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John Wayne

Here Are 10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About John Wayne’s True Grit

True Grit went down in history as one of the most successful and most iconic Westerns ever made but did you know: Trivia facts revealed that lead actor John Wayne who starred as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, wasn’t actually satisfied with the film and even said (according to IMDb) that he starred in much better films. Though he did reprise his role six years later in the character-titled sequel Rooster Cogburn and just like the first, it scored big at the box office, proving how phenomenal Wayne’s acting was. In 2010, True Grit inspired a remake which then earned an impressive amount of nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know (But Should Know) About John Wayne’s True Grit

Aside from John Wayne not liking the film, what else is there to know about the film’s behind-the-scenes?

1. The film was written by a formerly blacklisted writer.

If you know John Wayne, then you know that he ascribed to extreme right-wing politics, and so, it was a point of contention for many that he would work with Marguerite Roberts, a formerly blacklisted writer (due to her left-wing politics). People said that he shouldn’t, but Wayne ignored all of the calls, and he actually knew about it before he read the script. After reading, he thought the screenplay was magnificent and even wrote to Roberts to say that and was hoping that she might write another one with him in mind.

2. John Wayne earned the first and only Academy Award of his career as Rooster Cogburn.

Yes, you heard it right. In John Wayne’s decades-long celebrated career, he had never received any Academy Award before True Grit. And he had been nominated only once before in 1949, for Best Actor at the 22nd Academy Awards for his role in Sands of Iwo Jima.

Twenty years later, his talent was finally acknowledged. And in his acceptance speech, John Wayne said, “Wow. If I’d have known that, I’d have put that patch on 35 years earlier.”

3. John Wayne personally thought that Richard Burton should have won Best Actor.

John Wayne earned his Best Actor award, beating Richard Burton for his role as Henry VIII in Anne of the Thousand Days and Peter O’Toole for his role as Arthur Chipping in Goodbye Mr. Chips.

Personally, Wayne didn’t think much about winning. In an interview with Roger Ebert, Wayne said, “Well, whether or not I win an Oscar, I’m proud of the performance, Wayne said. “I’d be pleased to win one, of course, although I imagine these things mean more to the public than to us. There are a lot of old standbys who don’t have one.” And when he won, he expressed his sentiment that he thought Richard Burton deserved the award more than him.

Additionally, critics also saw Wayne’s win largely as a sentimental choice citing his performance in the film as over-the-top and hammy.

4. John Wayne didn’t initially want to wear the signature eye patch.

Wayne’s eye patch on the left eye definitely created his character’s signature look that even those who haven’t really watc hed True Grit could identify Rooster Cogburn. But Wayne didn’t really liked the idea of it. Additionally, in the book, Cogburn didn’t wear an eye patch, although he does only have one eye. But thankfully, he did and won himself an Academy Award.

5. John Wayne pushed for his daughter for the role of Mattie.

In the book Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne, Ronald Davis said that Wayne pushed for his daughter Aissa to get the role of Mattie, but Director Henry Hathaway didn’t cast her. Multi-awarded actress Mia Farrow was given the role, but she turned it down (after a co-actor in a previous film told her that the director was impossible to work with), and so Kim Darby ended up as Mattie.

According to IMDb, John Wayne was disappointed by the casting that he hardly spoke with Darby at all off-camera. But Darby always spoke high praises about Wayne, saying that he was a pleasure to work with onset.

6. Rooster Cogburn’s most intense scene was not actually filmed by John Wayne.

When Rooster Cogburn took on a wild horseback pursuit of the notorious outlaw Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall) and his gang, it was actually Wayne’s stunt double Jim Burk who performed the role. He did majority of the scene, and Wayne only showed up for one brief close-up, and he was riding a trailer, not a horse.

7. John Wayne almost hit Robert Duvall during filming.

Wayne’s character and Duvall’s were enemies in the film, and it seemed that that relationship translated into real life. Reports said that Duvall allegedly had a temper on the set as his acting preferences did not align with Hathaway’s direction. And one specific direction sparked a heated argument as Hathaway told Duvall, “When I say, ‘Action!’ tense up, Goddam you.” Wayne grew tired of the fighting on set, and he threatened to punch Duvall if he didn’t stop arguing with Director Henry Hathaway.

8. Elvis Presley almost played Texas ranger La Beouf.

Elvis Presley was in the original cast line-up that the producers wanted, and they did get him as Texas ranger La Beouf. Unfortunately, those plans fell through after Presley’s manager, ‘Colonel’ Tom Parker, said that Presley had to be the top-bill. But with a superstar like John Wayne playing the lead character, the producers couldn’t meet the demand. And we all know what happened, country music star Glen Campbell ended up with the role.

