79 Facts About John Wayne

1.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,616
2.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,617
3.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,618
4.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,619
5.

John Wayne lost a football scholarship to the University of Southern California as a result of a bodysurfing accident, and began working for the Fox Film Corporation.

FactSnippet No. 749,620
6.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,621
7.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,622
8.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,623
9.

John Wayne was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor of the United States.

FactSnippet No. 749,624
10.

John Wayne claimed his middle name was changed from Robert to Michael when his parents decided to name their next son Robert, but extensive research has found no such legal change.

FactSnippet No. 749,625
11.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,626
12.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,627
13.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,628
14.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,629
15.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,630
16.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,631
17.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,632
18.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,633
19.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,634
20.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,635
21.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,636
22.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,637
23.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,638
24.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,639
25.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,640
26.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,641
27.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,642
28.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,643
29.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,644
30.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,645
31.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,646
32.

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, etc.

FactSnippet No. 749,647
33.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,648
34.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,649
35.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,650
36.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,651
37.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,652
38.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,653
39.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,654
40.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,655
41.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,656
42.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,657
43.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,658
44.

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".

FactSnippet No. 749,659
45.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,660
46.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,661
47.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,662
48.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,663
49.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,664
50.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,665
51.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,666
52.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,667
53.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,668
54.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,669
55.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,670
56.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,671
57.

John Wayne was occasionally seen in public without the hairpiece .

FactSnippet No. 749,672
58.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,673
59.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,674
60.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,675
61.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,676
62.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,677
63.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,678
64.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,679
65.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,680
66.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,681
67.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,682
68.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,683
69.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,684
70.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,685
71.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,686
72.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,687
73.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,688
74.

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

FactSnippet No. 749,689
75.

John Wayne was parodied by actor Robert Urich in the 1985 made for television drama Scandal Sheet.

FactSnippet No. 749,690
76.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,691
77.

John Wayne sought a declaration permitting registration of their trademark.

FactSnippet No. 749,692
78.

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".

FactSnippet No. 749,693
79.

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.

FactSnippet No. 749,694