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John Wayne Helped Launch James Arness’ Career With Gunsmoke – My Blog

John Wayne Helped Launch James Arness’ Career With GunsmokeCBSBY DREW TINNIN/MARCH 18, 2023 6:00 PM ESTJames Arness starred as lawman Marshall Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke” for an incredible run of 20 seasons from 1955-1975. Until “The Simpsons” surpassed it in 2018, the epic series dramatizing the American West was the longest running television show in history. Originally, John Wayne was offered the role but turned it down because he had no interest in committing to a weekly TV series. If he had accepted the part, it’s incredibly unlikely the series would have ever run that long, and more TV movies of “Gunsmoke” probably would have hit the airwaves instead. During the first couple of years of “Gunsmoke,” filming took place at the legendary Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio, one of the premiere Western movie towns of the 1950s with multiple locations and a working train helping to fill in for the real Dodge City. Arness received a Walk of Western Stars award presented to him at Melody Ranch where he was interviewed about how working with Wayne early on in his career led to the role of a lifetime.Arness began working with Wayne in supporting roles in B-movies like “Big Jim McLain,” “Hondo,” “Island in the Sky,” and “The Sea Chase.” When Wayne recommended Arness for the lead role on “Gunsmoke,” the legendary actor even introduced Arness to the television audience himself in the premiere episode’s prologue in 1955. Wayne never set foot at Melody Ranch, recording the introduction in the studio. Although their relationship soured over the years, an endorsement from John Wayne obviously went a long way, paving the way for Arness’ six-foot-seven frame to saunter onto the “Gunsmoke” set where he would remain for two decades. Amidst all kinds of cultural upheaval and generational change, Arness remained a constant in the living rooms of millions of Americans.The beginning and ending of a beautiful friendshipUnited ArtistsJames Arness apparently still held The Duke in high regard when he spoke about being recommended for the part:“When the ‘Gunsmoke’ offer came in, [John Wayne] said, ‘I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I have a young man here under contract who I think would maybe fit the bill.’ So he very graciously offered to introduce the first episode. And it was great. It was a wonderful thing. He was a one-of-a-kind guy. There just was never anybody else like him.”Arness seems eternally grateful, but the two stars had an eventual falling out over an issue concerning John Wayne’s passion project to make a big budget epic about the battle of the Alamo. Wayne had been working to secure the funding for almost 15 years, and had planned to play the much smaller role of Sam Houston in “The Alamo” which eventually made it to theaters in 1960. To secure the proper backing for the $12 million dollar budget, he agreed to star as Davy Crockett and wound up throwing in $1.5 million of his own fortune after taking out second mortgages on his opulent homes to secure a loan.Hoping that Arness would return the favor of being cast in the hit show “Gunsmoke,” Wayne set up a meeting for Arness about filling in for the role of Sam Houston. Arness completely flaked and never showed up to the interview, leaving Wayne hanging — something The Duke never forgot. Richard Boone ended up playing Houston, and Arness never appeared in another feature film again.Cowboys & aliensRKO PicturesLargely due to his height, James Arness’ big break came when he was cast as the Frankenstein-esque alien in “The Thing From Another World” in 1951. Described as looking like an “intellectual carrot,” there were rumors swirling for years that Arness regretted taking the role. “Well, it’s always with me, but it was great,” Arness recalled. “I was at the stage where I was trying to get any job I could, [and] that thing came along. I wasn’t going to turn that down.”Early on in Arness’ career, he would mostly play heavies or a gang member because of how imposing he was onscreen. His height ended up being more of a blessing than a curse, and thanks to John Wayne, he’s remembered now as a classic cowboy instead of a lumbering creature from outer space.Widely regarded as one of the best remakes ever, John Carpenter’s “The Thing” completely transformed the original “Thing From Another World” into a claustrophobic, effects laden masterpiece. Interestingly, the film’s would-be hero, R.J. MacReady played by Kurt Russell in Carpenter’s 1982 retelling, has another connection to James Arness. Russell appeared in “Gunsmoke” as a kid named Packy Kerlin in the 1964 episode “Blue Heaven.”