9. The original book was in Mattie’s perspective, but the film focused on Rooster Cogburn.

Charles Portis wrote the book in the first person (Mattie), and Rooster Cogburn and La Beouf were actually supporting characters.

10. Rooster was 40, but Wayne was 61.

While it’s common practice in the movie industry that actors do not have the same age as the character they’re playing, the usual difference isn’t actually that big. But in the film, 61-year-old John Wayne played the role of Cogburn, who was originally written as 40.

Though the most striking age difference was between actress Kim Darby and her character Mattie Ross. Darby was already a 21-year-old when she played 14-year-old Mattie.

Well, there you have it. And now you are 10 times richer with facts about John Wayne’s True Grit, and who knows? These may come in handy in the future!

John Wayne

John Wayne Refused to Return for an ‘Embarrassing’ Role That Made Him Feel Like a ‘Pansy’

John Wayne exuded a level of masculinity that continues to define an entire era of Western cinema. However, he often rejected roles that felt like they challenged that image. Wayne embraced roles in the genre that celebrated America and supported the country’s agenda. However, there is one role that Wayne refused to return to because it made him feel like a “pansy.”

John Wayne played the leading role in many Western B-movies

'Riders of Destiny' John Wayne in role of Singin' Sandy Saunders and Cecilia Parker as Fay Denton in Western clothes looking at the camera


L-R: John Wayne as Singin’ Sandy Saunders and Cecilia Parker as Fay Denton | John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

Wayne’s movie roles weren’t all winners and he knew that. He had a career full of ups and downs before finally winning the Oscar for True Grit. Wayne had high hopes for Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail, but it ultimately failed at the box office. As a result, the studios canceled the projects that they had in the pipeline with the legendary actor attached.

As a result of The Big Trail, Wayne had to work in B-movies through much of the 1930s. Most of them were Westerns, but they didn’t allow his career to grow as he wanted it to. They provided steady work, although he had the potential to do so much more. He wouldn’t hit the big time until 1939’s Stagecoach, but he had to deal with some roles in the meantime that he described as “embarrassing.”

John Wayne refused to play Singin’ Sandy Saunders again

Michael Munn’s John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth explores the various roles of the iconic actor. He explained how Wayne certainly couldn’t compete with Hollywood’s biggest stars. However, the actor’s image quickly became attached to the cowboy with his various B-movie Western adventures.

“He started at Lone Star as Singin’ Sandy Saunders, the singing cowboy, in Riders of Destiny,” Munn wrote. “It was something that would haunt Wayne for the rest of his life as the subject of his singing would often be brought up.”

Wayne’s role as Singin’ Sandy Saunders in Riders of Destiny is a government agent. He witnesses a stagecoach robbery, but not everything is as it appears. The apparent robber actually is retrieving money taken from her. As a result, the unlikely pair teams up to fight off the gang. However, Wayne didn’t know how to play the guitar or sing, making production need to dub another singer’s voice in.

“I was just so fing embarrassed by it all,” Wayne said. “Strumming a guitar I couldn’t play and miming to a voice which was provided by a real singer made me feel like a fing pansy. After that experience, I refused to be Singin’ Sandy again.”

Young fans still wanted to hear Singin’ Sandy Saunders’ voice

It’s no mystery that Wayne’s voice as Singin’ Sandy Saunders in Riders of Destiny doesn’t sound anything like his speaking voice. The actual singer was Bill Bradbury, the son of director Robert N. Bradbury. However, Wayne initially didn’t account for how Singin’ Sandy Saunders would resonate with audiences in public appearances.

Young fans would ask Wayne to sing as he did for the role of Singin’ Sandy Saunders. However, he was humiliated that he couldn’t sing for them. As a result, the studio brought in Gene Autry as Wayne’s replacement, which fixed the singing issue.

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John Wayne

”The Shootist”: John Wayne put all his heart into the final movie.

John Wayne. What can you say about him? Whether you enjoy the man’s work or not, there’s no denying that he has made a massive impact on film history and pop culture. But even as a fan, I can’t defend every aspect of the Duke, like the guy’s acting. I can’t think of anyone who’s watched a John Wayne film for his acting chops.

The man was more known for his screen persona than his acting abilities, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have some good advice on acting.There are, however, a couple of films in which Duke pull off a pretty good performance . There’s his iconic role as Ethan Edwards in The Searchers (1956) where he played a cold-hearted and cynical war veteran searching for his niece.

Then there’s his Oscar-winning performance as the one-eyed, fat, drunken Marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn in True Grit (1969). But in this column, I’m going to talk about his last performance in a feature film :Тһе Տһootıѕt (1976), directed by Don Siegel.Based on the Glendon Swarthout novel of the same name, the film tells the story of an aging gunfighter named JB Books, played by Duke, who at the dawn of the 20th century finds out he has terminal cancer.

