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Nicknames: "John Wayne", "The Duke", "John Wayne "The Duke ""
Birthplace: Winterset, Madison County, Iowa, United States
Death: Died in Victoria de Durango, Estado de Durango, Mexico
Occupation: Actor
Managed by: Ivy Jo Smith
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Marion Robert Morrison

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John Wayne (born Marion Robert Morrison), nicknamed "Duke", was a legendary Hollywood actor who played a key role in establishing and popularizing the western genre in American cinema. He started working in films as a scenery mover to put himself through college. His 6' 4" build, good looks, and Midwestern ease got him noticed on the lot and cast in the first epic western film in 1930. Over the years, John Wayne carved out a niche for himself, taking on roles as cowboys, soldiers, and other patriotic figures that transformed him into a role model of the American ideals of manhood, honor and courage.

When his parents decided to name their next son Robert, his name was changed to Marion Mitchell Morrison. His family moved to Glendale, California in 1911; it was neighbors in Glendale who started calling him "Big Duke", because he never went anywhere without his Airedale dog, who was Little Duke. He preferred "Duke" to "Marion", and the name stuck for the rest of his life.

After nearly gaining admission to the U.S. Naval Academy, he attended the University of Southern California, where he also played on the football team under legendary coach Howard Jones. An injury while swimming at the beach curtailed his athletic career, however; Wayne would later note that he was too terrified of Jones' reaction to reveal the actual cause of his injury.

While at the university, Wayne began working around the local film studios. Western star Tom Mix got him a summer job in the prop department in exchange for football tickets, and Wayne soon moved on to bit parts, establishing a long friendship with director John Ford. His first starring role was in the movie The Big Trail; it was the director of that movie, Raoul Walsh, who gave him the stage name "John Wayne", after Revolutionary War general "Mad Anthony" Wayne.

His friendship with Ford led them to work together on films which featured some of Wayne's most iconic roles. Beginning with three minor parts in 1928, Wayne would appear in over twenty of Ford's films in the next 35 years, including Stagecoach (1939), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956), The Wings of Eagles (1957), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962).

Wayne appeared in many strong masculine ("macho") roles in western films and war films, but he also had a down-to-earth sense of humour which allowed him to appear in a pink bunny suit for an episode of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, as well as in comedy movies. According to the Internet Movie Database Wayne played the male lead in 142 of his film appearances, an as yet unsurpassed record. One of Wayne's best roles was ironically in one of the few films he made that wasn't a Western or war picture. The film was The High And The Mighty released in 1954. The movie was directed by William Wellman and based on a novel by Ernest K. Gann. Wayne played the co-pilot of a plane that develops serious engine problems in flight. His portrayal of the heroic airman won widespread acclaim. Sadly, this film has not been seen for many years due to lawsuits and copyright issues with Wayne's estate. The film co-starred Robert Stack and Jan Sterling.

Despite his prolific output John Wayne won only a single Best Actor Oscar, for the 1969 movie True Grit. He received a nomination for Best Actor in Sands of Iwo Jima, and another as the producer of Best Picture nominee The Alamo, which he also directed. His production company was called Batjac, an accidental misspelling of his character in Reap the Wild Wind. In 1973, he released a best-selling spoken word album, that was nominated for a Grammy, and re-released with similar success in 2001.

John Wayne died of lung cancer on June 11, 1979 in Newport Beach, California, and was interred in the Pacific View Memorial Park cemetery in Corona del Mar, Orange County, California. Some trace his cancer back to his work in The Conqueror, filmed about 100 miles downwind of Nevada nuclear-weapons test sites.

Wayne was married three times; to Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Palette. He had four children with Josephine, three with Pilar, most notably Patrick Wayne. All but one of his children went on to have minor Hollywood careers.

He is the most celebrated utterer, and apocryphal coiner, of the tmesis "ri-goddamn-diculous".

There is an airport named after him, John Wayne Airport, in Orange County, California. John Wayne was entered into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1974, and is mentioned in the Paula Cole song Where Have All the Cowboys Gone.

