A Company of Heroes: My Life as an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-2865-0.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Clark, Donald; Anderson, Christopher (1995). John Wayne's The Alamo: The Making of the Epic Film. New York: Carol Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8065-1625-9.
  • Davis, Ronald L (2001). Duke: The Life and Times of John Wayne. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3329-5.
  • Eyman, Scott (1999). Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-81161-8.
  • Eyman, Scott (2014). John Wayne: The Life and Legend. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1439199582. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  • Jensen, Richard (2012). When the Legend Became Fact – The True Life of John Wayne. Nashville: Raymond Street Publishers, 2012.
  • Landesman, Fred (2004). The John Wayne Filmography. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. ISBN 978-0786432523.
  • McCarthy, Todd (1997). Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 0-8021-1598-5.
  • McGhee, Richard D. (1999). John Wayne: Actor, Artist, Hero. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. ISBN 0786407522. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  • McGivern, Carolyn (2000). John Wayne: A Giant Shadow. Bracknell, England: Sammon. ISBN 0-9540031-0-1.
  • Munn, Michael (2004). John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth. Robson. ISBN 978-1-86105-722-8.
  • Raab, Markus (2007). "Beautiful Hearts, Laughers at the World, Bowlers. Worldviews of the Late Western". Baur/Bitterli: Brave Lonesome Cowboy. Der Myhos des Westerns in der Gegenwartskunst oder: John Wayne zum 100. Geburtstag, Nuremberg. ISBN 978-3-939738-15-2.
  • Shepherd, Donald; Slatzer, Robert; Grayson, Dave (1985). Duke: The Life and Times of John Wayne. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-17893-X.
  • Wills, Garry (1997). John Wayne's America: The Politics of Celebrity. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80823-4.
  • Maurice Zolotow (1974). Shooting Star: A Biography of John Wayne. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-82969-6.

External links

2006 Florida gubernatorial election

The 2006 Florida gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 2006. Incumbent Governor Jeb Bush was term-limited, and could not run for re-election. The election was won by Republican Charlie Crist, the state's Attorney General. The election was notable in that for the first time, the state elected a Republican governor in three consecutive elections.

Turnout for the 2006 election was down 8.5% from 2002 and down 2.7% from 1998. With Republicans holding the seat, the state avoided the wave in which Democrats netted a gain of six governorships across the nation.

Big Jake

Big Jake is a 1971 Technicolor Western. It was the final film for George Sherman in a directing career of more than 30 years. It grossed $7.5 million in the US.

John Hastings (cricketer)

John Wayne Hastings (born 4 November 1985) is a former Australian cricketer who played for the Melbourne Stars. He also played for Australian national team and played for Victoria cricket team. He is an all-rounder who combines right-arm fast-medium bowling with strong lower-order batting. In October 2017, he announced his retirement from Test and One Day International cricket. In November 2018, he retired from all forms of cricket following a lung condition.

John Wayne (song)

"John Wayne" is a song recorded by American singer Lady Gaga, for her fifth studio album, Joanne (2016). Gaga co-wrote and co-produced the track with Mark Ronson and BloodPop, with additional writing from Josh Homme who also played guitar. "John Wayne" is a pop rock song that features elements of country, disco, funk, and house music. It derives its name from American actor John Wayne, who was known for his roles in Western films. The lyrics talk about Gaga's romantic craving for a wild, blue-collar man and smoking cannabis. Some critics felt that "John Wayne" might portray Gaga's relationship with her ex-fiancé Taylor Kinney.

Reviewers noted the song's tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and some of them criticized its musical composition. The song had minor chart placements in Hungary and the United Kingdom. Jonas Åkerlund directed the song's accompanying music video released on February 8, 2017, through Apple Music. It continues a storyline that started with the videos for singles "Perfect Illusion" and "Million Reasons", and portrays Gaga in different action-packed sequences. The clip received positive feedback for hearkening back to Gaga's older videos, and taking inspiration from action films. Gaga performed "John Wayne" as part of her set at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2016, the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and at the Joanne World Tour (2017–2018).

