Mar 19, 2006


John Wayne (1907-1979)

After watching The Quiet Man this weekend, I discovered I was genuinely intrigued with Marion Morrison - that perpetual cowboy, the face of the American Old West, the hero that made John Ford a household name. Having only seen two of his films (the other being Ford's Fort Apache), I was pleasantly surprised to find that John Wayne seems as stoic and patriotic in real life as he does onscreen.

Some interesting facts on Duke....

He was born in Winterset, Iowa, but grew up in Glendale, California.

His nickname, Duke, comes from the name of an Airedale he had as a child.

He played football at USC - Thanks for the post, Cardinal Martini!

Wayne was married three times in the course of his life, and fathered seven children. His son Ethan was named for Wayne's character in The Searchers, Ethan Edwards.

He holds the record of the actor with the most main character parts onscreen ever. In 131 of his 142 films, Wayne played the lead role.

Wayne's only Academy Award was for his performance in 1969's True Grit.

He acknowledged a special chemistry and genuine friendship with
co-star Maureen O'Hara, with whom he starred in five films. O'Hara later flew to Washington, along with Elizabeth Taylor, to give testimony to Congress in support of awarding Wayne with the Congressional Gold Medal. The medal was posthumously awarded in 1980.

Wayne on Wayne:

"I was trying to play a man who gets dirty, who sweats sometimes, who enjoys kissing a gal he likes, who gets angry, who fights clean whenever possible but will fight dirty if he has to. You could say I made the Western hero a roughneck."

"I am a demonstrative man, a baby picker-upper, a hugger and a kisser--that's my nature."

"God-damn, I'm the stuff men are made of!"

"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."

"I don't want ever to appear in a film that would embarrass a viewer. A man can take his wife, mother, and his daughter to one of my movies and never be ashamed or embarrassed for going."

"I never trust a man that doesn't drink."

Are you a John Wayne fan? What is your favorite Duke film?

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