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23 Little-Known Facts About John Wayne – Old western – My Blog

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John Wayne’s on-screen persona opposite his cinematic love interests was often shy, bordering on awkward. But when the cameras stopped rolling, Wayne was actually a brazen womanizer. He was married three times and had a total of seven children, but none of his marriages went particularly well. He was consistently and flagrantly unfaithful to all three wives, having long and public affairs with some of the most famous women in Hollywood, most notably Marlene Dietrich and Joanne Woodward.“Daddy, Get Me That”Iconic German actress Marlene Dietrich was famous for her beauty, intelligence, and skill in knowing – and getting – exactly what she wanted. When she saw John Wayne for the first time at the Universal commissary, she is said to have nudged her agent and said, “Daddy, get me that.” She was at the height of her popularity when it came time to cast for Seven Sinners, and she demanded that John Wayne play the leading man, setting off their famous three-year affair.More Than Just RomanceMarlene Dietrich and John Wayne would go on to star in two more movies together, The Spoilers and Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, their affair carried on and intensified, as John fell head over heels for the fascinating actress. More than just a romantic affair, the two became the best of friends, bonding over their shared love of making films and enjoying many of the same hobbies together. They also appeared in public often as co-stars, but this was enough to get people talking and the affair became public.The Toxic Film SetIn 1956, Howard Hughes made a movie called The Conquerer, starring Wayne as Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan. This was a case in which the filming location might have ended up being more treacherous than a real battlefield. The film was shot in Utah, right near a nuclear weapon test site, exposing the cast and crew to fallout. In 1981, People magazine noted that out of the film’s 220 cast and crew members, 91 had developed cancer and 46 of them had passed away, including John Wayne himself.“He Had The Magic”Through his many years of tumultuous romantic affairs, Wayne made no secret of his long love affair with film star, Maureen O’Hara. The two first met at a dinner party at the home of director John Ford in 1941, and O’Hara recalls being instantly taken with the actor. “Wayne would have to sing for his supper which caused great merriment because he couldn’t sing,” Maureen recalled. Despite the humiliation, she claims, “He had credibility. He had manliness. He had the magic.”Tough Enough For WayneIt wasn’t only Wayne who found an admirer in O’Hara – the feeling was clearly mutual. The pair’s chemistry read well on the screen, as the pair made five movies together including the classic The Quiet Man. The fiery O’Hara proved a worthy foil to John Wayne’s forceful presence. “I was the only leading lady big enough and tough enough for John Wayne,” she wrote in her memoir. “Duke’s presence was so strong that when audiences saw him finally meet a woman of equal…fire, it was exciting and thrilling.”His First Wife Tried To ѕһoot HimOf John Wayne’s three divorces, his most dramatic was probably from Esperanza Baur, a former Mexican actress. She suspected Wayne of having an affair with his co-star from Angel and the Badman, Gail Russell, a claim which both actors denied. The night the film wrapped, Wayne came home very late from the usual wrap party. By the time he reached home, Esperanza was in an intoxicated rage and attempted to ѕһoot him as he walked through the doA Controversial InterviewRecently, an interview of Wayne that was published in a 1971 Playboy magazine that cast him in a pretty unflattering light has resurfaced, sparking a huge controversy around the star’s legacy. Specifically, Wayne was quoted as saying that he “believed in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to the point of responsibility”. Regarding Native Americans, Wayne thought that America did no wrong in “taking this country away from them,” and that they were “selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”He Never Fought In The WarWhile Wayne appeared in countless World War II movies portraying fearless heroes, he actually never served in the real war himself. While fellow actors of the era like Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda went off to serve their country, John Wayne deferred his deployment at first so he could get a leg up in Hollywood. But the temporary deferment dragged on as his star-power rose, and by the last couple years of the war, he was so entangled with Marlene Dietrich that he just never ended up serving at all.The Original DukeJohn Wayne was born as Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa in 1907. As a child, he had a best friend – the family dog, an Airedale terrier named Duke. The two were so inseparable that people started calling the young Marion “little Duke.” As he wasn’t exactly a fan of his own name, he began to adopt the name “Duke” as his own, and by the time he was an adult, he practically refused to be called by his given name.He Stayed Down-To-EarthThe actor known as John Wayne kept his feet on the ground throughout his career, remaining down-to-earth despite his stardom. His secret? He kept his “real self” and his “actor self” divided into two different personas. “The guy you see on the screen isn’t really me. I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne. I know him well. I’m one of his closest students. I have to be. I made a living out of him,” he once explained.It Wasn’t His, But It Was RealJohn