Per this news, he decided to try and spend his final days in peace. But as rumors spread about him through the tiny town of Carson City, Nevada, more people want to get a piece of him. It eventually climaxes with Books realizing that he’ll never escape his past and going out the only way he knows how.Before I go on about John Wayne in the film, I have to talk about the rest of the cast.

This film boasts an all-star ensemble, many of whom took the role purely as a favor to Wayne. There’s Dr. Hostetler (James Stewart) who delivers the bad news to Books about his health and becomes a closer friend throughout the film. “You know, Books,” he says, “I’m not an especially brave man. But, if I were you and had lived my entire life the way you have, I don’t think that the ԁеаtһ I just described to you is the one I would choose.

Then there’s the late, great Lauren Bacall as the widowed boarding house owner Bond Rogers and Oscar-winning director Ron Howard as her wide-eyed idolizing son. The film also features a slew of great TV and Western legends — Richard Boone as the vengeance seeking Mike Sweeney, John Carradine as the town’s undertaker Hezekiah Beckum, Bill McKinney as the ill-tempered Jay Cobb, Scatman Crothers as the liver-stable owner Moses Brown, and Harry Morgan as the fast-talking and loud Marshal Thibido.

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John Wayne

The reason John Wayne is labeled as ‘Draft Dodger’ by the audience in World War II.

Around the time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Wayne was not the big-name actor we remember him being today. He was fresh off the box-office success of the 1939 film “Stagecoach.” According to author Garry Wills’ 1998 book, “John Wayne’ America: the Politics of Celebrity,” the actor received a chorus of boos when he walked onto the USO stages in Australia and the Pacific Islands. Those audiences were filled with combat veterans. Wayne, in his mid-30s, was not one of them.

Being drafted or enlisting was going to have a serious impact on his rising star. Depending on how long the ԝаr lasted, Wayne reportedly worried he might be too old to be a leading man when he came home.Other actors, both well-established and rising in fame, rushed off to do their part. Clark Gable joined the Army Air Forces and, despite the studios’ efforts to get him into a motion picture unit, served as an aerial ɡսոոеr over Europe. Jimmy Stewart was initially ineligible for the draft, given his low weight, but like some amazing version of Captain America, he drank beer until he qualified.

In his 2014 book, “American Titan: Searching for John Wayne,” author Marc Eliot alleges Wayne was having an affair with actress Marlene Dietrich. He says the possibility of losing this relationship was the real reason Wayne didn’t want to go to ԝаr.

But even Dietrich would do her part, smuggling Jewish people out of Europe, entertaining troops on the front lines (she crossed into Germany alongside Gen. George S. Patton) and maybe even being an operative for the Office of Strategic Services.Wayne never enlisted and even filed for a 3-A draft deferment, which meant that if the sole provider for a family of four were drafted, it would cause his family undue hardship. The closest he would ever come to Worւԁ Wаr II service would be portraying the actions of others on the silver screen.

With his leading man competition fighting the ԝаr and out of the way, Wayne became Hollywood’s top leading man. During the ԝаr, Wayne starred in a number of western films as well as Worւԁ Wаr II movies, including 1942’s “Flying Tigers” and 1944’s “The Fighting Seabees.” According to Eliot, Wayne told friends the best thing he could do for the ԝаr was make movies to support the troops. Eventually, the government agreed.

At one point during the ԝаr, the need for more men in uniform caused the U.S. military brass to change Wayne’s draft status to 1-A, fit for duty. But Hollywood studios intervened on his behalf, arguing that the actor’s star power was a boon for ԝаrtime propaganda and the morale of the troops. He was given a special 2-A status, which back then meant he was deferred in “support of national interest.”

The decision not to serve or to avoid it entirely (depending on how you look at the actor) haunted Wayne for the rest of his life. His third wife, Pilar Wayne, says he became a “super-patriot for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying at home.”After the ԝаr, he made a number of films set in Worւԁ Wаr II, including some of his most famous, like “The Longest Day,” “They Were Expendable” and “Sands of Iwo Jima.”

When actor John Wayne visited American soldiers in Vietnam in the summer of 1966, he was warmly welcomed. As he spoke to groups and individuals, he was presented gifts and letters from American and South Vietnamese troops alike. This was not the case during his USO tours in 1942 and ’43. Despite his post-ԝаr patriotism, many labeled Wayne a draft dodger for the rest of his life. He succumbed to stomach cancer in 1979. His enduring influence on American media and the perception of American fighting men led President Jimmy Carter to award Wayne the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1980

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