Freemason: Marion McDaniel Lodge No. 56, Arizona

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wayne

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John Wayne (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), born Marion Robert Morrison[1] and later changed to Marion Michael Morrison, popularly known as the "Duke," was an iconic, Academy Award-winning, American film actor. He epitomized ruggedly individualistic masculinity, and has become an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive voice, walk and height.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Wayne thirteenth among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time. A Harris Poll released in 2007 placed Wayne third among America's favorite film stars, the only deceased star on the list and the only one who has appeared on the poll every year.

His career began in silent movies in the 1920s and he was a major star from the 1940s to the 1970s. He is closely associated with Westerns and World War II epics, but he also made a wide range of films from various genres, biographies, romantic comedies, police dramas, and more.

John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa, but his name was changed to Marion Michael Morrison when his parents decided to name their next son Robert. His family was Presbyterian; father Clyde Leonard Morrison was of Irish and Scottish descent and the son of an American Civil War veteran, while mother Mary Alberta Brown was of Irish descent.

Wayne's family moved to Palmdale, California, and then Glendale, California, in 1911, where his father worked as a pharmacist in a drug store. It was local firemen at the firehouse that was on his route to school in Glendale who started calling him "Little Duke," because he never went anywhere without his huge Airedale Terrier dog, Duke.[2][3] He preferred "Duke" to "Marion," and the name stuck for the rest of his life.

As a teen, Wayne worked in an ice cream shop for a person who shoed horses for local Hollywood studios. He was also active as a member of the Order of DeMolay, a youth organization associated with the Freemasons, that he joined when he came of age. He attended Wilson Middle School in Glendale. He played football for the 1924 champion Glendale High School team.

Wayne applied to the U.S. Naval Academy, but was not accepted. He instead attended the University of Southern California (USC), majoring in pre-law. He was a member of the Trojan Knights and joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. Wayne also played on the USC football team under legendary coach Howard Jones. An injury curtailed his athletic career; Wayne would later note he was too terrified of Jones' reaction to reveal the actual cause of his injury, which was bodysurfing at the infamous “Wedge” off Balboa Pier in Newport Beach. He lost his athletic scholarship and without funds he had to leave school.[4]

While at the university, Wayne began working at the local film studios. Western star Tom Mix got him a summer job in the prop department in exchange for football tickets, and Wayne soon moved on to bit parts, establishing a long friendship with director John Ford, who provided most of those bit parts. Early in this period, Wayne appeared with his USC teammates playing on-screen football in The Dropkick and Brown of Harvard, and was one of the featured football players in Columbia Pictures' Maker of Men (filmed in 1930 and released in 1931). [5]

After two years working as a prop man at the Fox Film Corporation for $75 a week, his first starring role was in the 1930 movie The Big Trail. The first western epic sound motion picture established his screen credentials, although it was a commercial failure. The director Raoul Walsh, who "discovered" Wayne, suggested giving him the stage name "Anthony Wayne," after Revolutionary War general "Mad Anthony" Wayne. Fox Studios chief Winfield Sheehan rejected "Anthony Wayne" as sounding "too Italian." Walsh then suggested "John Wayne." Sheehan agreed and the name was set. Wayne himself was not even present for the discussion.[6] His pay was raised to $105 a week.

Wayne continued making westerns, most notably at Monogram Pictures, and serials for Mascot Pictures Corporation, including The Three Musketeers (1933), a French Foreign Legion tale with no resemblance to the novel which inspired its title. He was tutored by stuntmen in riding and other western skills.[7] He and famed stuntman Yakima Canutt developed and perfected stunts still used today.

Beginning in 1928 and extending over the next 35 years, Wayne appeared in more than twenty of John Ford's films, including Stagecoach (1939), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956), The Wings of Eagles (1957), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). His performance in Stagecoach made him a star.

His first color film was Shepherd of the Hills (1941), in which he co-starred with his longtime friend Harry Carey. The following year he appeared in his only film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, the Technicolor epic Reap the Wild Wind, in which he co-starred with Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard; it was one of the rare times he played a character with questionable values.