Wayne might have been the paragon of manliness, but his image took a hit when his hair began to thin in his 30s. He began to wear a hairpiece – a fact that didn’t go unnoticed. In fact, during a visit to Harvard in 1974, one student rudely asked him, “Where did you get that phony toupee?” His response was as calm, cool, and collected as John Wayne could ever be. He backfired, “It’s not phony, it’s real hair. Of course, it’s not mine, but it’s real.”More Sailor Than CowboyAlthough he was known as America’s favorite film cowboy, the real John Wayne didn’t really enjoy horseback riding at all, refusing to get on a horse unless it was absolutely required for a scene and never riding in his leisure time. Instead, Wayne preferred sailing on his yacht, The Wild Goose, and was overall much more drawn to the sea than the range. He had even surfed as a young man, after his parents moved the family from Iowa to southern California.Cameo ManAs one of the biggest film stars in America for decades, John Wayne was invited to do quite a few cameos on popular TV shows. One of his most memorable appearances was an episode of I Love Lucy in which he plays himself, where Lucy sneaks into the famous actor’s trailer, gets caught red-handed by Wayne, and pretends to be his masseuse in order to avoid getting into trouble. For an appearance on Beverly Hillbillies, he asked to be paid with a bottle of his favorite beverage.He Was In Star WarsNot many people know that John Wayne had actually turned up in the original Star Wars movie. But he didn’t ride horseback into town as a space cowboy. In fact, it was only his voice that made an appearance, used for the voice of imperial spy Garindan. However, the audio was so processed and manipulated that by hearing it, one would never have been able to tell it was Wayne. In fact, the voice barely sounds human at all.The Everyman’s HeroLate into his career, Duke Morrison revealed the secret behind what gave John Wayne the everyman appeal that had made him such a success. The character was created to fill a void in Hollywood: “I’ve found a character the average man wants himself, his brother, his kid to be,” he said. “It’s the same type of guy the average wife wants for her husband. Always walk with your head held high. Look everybody straight in the eye. Never double-cross a pal.”The Injury That Made Him A StarIf it weren’t for one fateful accident, John Wayne would have never come to be. While studying at the University of Southern California on a football scholarship, Morrison sustained a serious shoulder injury while bodysurfing, losing him his place on the team. When college got to be too expensive, he was forced to leave and start working odd jobs on movie sets, which is where he was discovered. It just goes to show that what seems like the worst thing that could happen often brings unexpected positive turns in life.Hands-On DadEthan Wayne, John’s youngest child, revealed in his memoir that despite his father being a famous actor, the ailing John was aware that he had limited time with his son and so was determined to spend as much time with him as possible. “He took with me on location. I’d be homeschooled down on location in Mexico because he knew he wasn’t going to be around for me when I was older… So he took me with him when I was little.”Health TroublesIn the ’60s, Wayne’s years of smoking five packs a day finally began to catch up with him. He began to develop a hacking cough and became out of breath easily. His attitude of, “maybe it’s six months off the end of my life but they’re not going to κıււ me,” ended up backfiring horrifically. While filming In Harm’s Way with Otto Preminger in 1964, he began to have brutal coughing fits and people began to realize something was seriously wrong.The Big CSadly yet unsurprisingly, John Wayne developed lung cancer. John Wayne was the first person to refer to cancer as “The Big C.” He came up with the idiom to make his struggle with the illness less “scary” to studio executives in the early 60s. In his first battle with cancer, Wayne lost a rib and half of one lung, and yet he still managed to hold a press conference in his own living room shortly after in order maintain his strong public image.He Was Almost κıււed By The KGBJoseph Stalin might have been a John Wayne fan, but he was not a fan of Wayne’s vocally anti-communist views. His solution was to send two KGB assassins after him who were thankfully foiled by the FBI. But the story didn’t end there. When Stalin’s successor, Nikita Khrushchev, visited the US in 1959, he made just two requests – to visit Disneyland, and to meet John Wayne. When they met, he apologized on Stalin’s behalf, reassuring John, “I rescinded the order.”No Filming After NoonAt the height of his career, John Wayne was treated like royalty on the set, and he was such a big name by the ’60s that he called the shots on set. One of his unusual rules (which doubtless made filming with him incredibly difficult) was that none of his scenes were filmed after 12 noon. Why? Well, Wayne had what would be defined today as a drinking problem, and as soon as noon rolled around, he would hit the bottle. His drinking and smoking habits ultimately caused his fatal health problems.Words To Be Remembered ByOriginally, John Wayne asked that his tombstone be engraved with the words, “Feo, Fuerte y Formal,” – “ugly, strong, and dignified.” But when he finally succumbed to stomach cancer at the age of 72, a quote from his controversial Playboy interview was engraved on his tombstone instead: “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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John Wayne Wanted to Make His Home Alarm a Hilarious Tape Recording of His Voice: ‘I See You, You Son of a B****’

