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Who Is John Wayne? Meet The Iconic Cowboy of Western Films – My Blog

John Wayne’s actual name is Marion Robert Morrison. He’s nicknamed Duke in the entertainment industry and was an American actor and filmmaker. John was one of those late actors whose career started in the 1920s silent era and pioneered the Golden Age of Hollywood. Eventually, he was the forerunner of the American New Wave of film and television. The cowboy icon has appeared in an impressive total of 179 films and television productions. This has established him among the top box office draws in three decades.

Early Life

Born on May 26, 1907, at Winterset, Iowa, John Wayne’s birth was featured in Winterset Madisonian on page 4 of May 30, 1907 edition, where it was reported he weighed 13 lbs. (around 6 kg). The actor claimed that his middle name, Robert, was changed to Michael because his parents decided to name his brother Robert, but no legal documents supported his claim.

His grandfather was an American Civil War veteran named Marion Mitchell Morrison, while his father is Clyde Leonard Morrison, a pharmacist. Meanwhile, his mother’s name was Mary “Molly” Alberta Brown, who had Scottish, English, and Irish ancestry. He was raised in Presbyterian.
John Wayne initially wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, but he was not accepted. Instead, he went to the University of Southern California (USC) and majored in pre-law. John went to play on the USC football team but lost his athletic scholarship when he got injured in a bodysurfing accident. Because of this, he had no funds for schooling, thus had to leave the university.
Acting Career

The unfortunate incident of his university life was the push John Wayne needed to start his career in entertainment. He was first hired as a prop boy and extra as a recommendation by silent western film star Tom Mix to his director John Ford. Later on, he moved to support roles in a movie when he established a longtime friendship with Ford. 
Moreover, the first time he was given on-screen credit as “Duke Morrison” happened in the 1929 film Words and Music under Fox Film Corporation. His first big break was in The Big Trail in 1930 when the director Raoul Walsh saw him moving furniture in the studio as a prop boy and cast him as a starring role. He did well on that project, and so, the Fox Studios chief Winfield Sheehan discussed his screen name. The actor suggested “Anthony Wayne,” but Sheehan rejected the idea because it sounded “too Italian.” The second suggestion was “John Wayne,” which was approved, and then his pay was raised to $105 a week.
Thanks to the Stagecoach film in 1939, John Wayne became a household name. The film, directed by John Ford, shot John in mainstream stardom. Even with the breaking out of World War II, John’s career soared, and he won several awards in the 1970 Academy Awards as Best Actor. 1953, 1966, and 1970 Golden Globe Awards gave him Henrietta Award, Cecil B. DeMille Award, and Best Actor for Motion Picture Drama, among other notable accolades.
Marriages And Personal Life

The actor was married three times and divorced twice. His first wife was Josephine Alicia Saenz, his second wife was Esperanza Baur, and his third wife, Pilar Pallete. He had seven children, four from Josephine and three from Pilar. According to reports, his first child Michael Wayne didn’t take his divorcing and new wives lightly because their relationship became harsh at some point. Several of John Wayne’s children worked in film and television. His children also contributed a lot to the productions.
Moreover, the biographer of John Wayne, Michael Munn, chronicled the actor’s drinking habits. This has affected his performance, and some shooting schedules were aligned to it. Sam O’Steen’s Cut to the Chase memoir wrote how the studio directors knew to shoot John’s scene before noon comes as he’s practically a mean drunk by the afternoon. Besides drinking problems, he had been a chain smoker of cigarettes since he’s a young adult and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1964. Furthermore, he underwent successful surgery to remove his entire left lung and four ribs. Five years later, he was declared cancer-free.

John Wayne was declared cancer-free, but then he still died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979. His remains were buried in the Pacific View Memorial Park found in Newport Beach. According to Patrick Wayne and his priest grandson Matthew Munoz, Wayne converted to Roman Catholicism before he died.
Strangely, many cast and crew from the film The Conqueror in 1956 developed different forms of cancer at various times, including the stars like John Wayne, Agnes Moorehead, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendariz, and director Dick Powell. It was shot in southwest Utah, to the east and downwind of recent US government nuclear weapons tests in southeastern Nevada.
John Wayne is an American actor who may have the ups and downs in life, but he’s still a Cowboy icon of Western films, no doubt.

