102 Facts About John Wayne


Marion Robert Morrison, professionally known as John Wayne and nicknamed The Duke or Duke Wayne, was an American actor who became a popular icon through his starring roles in films which were produced during Hollywood's Golden Age, especially through his starring roles in Western and war movies.


John Wayne's career flourished from the silent era of the 1920s through the American New Wave, as he appeared in a total of 179 film and television productions.


John Wayne was among the top box-office draws for three decades, and he appeared with many other important Hollywood stars of his era.


John Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, but he grew up in Southern California.


John Wayne appeared mostly in small parts, but his first leading role came in Raoul Walsh's Western The Big Trail, an early widescreen film epic that was a box-office failure.


John Wayne played leading roles in numerous during the 1930s, most of them Westerns, without becoming a major name.


John Wayne is remembered for his roles in The Quiet Man with Maureen O'Hara, Rio Bravo with Dean Martin, and The Longest Day.


John Wayne made his last public appearance at the Academy Awards ceremony on April 9,1979, and died of stomach cancer two months later.


John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26,1907, at 224 South Second Street in Winterset, Iowa.


John Wayne's family moved to Palmdale, California, and then in 1916 to Glendale at 404 Isabel Street, where his father worked as a pharmacist.


John Wayne attended Glendale Union High School, where he performed well in both sports and academics.


John Wayne was part of his high school's football team and its debating team.


John Wayne was the president of the Latin Society and contributed to the school's newspaper sports column.


John Wayne preferred "Duke" to "Marion", and the nickname stuck.


John Wayne was active as a member of the Order of DeMolay.


John Wayne played football for the 1924 league champion Glendale High School team.


John Wayne applied to the US Naval Academy, but was not accepted due to poor grades.


John Wayne lost his athletic scholarship, and without funds, had to leave the university.


John Wayne later credited his walk, talk, and persona to his acquaintance with Wyatt Earp, who was good friends with Tom Mix.


John Wayne appeared with his USC teammates playing football in Brown of Harvard, The Dropkick, and Salute and Columbia's Maker of Men.


John Wayne appeared in the serial The Three Musketeers, an updated version of the Alexandre Dumas novel in which the protagonists were soldiers in the French Foreign Legion in then-contemporary North Africa.


John Wayne played the lead, with his name over the title, in many low-budget Poverty Row Westerns, mostly at Monogram Pictures and serials for Mascot Pictures Corporation.


John Wayne appeared in some of the Three Mesquiteers Westerns, whose title was a play on the Dumas classic.


John Wayne was mentored by stuntmen in riding and other Western skills.


Stuntman Yakima Canutt and John Wayne developed and perfected stunts and onscreen fisticuffs techniques that are still in use.


One of the main innovations with which John Wayne is credited in these early Poverty Row Westerns is allowing the good guys to fight as convincingly as the bad guys, by not always making them fight clean.


Stagecoach was a huge critical and financial success, and John Wayne became a mainstream star.


John Wayne was exempted from service due to his age and family status.


Wayne repeatedly wrote to John Ford saying he wanted to enlist, on one occasion inquiring whether he could get into Ford's military unit.


John Wayne did not attempt to prevent his reclassification as 1-A, but Republic Studios was emphatically resistant to losing him, since he was their only A-list actor under contract.


John Wayne toured US bases and hospitals in the South Pacific for three months in 1943 and 1944, with the USO.


John Wayne made a number of appearances in dramatic roles, mainly recreations for radio of his own film roles, on such programs as Screen Directors Playhouse and Lux Radio Theatre.


For six months in 1942, John Wayne starred in his own radio adventure series, Three Sheets to the Wind, produced by film director Tay Garnett.


Broderick Crawford, who was eventually cast in the role, won the 1949 Oscar for best male actor, ironically beating out John Wayne, who had been nominated for Sands of Iwo Jima.


John Wayne lost the leading role of Jimmy Ringo in The Gunfighter to Gregory Peck due to his refusal to work for Columbia Pictures because its chief, Harry Cohn, had mistreated him years before when he was a young contract player.


John Wayne portrayed aviators in Flying Tigers, Flying Leathernecks, Island in the Sky, The Wings of Eagles, and Jet Pilot.


John Wayne appeared in nearly two dozen of John Ford's films over 20 years, including She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Quiet Man, The Wings of Eagles.


John Wayne notoriously portrayed Genghis Khan in The Conqueror, which was panned by critics.


In 1960, John Wayne directed and produced The Alamo portraying Davy Crockett, with Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie.


John Wayne was nominated for an Oscar as the producer in the Best Picture category.


That year John Wayne played the lead in Henry Hathaway's North to Alaska starring Stewart Granger and Ernie Kovacs.


In 1961, John Wayne shared the lead with Stuart Whitman in Michael Curtiz's The Comancheros.


In 1964, John Wayne played the leading role in Henry Hathaway's Circus World with Claudia Cardinale and Rita Hayworth.


On February 15,1965, John Wayne played the brief cameo role of a centurion in George Stevens's The Greatest Story Ever Told.


In 1966, John Wayne appeared in a cameo role for Melville Shavelson's Cast a Giant Shadow starring Kirk Douglas.


On May 24,1967, John Wayne played the lead in Burt Kennedy's The War Wagon with Kirk Douglas as the second lead.


In 1968, John Wayne co-directed with Ray Kellogg The Green Berets.


John Wayne wanted to make this movie because at that time Hollywood had little interest in making movies about the Vietnam War.


Also that year, Wayne played the lead in Andrew V McLaglen's Hellfighters, a film about the crews who put out oil rig fires.