John Wayne Wanted to Make His Home Alarm a Hilarious Tape Recording of His Voice: ‘I See You, You Son of a B****’

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The Man, the Problem, and His Manliest Movies – My Blog

The problematic John Wayne became a fierce force in American cinema as the designated leading man in a series of big budget films. In an era full of trauma and sadness, Wayne as an American symbol, represents a significant contribution to the world during the time of uncertainty and panic.

As his career elevated in the midst of WWII, he rose through the ranks as the single most popular actor in Hollywood’s history. The reason that Wayne had become increasingly famous was associated with his no-nonsense characters that male viewers related to and women gravitated towards prior to the cultural changes of the 1960s. He brought to light this persona of elevated masculinity that was culturally striking to watch. From Academy Awards to a rich career that very few have been able to achieve, the praise associated with his on-screen portrayals will live on through generations.
In a successful career spanning over 50 years and 169 movies, Wayne has had his highs, in addition to his fair share of criticism, which is ultimately impossible to ignore. During a 1971 Playboy Magazine interview, Wayne made comments speaking negatively against the African-American community and making a series of homophobic slurs, while directly addressing his belief in white supremacy. Some have marked this up to be a time sensitive issue, with societal problems and norms being completely different from what it is now (or is it?). The truth is, this stuff was said, and it hasn’t gone over well since the interview resurfaced, with John Wayne’s legacy denounced by many.
Taking a moment to separate the man from his artistry is quite a difficult task, and directly addressing the controversies of his past comments creates difficult decisions that can often lead to either supporting art and ignoring prejudice, or completely erasing history. What people can all agree on is that his work ultimately changed the scope of Hollywood cinema, and how masculinity and machismo are portrayed through verbal and physical modes of storytelling. Thus, instead of calling these films his ‘best performances,’ perhaps we should consider these movies to have the most macho roles from John Wayne, a problematic actor who presents culture with a fascinating way to dissect American masculinity.

6 The Barbarian and the Geisha

The Barbarian and the Geisha is based on the true story of Townsend Harris, an American diplomat who was sent to the country of Japan in order to serve as a U.S. consul member. Wayne plays Harris as he is met by residents in the small village of Shimoda who rejects his diplomatic status, prompting a cultural split in Japan’s mistrust in the influence of the west. Through all the social and political clashes, Harris meets a 17-year-old geisha by the name of Okichi, falling in love with her while she aides him in softening the division. Wayne was 51 at the time.
5 Tycoon

Hired by a South American tycoon Frederick Alexander (Cedric Hardwicke) to construct a tunnel through the Andes Mountains, American engineer Johnny Munroe (John Wayne) falls in love with Alexander’s daughter, Maura (Laraine Day). As Munroe faces challenges in making progress in the job he was assigned to complete, he also faces opposition in convincing the overprotective father of Maura (and his boss) that he is a worthy suitor for the man’s (20 years younger) daughter. Tycoon, like The Barbarian and the Geisha, feeds the male ego and fantasy of viewers, presenting Wayne (and the all-American male) as a sex symbol for much younger women.
4 Island in the Sky