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John Wayne’s Son Couldn’t Watch 1 of His Dad’s Movies After His Death – My Blog

John Wayne is a legendary actor who successfully personifies Western movies. He has a very loyal fan base, but some of his critics claim that he plays the same character in every movie. However, Wayne delivered several nuanced performances over the course of his career. His son, Patrick, had difficulty watching one specific movie after his father’s death.

John Wayne starred in over 160 full-length movies
Wayne entered the entertainment industry working as an extra, prop man, and a stuntman. He primarily worked for Fox Film Corporation, but ultimately got his first shot with Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail. However, the film was a box office failure. Fortunately, Wayne’s huge success at the movies would later come to be.
Wayne ultimately starred in popular Western and war movies over the course of the 1940s onward. Some of his most notable performances include titles such as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, True Grit, and Sands of Iwo Jima. All together, Wayne starred in over 160 full-length movies over the course of his extensive career.

John Wayne’s son, Patrick, couldn’t watch ‘The Shootist’ after his dad’s death

Jeremy Roberts interviewed Patrick via Medium to talk about what it was like growing up in the Wayne family. He talked about some personal stories involving his father, as well as the collection of Wayne movies. The interviewer asked him if he had any difficulty revisiting any of his dad’s movies after his death.
“I’d have to say no to that question with the exception of one film, The Shootist,” Patrick said. “I couldn’t watch that Western as it was so close to reality. He played an old gunfighter who was an anachronism dying of cancer.”
Wayne plays J.B. Books in The Shootist, who is an aging gunfighter diagnosed with cancer. He heads into Nevada at the turn of the 20th century. Books rents a room from a widowed woman named Bond Rogers (Lauren Becall) and her son, Gillom (Ron Howard). When people pursue Books with questionable motives, he decides that he isn’t going to die a silent death.
Patrick continued: “Too many of the elements in there were just too close to what actually happened to him in his real life, so that film took me about 10 years to watch again [of course I saw it when it was originally released in 1976].”
Patrick Wayne thinks ‘The Shootist’ is his dad’s ‘finest performance’

Wayne earned Oscar nominations for his movies Sands of Iwo Jima and The Alamo. However, he wouldn’t take home the gold statue until his work on True Grit. Patrick believes that the iconic film isn’t quite his father’s best work. He gives that title to Wayne’s work in The Shootist, which he didn’t even earn an Oscar nomination for.
Patrick said, “When I did finally watch it for the second time, I have to say that it’s probably his finest performance as a pure actor, using all his skills and being more than just a cardboard cutout, but more of a real human being — a vulnerable human being — and I think he pulled it off really well.”

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‘It Was a Pretty Miserable Experience’ – My Blog

John Wayne has worked in a wide variety of filming locations over the course of his career. However, they didn’t all provide comfortable conditions for the cast and crew. Wayne’s son, Patrick, once noted the “worst” film location of them all, calling one of his dad’s filming locations a “pretty miserable experience.” Nevertheless, he still enjoyed making movies with his father.

John Wayne’s son, Patrick, worked with his dad on film locations
'The Green Berets' filming location John Wayne pulling a wagon along

Patrick followed in his father’s acting footsteps. His first roles included uncredited roles at Wayne’s filming locations, which gained him momentum moving forward into bigger roles. Some of these include Rio Grande, The Searchers, The Alamo, and The Quiet Man. However, he later moved more into managing the John Wayne Cancer Institute, which pushes to advance research in the fight against cancer.