In 1949, director Robert Rossen offered the starring role of All the King's Men to Wayne. Wayne refused, believing the script to be un-American in many ways. Broderick Crawford, who eventually got the role, won the 1949 Oscar for best male actor, ironically beating out Wayne, who had been nominated for Sands of Iwo Jima.

He lost the leading role in The Gunfighter to Gregory Peck because of his refusal to work for Columbia Pictures after Columbia chief Harry Cohn had mistreated him years before as a young contract player. Cohn had bought the project for Wayne, but Wayne's grudge was too deep, and Cohn sold the script to Twentieth Century Fox, which cast Peck in the role Wayne badly wanted but refused to bend for.

One of Wayne's most popular roles was in The High and the Mighty (1954), directed by William Wellman and based on a novel by Ernest K. Gann. His portrayal of a heroic airman won widespread acclaim.

The Searchers continues to be widely regarded as perhaps Wayne's finest and most complex performance. In 2006 Premiere Magazine ran an industry poll in which his portrayal of Ethan Edwards was rated the 87th greatest performance in film history. He named his youngest son Ethan after the character.

John Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar for True Grit (1969). Wayne was also nominated as the producer of Best Picture for The Alamo, one of two films he directed. The other was The Green Berets (1968), the only major film made during the Vietnam War to support the war.[8] During the filming of Green Berets, the Degar or Montagnard people of Vietnam's Central Highlands, fierce fighters against communism, bestowed on Wayne a brass bracelet that he wore in the film and all subsequent films.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Wayne played the lead in 142 of his film appearances.

Batjac, the production company co-founded by Wayne, was named after the fictional shipping company Batjak in Wake of the Red Witch. (A spelling error by Wayne's secretary was allowed to stand, accounting for the variation.) Batjac (and its predecessor, Wayne-Fellows Productions) was the arm through which Wayne produced many films for himself and other stars. Its best-known non-Wayne production was the highly-acclaimed Seven Men From Now, which started the classic collaboration between director Budd Boetticher and star Randolph Scott.

In 1964, Wayne was diagnosed with lung cancer, and underwent successful surgery to remove his entire left lung and four ribs. Despite efforts by his business associates to prevent him from going public with his illness (for fear it would cost him work), Wayne announced he had cancer and called on the public to get preventive examinations. Five years later, Wayne was declared cancer-free.

Despite rumors that the cancer was caused by filming The Conqueror in Utah where the U.S. government had tested nuclear weapons (following which a surprising percentage of the cast and crew developed cancer), Wayne himself believed his five-pack-a-day cigarette habit was the cause. [9] After his operation he chewed tobacco and began smoking cigars.

Wayne was politically a right-wing conservative Republican. He took part in creating the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals in 1943 , and was elected president of that organization in 1947 . He was an ardent anti-communist, and vocal supporter of the House Un-American Activities Committee. In 1951 , he made Big Jim McLain to show his support for the anti-communist cause. He also claimed to have been instrumental in having Carl Foreman blacklisted from Hollywood after the release of the anti-McCarthyism western High Noon, and later teamed up with Howard Hawks to make Rio Bravo as a right-wing response. Wayne used his iconic status to support conservative causes, including rallying support for the Vietnam War by producing, co-directing, and starring in the critically panned The Green Berets (1968). In 1978 however, he enraged conservatives by supporting liberal causes such as the Panama Canal Treaty [10] and the innocence of Patty Hearst[11].

Due to his enormous popularity, and his status as the most famous Republican star in Hollywood, wealthy Texas Republican Party backers asked Wayne to run for national office in 1968, as had his friend and fellow actor, Senator George Murphy. He declined, joking that he did not believe the public would seriously consider an actor in the White House. However, he did support his friend Ronald Reagan's runs for Governor of California in 1966 and 1970. He was also asked to be the running mate for Democratic Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968. Wayne vehemently rejected the offer.[12] Wayne actively campaigned for Richard Nixon[13], and addressed the Republican National Convention on its opening day in August 1968.