John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport (IATA: SNA, ICAO: KSNA, FAA LID: SNA) is a commercial and general aviation airport that serves Orange County, California, and the Greater Los Angeles area. The airport is located in an unincorporated area of Orange County surrounded by the cities of Irvine, Newport Beach, and Costa Mesa, and is owned and operated by the county. Originally named Orange County Airport, the Orange County Board of Supervisors renamed the airport in 1979 in honor of actor John Wayne, who lived in neighboring Newport Beach and died that year. A statue of John Wayne was installed at the airline terminal in 1982.John Wayne Airport is the sole commercial airport in Orange County. The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a primary commercial service airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings per year. Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 4,584,147 enplanements in calendar year 2014, an increase from 4,450,628 in 2013. In 2014, John Wayne Airport was the second busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles area (by passenger count) with over 9 million total passengers.As of 2015, the largest airlines at John Wayne Airport were Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.In addition to the airline terminal, several facilities at the airport serve the general aviation and corporate aviation community. General aviation operations outnumber commercial operations. The only other general aviation airport in Orange County is Fullerton Municipal Airport.

John Wayne Airport has two runways. The main runway, 2L/20R, at 5,701 feet (1,738 m) in length, is one of the shortest of any major airport in the United States, and passenger airliners at the airport have never been larger than the Boeing 757 (though some larger cargo aircraft fly from SNA, such as the FedEx A310/300). Runway 2R/20L is 2,887 feet (880 m) long and serves general aviation aircraft. No wide-body passenger airliners have ever been scheduled at SNA.

John Wayne Airport is 14 miles (23 km) from Orange County's largest tourist attraction – the Disneyland Resort. (Los Angeles International Airport is 35 miles (56 km) from Disneyland.)

John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994) was an American serial killer and rapist who sexually assaulted, tortured and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County, Illinois (a part of metropolitan Chicago).

All of Gacy's known murders were committed inside his Norwood Park ranch house. His victims were typically induced to his address by force or deception, and all except one of his victims were murdered by either asphyxiation or strangulation with a makeshift garrote, as his first victim was stabbed to death. Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space of his home. Three other victims were buried elsewhere on his property, while the bodies of his last four known victims were discarded in the Des Plaines River.

Convicted of 33 murders, Gacy was sentenced to death on March 13, 1980 for 12 of those murders. He spent 14 years on death row before he was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10, 1994.

Gacy became known as the "Killer Clown" because of his charitable services at fund-raising events, parades, and children's parties where he would dress as "Pogo the Clown" or "Patches the Clown", characters he had devised.

John Wayne filmography

A complete filmography of John Wayne from 1926 to 1977, which also includes those films that Wayne only produced, and results pertaining to his long-running box office popularity between 1949 and 1973, during the height of his career after a decade of starring in a succession of low-budget B-movies.

John and Lorena Bobbitt

John Wayne Bobbitt and Lorena Bobbitt (née Gallo) were an American couple, married on June 18, 1989, whose relationship made world-wide headlines in 1993 when, after years of allegedly being raped, beaten, and sodomized by her husband, Lorena cut off his penis with a knife while he was asleep in bed. The penis was subsequently surgically reattached. Years after the incident, John was convicted of beating two other women and of theft.

McLintock!

See also McClintock (disambiguation)McLintock! is a 1963 American western comedy film, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. The film co-stars Wayne's son Patrick Wayne, Stefanie Powers, Jack Kruschen, Chill Wills and Yvonne DeCarlo (billed as "Special Guest Star"). Loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, the project was filmed in Technicolor and Panavision and produced by Wayne's company Batjac Productions.

Patrick Wayne

Patrick John Morrison (born July 15, 1939), 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, including eleven with his father.

Later in his career, Wayne became a game show host with The Monte Carlo Show and later Tic-Tac-Dough.

Rio Grande (film)

Rio Grande is a 1950 Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. The picture is the third installment of Ford's "cavalry trilogy," following two RKO Pictures releases: Fort Apache (1948) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949).