Patrick has a wide array of stories from the Wayne filming locations. His father remains one of the most iconic Western actors of all time. Patrick looked up to his dad, but they didn’t always have the best time on the set of the more grueling filming location.
‘The Green Berets’ was the ‘worst’ John Wayne film location for his son, Patrick

Jeremy Roberts interviewed Patrick for Medium about some of the iconic Wayne filming locations. He explained that there was one set, in particular, that he just couldn’t stand.
“That would have to be The Green Berets,” Patrick said. “We were on location at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, which is located about 125 miles west of Atlanta. But it was nothing like Atlanta.”
Patrick continued: “Oh my God, it was pretty dreary. That’s fine but it started raining to the point of where we couldn’t even work. Boy, there was nothing to do except sit there and wait ’til it stopped raining. It was a pretty miserable experience from the weather aspect at that time [filming commenced on August 9, 1967]. It was past the worst part of the summer, so the humidity wasn’t that bad.”
Wayne’s difficult conditions on the Green Berets filming location makes sense for the movie’s story. It follows Col. Mike Kirby (Wayne), who selects two teams of Green Berets for a specific mission in South Vietnam. They must build and run a camp that the enemy seeks to capture, but that isn’t all. They must also kidnap a North Vietnamese General behind enemy lines.
‘The Green Berets’ is a controversial war movie

The Green Berets succeeded at the box office, but critics found the film incredibly controversial. They slammed the film for being heavy-handed and predictable. However, its war politics particularly upset a lot of critics. Nevertheless, The Green Berets easily sold tickets to audiences, making it a financial success.
Wayne went through some rough conditions on the filming location, but it proved to be worth his time. Despite its politics, the film made the legendary actor a large sum of money and remains a well-known war picture. It was also an opportunity for Patrick to work with his father on another film.

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Ann-Margret’s precious memories of ‘teddy bear’ Duke on The Train Robbers – My Blog

JOHN WAYNE was “slightly infirm” on The Train Robbers but tenaciously pushed through filming despite two fractured ribs, balance issues and a daily lie down, according to co-star Rod Taylor. Ann-Margret remembers Duke appearing strong despite his declining health and admitted the Western star “gave me the confidence I lacked”.

By the 1970s, John Wayne was coming towards the end of his career as a Hollywood star. In 1973, aged 65-years-old, he had been living with one lung for the best part of 10 years and was suffering from emphysema on the remaining one. That year he released two Westerns which aren’t remembered as his best but saw the ageing icon carry on with much determination. One of the films was The Train Robbers, which co-starred Ann-Margret and Rod Taylor.
The Train Robbers saw Ann-Margret’s feisty widow work alongside three cowboys in recovering a cage of gold that was stolen by her late husband.
Before shooting started, Wayne had fractured two of his ribs, which was so painful he struggled to sleep at night.

This meant that his action scenes had to be scaled down and co-star Taylor remembered Duke being “slightly” infirm during the shoot.
The Time Machine star said the Western legend had trouble with his balance and understandably needed afternoon naps.
train robbers cast

Despite his health problems on the movie, Wayne refused to delay filming and strived forwards.
Ann-Margret had fond memories of her co-star’s tenacity, recalling: “Duke was still a strong, rugged, formidable man, larger-than-life and incredibly personal. He was a big teddy bear, and we got along famously. Duke gave me the confidence I lacked.”
The Viva Las Vegas star appreciated this given that 1972 had been a very difficult time in her life, having been seriously injured when performing in her Lake Tahoe show.
john and ann
Ann-Margret felt John Wayne gave her the confidence boost she needed (Image: GETTY)
train robbers poster
The Train Robbers poster (Image: GETTY)
In terms of the confidence boost she needed, the actress had to overcome her fear of horses as there was much riding needed for her character. It was here that Wayne gave her the support she needed.
The Train Robbers had average reviews and later Quentin Tarantino would comment the film was “so light it’s barely a movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amusing.”
Wayne also released Cahill: US Marshall in 1973, which saw a significantly weakened Wayne having to use a stepladder to climb onto a horse.
That year also marked the death of his most famous collaborator, the director John Ford.
Upon news of the filmmakers’ death that August, Wayne told journalists: “I’m pretty much living on borrowed time.”
Duke would go on to make a couple of better-reviewed Westerns in True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn opposite Katherine Hepburn and The Shootist.
The latter film was his final one and saw him playing a terminally ill gunfighter.
The Hollywood icon himself died of cancer just a couple of years later in 1979.

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