Wayne's strong anti-communist politics led to a particularly unnerving situation. Information from Soviet archives, reported in 2003, indicates that Joseph Stalin ordered Wayne's assassination, but died before the killing could be accomplished. His successor, Khrushchev, reportedly told Wayne during a 1958 visit to the United States that he had personally rescinded the order.[14][15]

In an interview with Playboy magazine in May 1971, Wayne made infamous remarks. One disclaimed a personal sense of guilt for the historical treatment of Native Americans, the second claimed that African-Americans had been denied educational opportunities and resented that fact, "possibly rightfully so." He went on to say that did not justify turning over the country "to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people."[16]" This caused an uproar in the African American community and caused many to even boycott his films

Wayne was married and divorced three times. His wives, all of them Hispanic women, were Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. He had four children with Josephine and three with Pilar, including the producer Michael Wayne and actor Patrick Wayne. Wayne is also the great-uncle of boxing heavyweight Tommy Morrison.

Wayne had several high-profile affairs, including one with Marlene Dietrich that lasted for three years.[17]

In the years prior to his death, Wayne was romantically involved with his former secretary Pat Stacy (1941-1995).[18] She wrote a biography of her life with him, DUKE: A Love Story (1983).

During the early 1960s John Wayne traveled extensively to Panama. During this time, the actor reportedly purchased the island of Taborcillo off the main coast of Panama. It was sold by his estate at his death and changed many hands before being opened as a tourist attraction.

John Wayne died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979 and was interred in the Pacific View Memorial Park cemetery in Corona del Mar. According to his son Patrick, he converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before his death.[19] He requested his tombstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal," a Spanish epitaph meaning "ugly, strong and dignified". However, the grave, unmarked for twenty years, is now marked with a quotation from his highly controversial 1971 Playboy interview: "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."

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=wayne&GSfn=john&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=6&GScnty=212&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=1079&df=all&

America's entry into World War II resulted in a deluge of support for the war effort from all sectors of society, and Hollywood was no different. Established stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (USN, Silver Star), Henry Fonda (USN, Bronze Star), and Clark Gable (USAAC) as well as emerging actors such as Eddie Albert (USN, Bronze Star) and Tyrone Power (USMC) rushed to sign up for military service. As the majority of male leads left Hollywood to serve overseas, John Wayne saw his just-beginning stardom at risk. Despite enormous pressure from his inner circle of friends, he put off enlisting. Wayne was exempted from service due to his age (34 at the time of Pearl Harbor) and family status, classified as 3-A (family deferment). Wayne's secretary recalled making inquiries of military officials on behalf of his interest in enlisting, "but he never really followed up on them."[20] He repeatedly wrote to John Ford, asking to be placed in Ford's military unit, but continually postponed it until "after he finished one more film."[21] Certainly Republic Studios had no interest in losing Wayne, especially after the loss of Gene Autry to the army. Correspondence between Wayne and Herbert J. Yates (the head of Republic) indicates that Yates threatened Wayne with a lawsuit if he walked away from his contract, though the likelihood of a studio suing its biggest star for going to war was minute.[22]. The threat was real, but whether Wayne took it seriously or not, he did not test it. Selective Service Records indicate he did not attempt to prevent his reclassification as 1-A (draft eligible), but apparently Republic Pictures intervened directly, requesting his further deferment[23]. In May, 1944, Wayne was reclassified as 1-A (draft eligible), but the studio obtained another 2-A deferment (for "support of national health, safety, or interest")[24]. He remained 2-A until the war's end. John Wayne clearly did not "dodge" the draft, in the sense of illegal or dishonest action, but he nonetheless never took direct positive action toward enlistment. Wayne was in the South Pacific theatre of the war for three months in 1943-'44, touring U.S. bases and hospitals as well as doing some "undercover" work for OSS commander William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, who thought Wayne's celebrity might be good cover for an assessment of the causes for poor relations between General Douglas MacArthur and Donovan's OSS Pacific network. Wayne filed a report and Donovan gave him a plaque and commendation for serving with the OSS, but Wayne dismissed it as meaningless[25].