Island in the Sky incorporates pieces of experiences from pilot Ernest Gann (later related in his 1961 autobiographical book Fate is the Hunter) emphasizing his flying career. In this World War II movie, Gann and the pilots he traveled with search for a lost pilot of the team in northern Canada. In the film, Capt. Dooley (John Wayne) has to crash-land his plane in the icy landscape of Canada. While setting out to fly supplies in England during World War II, Dooley and his crew fight to survive in the unfamiliar territory. Though it’s an ensemble film, Wayne continues his white-knight heroic approach to narrative form.
3 The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers, a modernized version of the classic tale, finds American fighter pilot Lt. Tom Wayne (John Wayne) traveling to visit his romantic love interest, Elaine Corday (Ruth Hall). Along the way, he gets involved in the war taking place in the Sahara Desert (between the French Legion and a group of Arabic arms smugglers) to rescue a group of legionnaires who were besieged by the opposition fighters. Tom’s new friends recruit him in order to help them efficiently identify the mole secretly working for the Arabic group, so long as they can survive the desert in an almost ‘characters against nature’ way. Again, the film glorifies and romanticizes the heroics of American militarism and the white-knight trope.
2 Allegheny Uprising

Jim Smith (John Wayne) leads a militant group throughout colonial America, setting out to discover who is supplying the area of Native American tribes with various key weapons. Smith suspects Ralph Callendar (Brian Donlevy) to be the traitor among the group, but there has not yet been any proof to support this theory. He strives to pinpoint the corruption among him and his team, as the British commander Capt. Swanson (George Sanders) disregards his concerns. Allegheny Uprising taps into the American fantasy and paranoia of fighting the British and colonizing Natives, and Wayne fits in perfectly.
1 Rio Lobo

The American Western Rio Lobo is set in a post-Civil War environment, and was the last film directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, concluding his American trilogy of Westerns preceded by Rio Bravo and El Dorado, which all uses the West to explore identity. As Cord McNally (John Wayne), a local Union leader, protects an incoming gold shipment, his fellow troops are suddenly attacked by an influx of Confederate forces. In this encounter, McNally looses the gold he was supposed to protect as well as his friend and officer who was killed in the raid. As McNally travels to the town of Rio Lobo, he learns the Confederate forces had direct help from the inside of his team. In his visit, McNally sets out to learn the identity of the traitors. Released in 1970, Wayne was playing to a wholly different American culture that had passed him by, and the film was a box office failure. He would make his Playboy comments the next year.

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‘He knew he wasn’t going to be around when I was older’ – My Blog

Ethan Wayne, John Wayne’s youngest son, talks about what it was like growing up with his famous father and how he’s keeping his legacy alive today.

Ethan Wayne said a day at his friend’s house made him realize his father was different.
The now-56-year-old is the youngest son of late Hollywood legend John Wayne and Peruvian actress Pilar Pallete, his third and last wife. He’s currently the president of John Wayne Enterprises and director of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. This year, he helped release a bourbon based on the patriarch’s own recipe.
“I can remember going to a friend’s house and his mom said, ‘Hey Brian, go get the mail,’” recalled Wayne. “I went out and there were three envelopes. I remember going, ‘That’s all the mail you got? That’s weird.’ The US postal service would drag those canvas bags with lots of mail to my house. It was strange.”

Gettin' back in the lane with John Wayne's youngest son | by Jeremy Roberts  | Medium

