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Born on Feb. 22, 1962, John Ethan Morrison (known professionally as Ethan Wayne) is the youngest son of the late Western film icon John Wayne (birth name Marion Robert Morrison and known to friends as “Duke”) and wife Pilar Pallete. Memorably, as a boy Ethan appeared on-screen with his father and older brother Patrick in Big Jake (1971). In the wake of his dad’s death from stomach cancer at age 72 on June 11, 1979, young Wayne turned a stint doing stunt work, then returned to acting on both the big and small screen, including a co-starring role in the police drama The New Adam-12. When older brother Michael Wayne died in 2003, Ethan took the reins as president of the family-run John Wayne Enterprises and director of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.Wild West recently caught up with Ethan to discuss the various Wayne family endeavors, including the new museum, John Wayne: An American Experience, in Fort Worth, Texas.Ethan Wayne today posing with his dog aboard his boat

Wayne carries on his father’s legacy as both president of John Wayne Enterprises and director of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. (Interfoto/Alamy Stock Photo)WHAT WAS THE GENESIS OF THE NEW MUSEUM?In the last few years the team at John Wayne Enterprises and I hosted a series of successful interactive pop-up exhibits in both Nashville and Las Vegas. After seeing the impact my father still has, our family decided we wanted a more permanent location. Through my good friend Patrick Gottsch I was introduced to Craig Cavileer of Majestic Realty, and they brought me down to the stockyards in Fort Worth. Once we saw Cavileer’s vision for the stockyards, we knew it was the right place for John Wayne.WHAT UNDISCOVERED TREASURES DID YOU TURN UP IN THE FAMILY STORAGE FACILITY?When they packed up my father’s house, it looks like they emptied the contents of every drawer and just wrapped the whole thing up in brown packing paper. While unwrapping all of it, we stumbled on everything from unread mail to his Oscar he won for True Grit. We also found some really good old whiskey, which is what inspired our collaboration with Duke Spirits. It really was like a step back in time.

Among the scores of costumes and hats on exhibit at the Fort Worth museum John Wayne: An American Experience is this iconic Stetson. (John Wayne: An American Experience, Fort Worth, Texas)
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ASPECTS OF THE MUSEUM AND ITEMS ON DISPLAY?For me personally it’s the wardrobe display in the “Life on Screen” section. All the costumes he wore in the most iconic films, set up on mannequins exactly how they appear on-screen. It’s very impactful.HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE NAMED FOR BOTH A WESTERN FILM ICON AND ARGUABLY HIS GREATEST CHARACTER ROLE (ETHAN EDWARDS OF THE SEARCHERS)?It’s a great legacy. I’m proud to carry that moniker.WHAT WAS LIFE WITH YOUR DAD LIKE, AT HOME, ON THE SET AND ABOARD HIS CONVERTED WORLD WAR II MINESWEEPER WILD GOOSE?My dad was happiest out on the water or on location; he loved projects and stories. On set, he was all business—very focused on the project. At home, he was warm, but consistently busy with the day-to-day, as you could imagine. On Wild Goose, though…he really was in his element with friends, family and lots of laughter and adventure.TRUTH BE TOLD, I’M STILL ABSORBING THE IMPACT HE HAD ON THE WORLDWHEN WERE YOU FIRST AWARE OF YOUR DAD’S CELEBRITY?It was always there—I don’t really have a specific story to point to on that. I suppose as a teenager I understood his influence a little more, but truth be told, I’m still absorbing the impact he had on the world.WHAT OTHER CELEBRITIES WERE IN YOUR FAMILY’S ORBIT? DID YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITES?I was a little too young to really know them, but I have fond memories of Dean Martin and Maureen O’Hara. Those two stick out as favorites.
The cast of the 1971 film Big Jake, including John Wayne, sons Ethan and Patrick, Maureen O'Hara, Bobby Vinton and Christopher MitchumThe starring cast of the 1971 Western Big Jake pose between takes. Ethan and father John pose at top with Maureen O’Hara. Seated from left to right are Patrick Wayne, Bobby Vinton and Christopher Mitchum (actor Robert Mitchum’s second son). Up front is Laddie (known in the film simply as “Dog”). (Picturelux/The Hollywood Archive/Alamy Stock Photo)