The foregoing facts clearly influenced the direction of Wayne's later life. By all accounts, Wayne's failure to serve in the military during World War II was the most painful experience of his life.[26] Clearly, there were some other stars who, for various reasons, did not enlist. But Wayne, by virtue of becoming a celluloid war hero in several patriotic war films, became the focus of particular disdain from both himself and certain portions of the public, particularly in later years. The rampant patriotism with which he was so identified in the decades to come sprang, it appears, not from hypocrisy but from guilt. Wayne's third wife, Pilar, wrote, "He would become a 'superpatriot' for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying home."[27]

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. By the middle of his career, Wayne had developed a larger-than-life image, and as his career progressed, he selected roles that would not compromise his off-screen image. By the time of his last film The Shootist (1976), Wayne refused to allow his character to shoot a man in the back as was originally scripted. [28]

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 (1949) was released. His footprints at Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood were laid in cement that contained sand from Iwo Jima.[29] His 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.

Wayne was a popular visitor to the war zones in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. By the 1950s, perhaps in large part due to the military aspect of films such as the Sands of Iwo Jima, Flying Tigers, They Were Expendable, and the Ford cavalry trilogy, Wayne had become an icon to all the branches of the U.S. Military, even in light of his actual lack of military service. Many veterans have said their reason for serving was in some part related to watching Wayne's movies. His name is attached to various pieces of gear, such as the P-38 "John Wayne" can-opener, so named because "it can do anything", paper towels known as "John Wayne Toilet Paper" because "it's rough and it's tough and don't take shit off no one," and C-Ration crackers are called "John Wayne crackers" because presumably only someone as tough as Wayne could eat them.

Various public locations have been named in memory of John Wayne. They include John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, where his life-size statue graces the entrance; the John Wayne Marina near Sequim, Washington; John Wayne Elementary School (P.S. 380) in Brooklyn, NY, which boasts a 38 foot mosaic mural commission by New York artist Knox Martin[30] entitled "John Wayne and the American Frontier"; and a 100-plus mile trail named the "John Wayne Pioneer Trail" in Washington state's Iron Horse State Park. A larger than life-size bronze statue of Wayne was erected at the corner of La Cienega Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills, California at the offices of the Great Western Savings & Loan Corporation, for whom Wayne had done a number of commercials. (The building now houses Larry Flynt Enterprises.)

John Wayne's enduring status as an iconic American was formally recognized by the United States Congress on May 26, 1979 when he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.[31][32] Hollywood figures and American leaders from across the political spectrum, including Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Mike Frankovich, Katharine Hepburn, General and Mrs. Omar Bradley, Gregory Peck, Robert Stack, James Arness, and Kirk Douglas, testified to Congress of the merit and deservedness of this award, most notably Robert Aldrich, then president of the Directors Guild of America, who stated, "It is important for you to know that I am a registered Democrat and, to my knowledge, share none of the political views espoused by Duke. However, whether he is ill-disposed or healthy, John Wayne is far beyond the normal political sharp-shooting in this community. Because of his courage, his dignity, his integrity, and because of his talents as an actor, his strength as a leader, his warmth as a human being throughout his illustrious career, he is entitled to a unique spot in our hearts and minds. In this industry, we often judge people, sometimes unfairly, by asking whether they have paid their dues. 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." Maureen O'Hara, Wayne's close friend, initiated the petition for the medal and requested the words that would be placed onto the medal: "It is my great honor to be here. I beg you to strike a medal for Duke, to order the President to strike it. And I feel that the medal should say just one thing, 'John Wayne, American.'"[33] The medal crafted by the United States Mint has on one side John Wayne riding on horseback and the other side has a portrait of Wayne with the words, "John Wayne, American." This Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the family of John Wayne in a ceremony held on March 6, 1980 at the United States Capitol. This medal is now at the John Wayne Museum in Winterset, Iowa. Copies were made and sold in large numbers to the public.