John Wayne plays the lead in all three films, as Captain Kirby York in Fort Apache, then as Captain of Cavalry Nathan Cutting Brittles in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and finally as a promoted Lieutenant Colonel Kirby Yorke in Rio Grande (scripts and production billing spell the York[e] character's last name differently in Fort Apache and Rio Grande).

The film is based on a short story "Mission With No Record" by James Warner Bellah that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post on September 27, 1947, and the screenplay was written by James Kevin McGuinness. The supporting cast features Ben Johnson, Claude Jarman, Jr., Harry Carey, Jr., and Chill Wills.

This film was the first of five in which John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara costarred. The Quiet Man (1952) and The Wings of Eagles (1957), McLintock! (1963) and Big Jake (1971) were the others.

Stagecoach (1939 film)

Stagecoach is a 1939 American Western film directed by John Ford and starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne in his breakthrough role. The screenplay, written by Dudley Nichols, is an adaptation of "The Stage to Lordsburg", a 1937 short story by Ernest Haycox. The film follows a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through dangerous Apache territory.

Stagecoach was the first of many Westerns that Ford shot using Monument Valley, in the American Southwest on the Arizona–Utah border, as a location, many of which also starred John Wayne. Scenes from Stagecoach, including a sequence introducing John Wayne's character the Ringo Kid, blended shots of Monument Valley with shots filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California, RKO Encino Movie Ranch, and other locations. Similar geographic incongruencies are evident throughout the film, up to the closing scene of Ringo (Wayne) and Dallas (Trevor) departing Lordsburg, in southwestern New Mexico, by way of Monument Valley.

The film has long been recognized as an important work that transcends the Western genre. Philosopher Robert B. Pippin has observed that both the collection of characters and their journey "are archetypal rather than merely individual" and that the film is a "mythic representation of the American aspiration toward a form of politically meaningful equality." In 1995, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry. Still, Stagecoach has not avoided controversy. Like most Westerns of the era, its depiction of Native Americans as simplistic savages has been criticized as clear evidence of racism.

The Alamo (1960 film)

The Alamo is a 1960 American historical epic war film about the 1836 Battle of the Alamo produced and directed by John Wayne and starring Wayne as Davy Crockett. The picture also stars Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie and Laurence Harvey as William B. Travis, and the supporting cast features Frankie Avalon, Patrick Wayne, Linda Cristal, Joan O'Brien, Chill Wills, Joseph Calleia, Ken Curtis, Ruben Padilla as Santa Anna, and guest star Richard Boone as Sam Houston. The motion picture was photographed in 70 mm Todd-AO by William H. Clothier and released by United Artists.

The Comancheros (film)

The Comancheros is a 1961 Western Deluxe CinemaScope color film directed by Michael Curtiz, based on a 1952 novel of the same name by Paul Wellman, and starring John Wayne and Stuart Whitman. The supporting cast includes Ina Balin, Lee Marvin, Nehemiah Persoff, Bruce Cabot, Jack Elam, Patrick Wayne, and Edgar Buchanan. Also featured are Western-film veterans Bob Steele, Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, and Harry Carey, Jr. in uncredited supporting roles.

When illness prevented Curtiz (director of Casablanca and The Adventures of Robin Hood) from finishing the film, Wayne took over as director, though his role remained uncredited. Curtiz died shortly after the film was completed.

The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour

The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour is an American network television music and comedy variety show hosted by singer Glen Campbell from January 1969 through June 1972 on CBS. He was offered the show after he hosted a 1968 summer replacement for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Campbell used "Gentle on My Mind" as the theme song of the show. The show was one of the few rural-oriented shows to survive CBS's rural purge of 1971.

The Green Berets (film)

The Green Berets is a 1968 American war film set in Vietnam featuring John Wayne, Jim Hutton, David Janssen, Aldo Ray, Patrick Wayne, and Jack Soo, based on the 1965 novel by Robin Moore. Much of the film was shot in the summer of 1967. Parts of the screenplay bear little relation to the novel, although the portion in which a woman seduces a North Vietnamese communist general and sets him up to be kidnapped by Americans is from the book.