WHAT DO RECALL ABOUT YOUR DEBUT SPEAKING ROLE IN BIG JAKE, IN WHICH YOU PLAYED JACOB “LITTLE JAKE” MCCANDLES, THE KIDNAPPED GRANDSON OF YOUR FATHER’S TITLE CHARACTER, JACOB MCCANDLES?Growing up, I was on location all the time, but really wasn’t a part of the team. On Big Jake I was on the team. I loved the whole cast, and it was an amazing experience.
John Wayne in a still from the 1972 Western The CowboysJohn Wayne plays a desperate rancher forced to hire boys in the 1971 Western The Cowboys, Ethan’s current favorite starring his father. (Screenprod/PhotoNonStop/Alamy Stock Photo)
DO YOU HAVE FAVORITES AMONG YOUR FATHER’S FILMS, WESTERNS OR OTHERWISE?Right now, The Cowboys. The Wil Andersen character is probably the most similar to how my father was with me in real life. Watching it now, it makes me feel very nostalgic.HOW DID YOU GET INTO STUNT WORK?After my dad died, Gary ”Whiz Kid” McLarty hired me to do stunt work on The Blues Brothers and gave me some direction at a rudderless time in my life.WHAT WERE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS AS AN ACTOR AND STUNTMAN?Meeting John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. That was amazing as a young man just starting out. I also really enjoyed working on The New Adam-12, because it was a pretty fast-paced production. I had a terrific co-star [Peter Parros] and really enjoyed the experience.DID YOU HAVE ANY QUALMS ON INHERITING OLDER BROTHER MICHAEL’S MANTLE AS HEAD OF THE FAMILY ENTERPRISES AND THE CANCER FOUNDATION?Yes, Michael was very smart and a great businessman. Though I wish we had had time to discuss the business a little more before he passed, I was excited by the challenge and the privilege of the position.OUR JOB IS TO SHARE HIS POSITIVE INFLUENCE WITH THE COUNTRY AGAIN…TO BRING HIS CORE VALUES AND CHARACTER BACK TO THE PEOPLEWHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH THROUGH JOHN WAYNE ENTERPRISES?The main objective is to keep John Wayne’s name and essence alive. We’re hard at work on the John Wayne: An American Experience exhibit in Texas, fine tuning a retail line and creating partnerships with other companies that live his values. I think our job is to share his positive influence with the country again. So, basically, trying to bring his core values and character back to the people.WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE JOHN WAYNE CANCER FOUNDATION?When my father was dying, he asked us to use his name to help doctors find a cure, so that’s the big one. We’re working toward that by raising money for cancer research, funding a kids skin care program called Block the Blaze and creating John Wayne Fellowship Programs at a couple of great universities—the University of California, Irvine, and Texas Tech—so doctors can continue their surgical oncology education. There is actually a whole room dedicated to this work at John Wayne: An American Experience that I would encourage people to check out.
A preteen Ethan Wayne poses with his famous father, John WayneA preteen Ethan Wayne poses with his famous father on the set of the 1975 action film Brannigan. (Everett Collection Historical/Alamy Stock Photo)
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PERSONAL KEEPSAKE OF YOUR FATHER’S?Of course I do. But if I told you, it wouldn’t be personal anymore.WHAT LESSONS DID HE TEACH YOU THAT STAY WITH YOU?The first thing that comes to mind is “red, right, returning.” I’ve always been fascinated by anything I could drive, so I especially loved learning about Wild Goose and how it worked. Any fellow watermen reading this will know about that rule.WHAT IS YOUR LAST CLEAR MEMORY OF YOUR DAD?I was right there with him at the last part of his life, and I’ve got to say, he showed a lot of courage. The man had grit all the way to the end.HOW WOULD YOU LIKE HIM TO BE REMEMBERED?Well, he said himself how he’d like to be remembered: “Feo, fuerte y formal,” which translates to “ugly, strong and dignified.”WHAT IS JOHN WAYNE’S GREATEST LEGACY?There is no arguing that his film career was one of the greatest of all time, but I’d have to say the greatest legacy is the work we’re doing at the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. He’d be very proud of the strides we’re taking in the fight against cancer. WWDave Lauterborn, based in historic Harpers Ferry, W.Va., has been the managing editor of Wild West since 2008. For further reading he suggests John Wayne: The Life and Legend, by Scott Eyman, and Duke in His Own Words, with an introduction by Ethan Wayne.