On June 9, 1980, Wayne was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter (at whose inaugural ball Wayne had appeared "as a member of the loyal opposition," as Wayne described it in his speech to the gathering). Thus Wayne received the two highest civilian decorations awarded by the United States government.

References

^ Madison Co., Iowa birth certificate

^ Roberts, Randy, and James S. Olson. John Wayne: American. New York: Free Press, 1995 ISBN 978-0029238370, p. 37

^ Munn, Michael. John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth. London: Robson Books, 2003 ISBN 0-451-21244-4, p. 7

^ geocities site. See also jwayne.com

^ library.thinkquest.org article

^ Roberts & Olson, p. 84

^ thinkquest.org article

^ jwayne.com

^ http://www.jwayne.com/articles/USmag-6.27.78.shtml

^ Time Magazine, October 31, 1977, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,945800,00.html?promoid=googlep

^ Slate Magazine, January 28, 2002, http://www.slate.com/?id=2061166

^ Jim Beaver, "John Wayne". Films in Review, Volume 28, Number 5, May 1977, pp. 265-284

^ Judis, John, "Kevin Phillips, Ex-Populist: Elite Model," The New Republic, May 22, 2006, http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=18360&prog=zgp&proj=zusr

^ Montefiore, Sebag, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, London: George Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2003

^ " Why Stalin loved Tarzan and wanted John Wayne shot." Daily Telegraph. 6 April 2004. [1]

^ Playboy, May, 1972

^ Olson & Roberts, John Wayne: American, pp. 195-197

^ jwayne.com

^ http://www.adherents.com/people/pw/John_Wayne.html

^ Roberts & Olson, John Wayne: American, p. 211

^ Roberts & Olson, John Wayne: American, p. 212

^ Roberts & Olson, p. 220

^ Roberts & Olson, p. 213

^ Roberts & Olson, p. 213

^ Roberts & Olson, p. 253

^ Roberts & Olson, p. 212

^ Wayne, Pilar, John Wayne, pp. 43-47

^ http://imdb.com/title/tt0075213/trivia

^ Endres, Stacey and Robert Cushman. Hollywood At Your Feet. Beverly Hills: Pomegranate Press, 1993 ISBN 0-938817-08-6

^ http://www.knoxmartin.com

^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Congressional_Gold_Medal_recipients

^ http://www.jwplace.com/medal.html

^ HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON CONSUMER AFFAIRS OF THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, FINANCE AND URBAN AFFAIRS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, NINETY-SIXTH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION, ON H.R. 3767, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO PRESENT ON BEHALF OF THE CONGRESS A SPECIALLY STRUCK GOLD MEDAL TO JOHN WAYNE, May 21, 1979, SERIAL 96-10

^ http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/gunsmok2.htm

^ Interview with Mel Brooks on DVD release of Blazing Saddles

^ washingtonpost.com

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wayne

Marion Mitchell "Duke" Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an Academy Award-winning American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive voice, walk and height. He was also known for his conservative political views and his support, beginning in the 1950s, for anti-communist positions.

A Harris Poll, released January 2009, placed Wayne third among America's favorite film stars,[1] the only deceased star on the list and the only one who has appeared on the poll every year since it first began in 1994.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time.

Early life

Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa.[2] His middle name was soon changed from Robert to Mitchell when his parents decided to name their next son Robert.[3] (Years later, after Wayne became an actor, a publicist's error referred to his "real" name as Marion Michael Morrison instead of the correct Marion Mitchell Morrison. This error infected virtually every biography of Wayne until Roberts & Olson uncovered the facts in their biography John Wayne: American, drawing on the draft of Wayne's unfinished autobiography, among other sources.