John Wayne took the role of the owner of a cattle ranch, who finds out that a businessman is trying to own neighboring land illegally.


John Wayne played the role of an estranged father who must track down a gang who kidnapped his grandson.


Vincent Canby of The New York Times, who did not particularly care for the film, wrote: "John Wayne is, of course, marvelously indestructible, and he has become an almost perfect father figure".


On February 7,1973, Burt Kennedy's The Train Robbers opened; Wayne appeared alongside Ann-Margret, Rod Taylor and Ben Johnson.


In 1976, John Wayne starred in Don Siegel's The Shootist, starring Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard and James Stewart.


John Wayne was buried in the Pacific View Memorial Park Cemetery in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach.


John Wayne requested that his tombstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal", a Spanish epitaph Wayne described as meaning "ugly, strong, and dignified".


John Wayne took part in creating the conservative Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals in February 1944 before being elected its president in 1949.


Soviet leader Joseph Stalin is alleged to have said that John Wayne should be assassinated for his frequently espoused anti-communist politics, despite being a fan of his movies.


In 1964, John Wayne was a staunch supporter of Barry Goldwater, and actively campaigned for him.


John Wayne declined, joking that he did not believe the public would seriously consider an actor in the White House.


John Wayne was asked to be the running mate for Democratic Alabama Governor George Wallace, who had been nominated for president by the American Independent Party, in his 1968 campaign, but he immediately rejected the offer and actively campaigned for Richard Nixon; Wayne addressed the 1968 Republican National Convention on its opening day.


In 1971, John Wayne wrote to President Richard Nixon, who was a friend, to oppose Nixon's planned trip to China.


John Wayne enclosed some hate literature on "that Jew, Kissinger," who had negotiated the historic meeting with Chinese leaders.


Roger Ebert writes that John Wayne had a sense of humor about his politics.


John Wayne responded to questions about whether social programs were good for the country:.


In October 2019, USC student activists called for removing an exhibit dedicated to John Wayne, citing the interview.


Several of John Wayne's children entered the film and television industry.


John Wayne believed that Wayne and co-star Gail Russell were having an affair, a claim that both Wayne and Russell denied.


The night the film Angel and the Badman wrapped, the usual party was held for cast and crew, and John Wayne came home very late.


John Wayne had several high-profile affairs, including one with Merle Oberon that lasted from 1938 to 1947.


John Wayne's hair began to thin in the 1940s, and he had begun to wear a hairpiece by the end of the decade.


John Wayne was occasionally seen in public without the hairpiece.


John Wayne was fond of literature, his favorite authors being Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie.


John Wayne, slouched in his old stitched leather director's chair, had a crowd of kibitzers: wranglers, extras, old cronies, drinking buddies, a couple of Mexican stuntmen.


John Wayne studied the board, roared with laughter, and said, 'God.


John Wayne used the same 1873 Colt Single Action Army revolver in many of the Westerns in which he appeared.


John Wayne had been a chain smoker of cigarettes since young adulthood and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1964.


John Wayne underwent successful surgery to remove his entire left lung and two ribs.


John Wayne has been credited with coining the term "the Big C" as a euphemism for cancer.


John Wayne became a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and later joined the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple in Los Angeles.


John Wayne kept it docked in Newport Beach Harbor, and it was listed on the US National Register of Historic Places in 2011.


John Wayne thought of himself as a reactor rather than an actor, and felt that the difference between good and bad acting was in acting and reacting.


Howard Hawks, who directed him in five films, felt that after losing one of his lungs, John Wayne became a much better actor.


John Wayne's enduring status as an iconic American was formally recognized by the US government in the form of the two highest civilian decorations.


On his 72nd birthday on May 26,1979, John Wayne was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.


However, whether he is ill disposed or healthy, John Wayne is far beyond the normal political sharpshooting in this community.


John Wayne has paid his dues over and over, and I'm proud to consider him a friend and am very much in favor of my government recognizing in some important fashion the contribution that Mr Wayne has made.


John Wayne was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 9,1980, by President Jimmy Carter.


John Wayne had attended Carter's inaugural ball in 1977 "as a member of the loyal opposition", as he described it.


When John Wayne rode through my childhood, and perhaps through yours, he determined forever the shapes of certain of our dreams.


John Wayne's most enduring image is that of the displaced loner uncomfortable with the very civilization he is helping to establish and preserve.


John Wayne rose beyond the typical recognition for a famous actor to that of an enduring icon who symbolized and communicated American values and ideals.


John Wayne embodied the icon of strong American masculinity and rugged individualism in both his films and his life.


John Wayne's rise to being the quintessential movie war hero began to take shape four years after World War II, when Sands of Iwo Jima was released.


John Wayne's status grew so large and legendary that when Japanese Emperor Hirohito visited the United States in 1975, he asked to meet John Wayne, the symbolic representation of his country's former enemy.


John Wayne appeared in the similar Box Office poll in 1939 and 1940.


John Wayne is the only actor to appear in every edition of the annual Harris Poll of Most Popular Film Actors, and the only actor to appear on the list after his death.


John Wayne was in the top 10 in this poll for 19 consecutive years, starting in 1994,15 years after his death.


John Wayne sought a declaration permitting registration of their trademark.


Between 1926 and 1977, John Wayne appeared in over 170 films.


In 1973, The Harvard Lampoon, a satirical paper run by Harvard University students, invited John Wayne to receive The Brass Balls Award, created in his "honor", after calling him "the biggest fraud in history".


John Wayne accepted the invitation as a chance to promote the recently released film McQ, and a Fort Devens Army convoy offered to drive him into Harvard Square on an armored personnel carrier.