Despite Wayne having an iconic movie star for a father, he described his childhood as normal — one that involved living in then-small town Newport Beach, Calif. with other families in the same neighborhood, surrounded by oranges and strawberry farms.
There were no security or bodyguards. John answered his own door and telephone. He was an early riser who exercised alongside his son and studied his scripts before heading to work. He often spent his free time on his boat, admiring the great sea he loved. He would catch his own fish and cook it on the beach, as well as interact with locals.
John was 56 when Ethan was born — and he made sure his son never forgot to do chores around the house.
“I can’t pick up a broom to this day without thinking about him coming out and saying, ‘That’s not how you sweep, this is how you sweep!’” chuckled Wayne. “And it was with this big push broom. And he wasn’t very mechanical. He was great with his gun, he was great on a horse and he handled boats really well. But if a car got a flat tire, he’d just leave it. And I was very mechanical as a young boy for some reason. I really enjoyed taking stuff apart and putting it back together. He really didn’t get it. He didn’t like motorcycles, and I did.”
Wayne said that despite his father’s high-profile career, John, who was aware he might be gone by the time his son was a young man, was determined to be a hands-on parent. Wayne described growing up on film sets and learning about the hard work it took to bring Hollywood to life.
“He took with me on location,” Wayne explained. “I’d be homeschooled down on location in Mexico because he knew he wasn’t going to be around for me when I was older, and that he would probably lose me while I was young, teenage man. So he took me with him when I was little. And one of my jobs was to load the car with all the personal items that he wanted with him when he would make a film somewhere remote. Or if he went on his boat, the Wild Goose.
Gettin' back in the lane with John Wayne's youngest son | by Jeremy Roberts  | Medium
“He would take his own bourbon, and that bourbon was the heaviest thing that I would carry. Everyone wanted to have a drink with John Wayne. I would also carry his packs of candy, special food items, shoes, gloves, jackets. Definitely bags of hats.”
In his lifetime, John or “The Duke,” as he was called by fans, made more than 200 films in over 50 years. According to The New York Times, by the early 1960s, 161 of his films had grossed $350 million, and when he died in 1979 he had been paid as much as $666,000 to make a movie.
As an avid outdoorsman, both in front and behind the camera, he is still celebrated as one of the greatest figures of the Western genre.
“I was 10 when he was 66 years old,” said Wayne. “[And] he’s on a horse, he’s running at full speed across open country, with a herd of horses running with him… he was a bold, outgoing individual who was full of life, constantly moving forward… And nobody sits on a horse like John Wayne does.”
John Wayne's son recalls growing up with 'The Duke': 'He knew he wasn't  going to be around when I was older' | Fox News
Wayne wasn’t around when the Iowa native, a former football star in high school who worked as a truck driver, fruit picker, soda jerk and ice hauler, first embarked on his career as an actor. However, Wayne said the rugged persona he embodied on screen was very much the real deal.
“I read stories [of] when he was first starting out and how he was very uncomfortable and felt awkward,” said Wayne. “He didn’t like the way he moved, so he talked to John Ford and met Wyatt Earp… He started taking pieces of these guys and putting them together into a character that became John Wayne, who was definitely part of my father. There was also fantasy. He was a heck of a gunman and a horseman, but he also certainly knew the craft of film and storytelling. We were never in a gunfight.”
John passed away at age 72 from cancer. Wayne, who was 17 at the time of his father’s death, said he drove John to UCLA Medical Center when he wasn’t feeling well. John never came out alive.
Before his death, John stressed to his family that the doctors attempting to find a cure for cancer should never be forgotten. He left behind seven children from his marriages and more than 15 grandchildren.

Wayne credited stuntman Gary McLarty, a friend of his father’s, for taking him under his wing and helping him cope with his grief.
“He would take me on a motorcycle ride or racing sometimes,” said Wayne. “He was [later] the stunt coordinator for ‘The Blues Brothers.’ And for some reason, he hired me. And it was in a time when I’d missed the last part of my junior year with my dad. When my father was involved in my life, I was good at school and things went well. But afterward, I wasn’t very focused on school… [Gary] gave me a little direction that I didn’t have. I’m eternally grateful to him. It probably kept me from making some mistakes.”
John recently lassoed in headlines for a completely different reason. In 2016, The Guardian reported California lawmakers rejected a proposal to create John Wayne Day to mark his birthday after several legislators described statements he made about racial minorities.
Wayne said he was also aware of negative statements made against his father due to him being politically conservative. He insisted John’s beliefs have been misunderstood over the years
“He wanted to work with people who earned their place,” Wayne explained. “He didn’t think anybody should get a job because he was a man, because she was a woman, because they were gay, because they were straight, because they were Chinese, African-American or Mexican. He thought you should get a job because you were the right person to do that job. Because you had skill and talent and you would show up and get the job done. He didn’t care what you were.
“Somebody, a Latina representative up in Sacramento, shot down a bill for John Wayne Day because he was racist. [But] he was married to three Latin women. It’s just crazy how things get blown out of proportion because he was really an open, caring, loyal, supportive man.”
Wayne hopes his father will be remembered for what he was — an artist.
“People look at him and they think one thing or another, but he was out there representing real people,” said Wayne. “Whether they were guys who came out here and lived in the West or went to war. He played those characters. He represented them. And they liked him. They still do.”

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