Wayne's father, Clyde Leonard Morrison (1884–1937), was the son of American Civil War veteran Marion Mitchell Morrison (1845–1915). His mother, the former Mary Alberta Brown (1885–1970), was from Lancaster County, Nebraska. Wayne was of Presbyterian Scots-Irish descent through his 2nd great-grandfather Robert Morrison born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, who then emigrated to the United States in 1782.[7][8]

Wayne's family moved to Palmdale, California, and then in 1911 to Glendale, California, where his father worked as a pharmacist. A local fireman at the station on his route to school in Glendale started calling him "Little Duke", because he never went anywhere without his huge Airedale Terrier dog, Duke.[9][10] He preferred "Duke" to "Marion," and the name stuck for the rest of his life.

As a teen, Wayne worked in an ice cream shop for a man who shod horses for Hollywood studios. He was also active as a member of the Order of DeMolay, a youth organization associated with the Freemasons. He attended Wilson Middle School in Glendale. He played football for the 1924 champion Glendale High School team. Wayne applied to the U.S. Naval Academy, but was not accepted. He instead attended the University of Southern California (USC), majoring in pre-law. He was a member of the Trojan Knights and Sigma Chi fraternities.[11] Wayne also played on the USC football team under legendary coach Howard Jones. An injury curtailed his athletic career; Wayne later noted he was too terrified of Jones' reaction to reveal the actual cause of his injury, which was bodysurfing at the “Wedge” at the tip of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. He lost his athletic scholarship and, without funds, had to leave the university.[12]

Wayne began working at the local film studios. Prolific silent western film star Tom Mix had gotten him a summer job in the prop department in exchange for football tickets. Wayne soon moved on to bit parts, establishing a longtime friendship with the director who provided most of those roles, John Ford. Early in this period, Wayne appeared with his USC teammates playing football in Brown of Harvard (1926), The Dropkick (1927), and Salute (1929) and Columbia's Maker of Men (filmed in 1930, released in 1931).[13] Also, it is during this period that Wayne is reputed to have met the legendary gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp.

Film career

While working for Fox Film Corporation in bit roles, he was given on-screen credit as "Duke Morrison" only once, in Words and Music (1929). In 1930, director Raoul Walsh cast him in his first starring role in The Big Trail (1930). For his screen name, Walsh suggested "Anthony Wayne", after Revolutionary War general "Mad Anthony" Wayne. Fox Studios chief Winfield Sheehan rejected it as sounding "too Italian." Walsh then suggested "John Wayne." Sheehan agreed, and the name was set. Wayne himself was not even present for the discussion.[14] His pay was raised to $105 a week.

The Big Trail was to be the first big-budget outdoor spectacle of the sound era, made at a staggering cost of over $2 million, utilizing hundreds of extras and wide vistas of the American southwest, still largely unpopulated at the time. To take advantage of the breathtaking scenery, it was filmed in two versions, a standard 35mm version and another in "Grandeur", a new process utilizing innovative camera and lenses and a revolutionary 70mm widescreen process. Many in the audience who saw it in Grandeur stood and cheered. Unfortunately, only a handful of theaters were equipped to show the film in its widescreen process, and the effort was largely wasted. The film was considered a huge flop.[15]

After the failure of The Big Trail, Wayne was relegated to small roles in A-pictures, including Columbia's The Deceiver (1931), in which he played a corpse. He appeared in the serial The Three Musketeers (1933), an updated version of the Alexandre Dumas novel in which the protagonists were soldiers in the French Foreign Legion in then-contemporary North Africa. He appeared in many low-budget "Poverty Row" westerns, mostly at Monogram Pictures and serials for Mascot Pictures Corporation. By Wayne's own estimation, he appeared in about eighty of these horse operas between 1930 - 1939.[16] In Riders of Destiny (1933) he became film's first singing cowboy, albeit via dubbing. Wayne also appeared in some of the Three Mesquiteers westerns, whose title was a play on the Dumas classic. He was mentored by stuntmen in riding and other western skills.[13] He and famed stuntman Yakima Canutt developed and perfected stunts still used today.[17]

Wayne's breakthrough role came with director John Ford's classic Stagecoach (1939). Because of Wayne's non-star status and track record in low-budget westerns throughout the 1930s, Ford had difficulty getting financing for what was to be an A-budget film. After rejection by all the top studios, Ford struck a deal with independent producer Walter Wanger in which Claire Trevor—a much bigger star at the time—received top billing. Stagecoach was a huge critical and financial success, and Wayne became a star. He later appeared in more than twenty of John Ford's films, including She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956), The Wings of Eagles (1957), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962).