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John Wayne’s words to his daughter before taking his last breath . – My Blog

John Wayne was in around 170 movies during his long career in the acting world. It’s hard to determine exactly how many because he had starred in so many early on in his career that was considered more obscure.

By the time he was done acting, fans heard him deliver hundreds of thousands of lines to the cameraWhile his acting career was the life he projected, Wayne also had a life outside of the set. He was married three times and divorced twice. In total, John Wayne had seven children during his life. Wayne will always be remembered as the epitome of the Western genre. The tough, macho man behind countless iconic films. He was in movies like “True Grit,” “The Shootist,” “The Cowboys,” and “El Dorado.”

John Wayne’s Last Words : When he was lying in his death bed, however, he wasn’t talking about the Old West or old-fashioned violence. Instead, family was his main concern. According to a Neatorama post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen, Wayne spent his last days in a hospital bed in-and-out of consciousness. He passed away on June 11, 1979, surrounded by many family members.

His daughter, Aissa Wayne (born March 31, 1956) was at his bedside. She held his hand and asked if he knew who she was. He responded with his very last words ever, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”

Wayne passed away from stomach cancer. He had been suffering from poor health for several years at this point. Deezen described Wayne on the set of his last movie, “The Shootist” by saying he was often irritable and missed days on set due to poor health. He even had an oxygen tank on set.

Beyond the stomach cancer, John Wayne also had heart issues. He had a long life of smoking, drinking, and a questionable diet. He actually had a pig valve put into his heart. His last appearance would be at the 1979 Academy Awards where he was notably thinner and very sick. He even had a wetsuit on underneath his outfit to make him look bigger.

According to Mental Floss his grave in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach reads, “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.”

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How does John Wayne comment and evaluate the person and film of Julie Andrews? – My Blog

John Wayne and Julie Andrews were both huge icons in the 1960s, however, Wayne was not a fan of one of Andrews’ movies. He felt one of her films “fell on its face” because of one of her ideas. Here’s what he thought of her as a performer.

During the late 1960s, Hollywood underwent a lot of changes. For example, the industry started embracing graphic violence and sexuality –or, at least, what constituted graphic violence and sexuality at the time. Explicit movies like Psycho, Bonnie and Clyde, and The Graduate that never could have been made in a more restrictive era were finding success.Wayne was not a fan of the increased sexuality in American films. “All the real motion picture people have always made family pictures,” he told Roger Ebert in 1969.
“But the downbeats and the so-called intelligentsia got in when the government stupidly split up the production companies and the theaters. The old giants–Mayer, Thalberg, even Harry Cohn, despite the fact that personally I couldn’t stand him – were good for this industry. Now the goddamned stock manipulators have taken over. They don’t know a goddamned thing about making movies. “They make something dirty, and it makes money, and they say, ‘Jesus, let’s make one a little dirtier, maybe it’ll make more money,’” Wayne opined. “And now even the bankers are getting their noses into it.”

John Wayne felt Julie Andrews was trying to be like another star
Wayne felt Andrews had succumbed to this trend. “Take that girl, Julie Andrews, a refreshing, openhearted girl, a wonderful performer,” he said. “Her stint was Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. But she wanted to be a Theda Bara. And they went along with her, and the picture fell on its face.”

Which of Julie Andrews’ movies was he talking about?
For context, Bara was a silent movie actor who was an early Hollywood sex symbol who often played femmes fatale. In the interview, Wayne never specifies which movie he was discussing. Between the release of The Sound of Music in 1965 and the time Wayne gave the interview, Andrews starred in five films: Torn Curtain, Hawaii, Think Twentieth, Thoroughly Modern Millie,and Star!. It’s impossible to know for sure which movie Wayne criticized, but it may well have been Thoroughly Modern Millie, whose plot involves sex trafficking.

It’s unclear if Wayne meant the movie he mentioned “fell flat on its face” artistically or commercially. Obviously, whether Thoroughly Modern Millie is a good movie is a matter of taste. However, the movie performed well for the time. According to The Numbers, it earned $34,335,025. In addition, Thoroughly Modern Millie inspired the famous musical of the same name. Regardless of which of her movies he disliked, Wayne still praised Andrews’ talent.

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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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