Thematically, The Green Berets is strongly anti-communist and pro-Saigon. It was released at the height of American involvement in the Vietnam War, the same year as the Tet Offensive against the largest cities in South Vietnam. John Wayne, concerned by the anti-war atmosphere in the United States, wanted to make this film to present the pro-military position. He requested and obtained full military cooperation and materiel from 36th President Lyndon B. Johnson and the United States Department of Defense. To please The Pentagon, who were attempting to prosecute author Robin Moore for revealing classified information, Wayne bought Moore out for $35,000 and 5% of undefined profits of the film.The film was a critical failure, but succeeded financially.

The High and the Mighty (film)

The High and the Mighty is a 1954 WarnerColor American disaster film in CinemaScope directed by William A. Wellman and written by Ernest K. Gann who also wrote the 1953 novel on which his screenplay was based. The film's cast was headlined by John Wayne, who was also the project's co-producer. Composer Dimitri Tiomkin won an Oscar for his original score while his title song for the film also was nominated for an Oscar (although the title song did not actually appear in release prints nor in the recent restoration of the film). The film received mostly positive reviews and grossed $8.5 million in its theatrical release. The supporting cast includes Claire Trevor, Laraine Day, Robert Stack, Jan Sterling, Phil Harris, and Robert Newton.

True Grit (1969 film)

True Grit is a 1969 American Western film directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Kim Darby as Mattie Ross and John Wayne as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. It is the first film adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Marguerite Roberts. Wayne won his only Academy Award for his performance in the film and reprised his role for the 1975 sequel Rooster Cogburn.

Historians believe Cogburn was based on Deputy U.S. Marshal Heck Thomas, who brought in some of the toughest outlaws. The cast also features Glen Campbell, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Corey, and Strother Martin. The title song, sung by Campbell, was also Oscar-nominated.

True Grit was adapted again in 2010, starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Hailee Steinfeld.

USS YMS-328

USS YMS-328 is a decommissioned US Navy YMS-1-class (YMS-135 subclass) Yard Mine Sweeper (YMS), built in Ballard, Washington at Ballard Marine & Railway in Ballard, Washington (Seattle). She was classified as a Mark II design and her hull is constructed completely out of 3" vertical grain Douglas fir. Sister ships include Jacques Cousteau's RV Calypso. After naval service during World War II, she became a private yacht. Later renamed Wild Goose she is most notable for having been owned by actor John Wayne. The yacht was listed on the US National Register of Historic Places on 19 July 2011.YMS-328 was delivered on 26 May 1943. She served in the Aleutian Islands during World War II, sweeping enemy minefields at Attu and US minefields at Kiska, and patrolling out of Adak. She was en route to Dutch Harbor to be fitted for the invasion of Paramishiru Island in Japan, when Japan surrendered. YMS-328 returned to Bremerton, Washington. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in 1946.

YMS-328 was sold privately in 1948 to Vancouver Tug & Barge owner Harold Jones. He named her La Beverie. Upon Jones's death in 1956, millionaire Max Wyman purchased the yacht and renamed her the Wild Goose II. Wyman traveled the world on the yacht including Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Hawaii. In 1962, she was bought by John Wayne and went through a major renovation. Wayne changed her name to Wild Goose. He kept the ship for the last 17 years of his life. He entertained a who's who of the time including Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Wild Goose was featured in the 1968 film Skidoo where she was the yacht, named Mother, of a reclusive mob boss named "God" played by Groucho Marx. The yacht was used extensively with scenes shot from the exterior and in the wheel house, cabins, engine room, upper and lower decks. This ship was also featured in the 1967 film The President's Analyst, doubling as a Canadian spy ship.The travels of the ship were well documented during Wayne's ownership in the 1993 book On Board with the Duke authored by his former captain Bert Minshall. Minshall was on Wild Goose for 16 years with Wayne. The vessel is still in operation for dinner cruises in Newport Beach, California by Hornblower Cruises.

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