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John Wayne doesn’t want to be an actor and likes a director . – My Blog

He became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but John Wayne once saw acting as just ‘a brief detour’. His real dream was to become a film director.Cinema’s most iconic cowboy could have spent his days behind the camera had he not inadvertently stepped in front of one on a John Ford set, allow the director to see his potential.

The disclosure is in a memoir he was working on that lay undiscovered among family papers. It said Wayne, who ԁıеԁ in 1979, was working at 20th Century Fox in the 1920s simply to pay the bills.It added: ‘I had no thoughts of becoming an actor. Acting was a kind of apprenticeship toward becoming a director. It was also a source of petty cash…

‘I was ԁеаԁ-set on becoming a director.Elsewhere, he adds: ‘If need be, I would take a brief detour into acting or whatever else was necessary to accomplish my goal.’The memoir was found by Michael Goldman in inquire his book, John Wayne: The Genuine Article, published this month. Even Wayne’s family did not know of its existence in their archives.

Its 72 typed pages paint a portrait of an ordinary man who became the Oscar-winning star of True Grit and The Searchers, a larger-than-life icon nicknamed the Duke.Wayne was working on it shortly before his ԁеаtһ in 1979, having repeatedly rejected requests for an autobiography.He wrote about the 1920s, when he headed for Twentieth Century Fox’s studio and found menial jobs in props and stunt-work, learning his for horse-riding, roping, ɡսոѕ and fighting.

he memory of being desperate for money never left him and in the memoir he writes: ‘The big Depression was still two years away, but my one personal depression was staring at me from the bottom of my empty soup bowl.’I needed a job .’He describes working as an extra – kicked off John Ford’s set for inadvertently stepping in front of a camera – and, like some star-struck teenager, was overwhelmed by the excitement of seeing his own movie heroes.On encountering Tom Mix, a silent Western star, Wayne writes of trying ‘to figure out how to make the best impression possible on the greatest cowboy star in the world’.
He records Mix ignoring him on his attempt to ingratiate himself.Mr Goldman notes the irony of Wayne idolising Mix: ‘The man who would become “the most iconic cinematic cowboy in history” was racking himself over how to make an impression on “the most Cinematic cowboy in history”.’The biographer says of Wayne’s ‘brief detour’ in front of the camera: ‘It was a detour that lasted until his ԁеаtһ.’Wayne would ultimately direct just four films, including The Alamo and The Green Berets , “passion projects” for him. But directing was not what he became known for.Wayne does not elaborate in the manuscript on why he never made directing a priority in subsequent years.

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Secrets John Wayne Revealed to Ron Howard About Filmmaking . – My Blog

Although they were celebrities for different reasons, Ron Howard worked with John Wayne on one of The Duke’s late-period movies. Howard said Wayne gave him some interesting advice. In addition, Howard revealed what made Wayne a little different from other actors.

