John Wayne

John Wayne
Publicity photo of John Wayne
Wayne, c. 1965
Marion Robert Morrison

(1907-05-26)May 26, 1907
DiedJune 11, 1979(1979-06-11) (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placePacific View Memorial Park, Newport Beach, California
33°36′34″N 117°51′12″W / 33.60953°N 117.85336°W / 33.60953; -117.85336
Other namesMarion Mitchell Morrison
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
  • Actor
  • director
  • producer
  • singer
Years active1926–1977
Political partyRepublican
Josephine Saenz
(m. 1933; div. 1945)

(m. 1946; div. 1954)

(m. 1954)
Children7, including Michael, Patrick, and Ethan
John Wayne's signature

Marion Robert Morrison[1][a] (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), known professionally as John Wayne and nicknamed Duke, was an American actor and filmmaker who became a popular icon through his starring roles in Western films. His career spanned from the silent era of the 1920s, through the Golden Age of Hollywood and eventually American New Wave, appearing in a total of 179 film and television productions. He was among the top box office draws for three decades,[3][4] and appeared with many other important Hollywood stars of his era.

Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, but grew up in Southern California. He lost a football scholarship to the University of Southern California as a result of a bodysurfing accident,[5] and began working for the Fox Film Corporation. He appeared mostly in small parts, but his first leading role came in Raoul Walsh's Western The Big Trail (1930), an early widescreen film epic which was a box-office failure. He played leading roles in numerous B movies during the 1930s, most of them also Westerns, without becoming a major name. It was John Ford's Stagecoach (1939) that made Wayne a mainstream star, and he starred in 142 motion pictures altogether. According to one biographer, "John Wayne personified for millions the nation's frontier heritage."[6]

Wayne's other roles in Westerns include a cattleman driving his herd on the Chisholm Trail in Red River (1948), a Civil War veteran whose niece is abducted by a tribe of Comanches in The Searchers (1956), a troubled rancher competing with a lawyer (James Stewart) for a woman's hand in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and a cantankerous one-eyed marshal in True Grit (1969), for which he received the Academy Award for Best Actor. He is also remembered for his roles in The Quiet Man (1952), Rio Bravo (1959) with Dean Martin, and The Longest Day (1962). In his final screen performance, he starred as an aging gunfighter battling cancer in The Shootist (1976). He made his last public appearance at the Academy Awards ceremony on April 9, 1979[7][8] before succumbing to stomach cancer later that year.[9] He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor of the United States.[10][11]

  1. ^ Daniel, Diane (February 27, 2015). "In Iowa, a New John Wayne Museum". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 2, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  2. ^ Roberts & Olson 1995, p. 647.
  3. ^ "John Wayne". The Numbers. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  4. ^ "Quigley's Annual List of Box-Office Champions, 1932–1970". Reel Classics. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  5. ^ Roberts & Olson 1995, pp. 63–64.
  6. ^ Ronald L. Davis (2012). Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780806186467. Archived from the original on November 28, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  7. ^ Duke, We're Glad We Knew You: John Wayne's Friends and Colleagues Remember His Remarkable life   by Herb Fagen Archived August 26, 2016, at the Wayback Machine page 230;  Retrieved February 13, 2016
  8. ^ Easy Riders Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock 'N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood    by Peter Biskind page 372;  Retrieved February 13, 2016
  9. ^ Los Angeles Times Archived July 13, 2017, at the Wayback Machine June 12, 1979;  Retrieved February 13, 2016
  10. ^ Kehr, Dave. "John Wayne News". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  11. ^ Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter, 1980–1981, Book 2: May 24 to September 26, 1980. Government Printing Office. p. 1061. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2019.

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