As an actor, Howard is most known for his appearing in the sitcoms The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days as well as George Lucas’ American Graffiti. However, he also appeared in Wayne’s final Western, The Shootist. The film also included James Stewart, Lauren Bacall, and John Carridine. With that cast, the film was almost like a roll call of Old Hollywood actors. Howard’s appearance in the film almost feels like a passing of the torch from one generation to the next.

In an interview with Men’s Journal, Sean Woods asked Howard if working with Wayne and Stewart taught him anything about manhood. “John Wayne used a phrase, which he later attributed to [film director] John Ford, for scenes that were going to be difficult: ‘This is a job of work,’ he’d say,” Howard recalled. “If there was a common thread with these folks – Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Glenn Ford – it was the work ethic. It was still driving them. To cheat the project was an insult. To cheat the audience was damnable.”

What Ron Howard said John Wayne, Bette Davis, and Jimmy Stewart had in common : In a separate interview with the HuffPost, Howard also praised Wayne’s work ethic. “I always admired him as a movie star, but I thought of him as a total naturalist,” Howard said. “Even those pauses were probably him forgetting his line and then remembering it again, because, man, he’s The Duke.

But he’s working on this scene and he’s like, ‘Let me try this again.’ And he put the little hitch in and he’d find the Wayne rhythm, and you’d realize that it changed the performance each and every time. I’ve worked with Bette Davis, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda. Here’s the thing they all have in common: They all, even in their 70s, worked a little harder than everyone else.”

How critics and audiences responded to ‘The Shootist’ : Howard obviously admired Wayne’s methods as an actor. This raises an interesting question: Did the public embrace The Shootist? According to Box Office Mojo, the film earned over $8 million. That’s not a huge haul for a film from 1976. However, the film is widely regarded as a classic among 1970s Westerns.

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How did Paul Koslo ever have a tense encounter with star John Wayne ? – My Blog

In 1975, the Canadian actor starring The Duke in Rooster Cogburn. At the time, Koslo was only 19 and still relatively green in the industry. So working with the Hollywood legend was a bit stressful.

During an installment of World on Westerns, Paul Koslo shared his experiences with John Wayne, including a time where he nearly stepped on Wayne’s lines.As the story goes, Wayne had a short 15 line monologue. And once he was finished, Koslo was supposed to respond. And as they were filming, Wayne said his part. But when it was Koslo’s turn, he froze.“The director said ‘Paul, why didn’t you say your lines?’” the actor remembered.

“And I said, ‘well, because I didn’t wanna cut him off because he hadn’t said all of his lines yet.’” Hearing the conversation, John Wayne jumped in saying, “who’s gonna? Nobody’s gonna cut me off. I can say whatever I want, you got it, kid?”Of course, the interaction made Koslo nervous, and the only response he could muster was, “okay, sir.”However, the actor admitted that the Western icon wasn’t as intimidating as the story made him sound.

Koslo shared that as long as his co-stars worked hard, Wayne was always their biggest supporter.“My impression of him was that if you did your stuff, and you were right on top of it, he was your best buddy. But if you were like a slacker, or you weren’t prepared, he could get on your case.”During the AWOW interview, Paul Koslo also shared some details behind the age-old feud between John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn.

“I mean, Kate and him, they were always like this,” said Koslo, while punching his fists together.According to Koslo, politics were behind the fight. Hepburn was a democrat and Wayne was a republican.“It seemed like… in a fun way. I don’t know if it was for real,” he admitted. “You know, she would be sitting on the hood of a truck going like a hundred feet down to the set where they were shooting, and how Wallis was having heart attacks. She was really a daredevil, and she was full of piss and vinegar.”

The actor also noted that he didn’t get to spend much time with the actress, so he couldn’t get a proper gauge on the so-called feud. Almost all his time was spent with The Duke.The only interaction Koslo had with Hepburn was while shooting an intense scene where they were “moving this nitroglycerin to another location because we were going to rob the U.S. Treasury with it, and [John Wayne’s] about to ambush us.”And that happened right before Paul Koslo nearly stepped on John Wayne’s lines.

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