Wayne's first color film was Shepherd of the Hills (1941), in which he co-starred with his longtime friend Harry Carey. The following year he appeared in his only film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, the Technicolor epic Reap the Wild Wind (1942), in which he co-starred with Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard; it was one of the rare times he played a character with questionable values.

In 1949, director Robert Rossen offered the starring role of All the King's Men to Wayne. Wayne refused, believing the script to be un-American in many ways.[18] Broderick Crawford, who eventually got the role, won the 1949 Oscar for best male actor, ironically beating out Wayne, who had been nominated for Sands of Iwo Jima.

He lost the leading role in The Gunfighter (1950) 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. Cohn had bought the project for Wayne, but Wayne's grudge was too deep, and Cohn sold the script to Twentieth Century Fox, which cast Peck in the role Wayne badly wanted but refused to bend for.[18]

One of Wayne's most popular roles was in The High and the Mighty (1954), directed by William Wellman and based on a novel by Ernest K. Gann. His portrayal of a heroic copilot won widespread acclaim. Wayne also portrayed aviators in Flying Tigers (1942), Flying Leathernecks (1951), Island in the Sky (1953), The Wings of Eagles (1957), and Jet Pilot (1957).

The Searchers (1956) continues to be widely regarded as perhaps Wayne's finest and most complex performance. In 2006 Premiere Magazine ran an industry poll in which Wayne's portrayal of Ethan Edwards was rated the 87th greatest performance in film history. He named his youngest son Ethan after the character. John Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar for True Grit (1969). Wayne was also nominated as the producer of Best Picture for The Alamo (1960), one of two films he directed. The other was The Green Berets (1968), the only major film made during the Vietnam War to support the war.[12] During the filming of Green Berets, the Degar or Montagnard people of Vietnam's Central Highlands, fierce fighters against communism, bestowed on Wayne a brass bracelet that he wore in the film and all subsequent films.[18] His last film was The Shootist (1976), whose main character, J. B. Books, was dying of cancer—the illness to which Wayne himself succumbed 3 years later.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Wayne played the lead in 142 of his film appearances.

Batjac, the production company co-founded by Wayne, was named after the fictional shipping company Batjak in Wake of the Red Witch (1948), a film based on the novel by Garland Roark. (A spelling error by Wayne's secretary was allowed to stand, accounting for the variation.)[18] Batjac (and its predecessor, Wayne-Fellows Productions) was the arm through which Wayne produced many films for himself and other stars. Its best-known non-Wayne production was the highly acclaimed Seven Men From Now (1956) which started the classic collaboration between director Budd Boetticher and star Randolph Scott.

In the Motion Picture Herald Top Ten Money- Making Western Stars poll, Wayne was listed in 1936 and 1939 [19] He appeared in the similar Box Office poll in 1939 and 1940.[20] While these two polls are really an indication only of the popularity of series stars, Wayne also appeared in the Top Ten Money Makers Poll of all films from 1949 to 1957 and 1958 to 1974, taking first place in 1950, 1951, 1954 and 1971 . With a total of 25 years on the list, Wayne has more appearances than any other star, beating Clint Eastwood (21) into second place.[21]

In later years, Wayne was recognized as a sort of American natural resource, and his various critics, of his performances and his politics, viewed him with more respect. Abbie Hoffman, the radical of the 1960s, paid tribute to Wayne's singularity, saying "I like Wayne's wholeness, his style. As for his politics, well—I suppose even cavemen felt a little admiration for the dinosaurs that were trying to gobble them up."[22] Reviewing The Cowboys (1972), Vincent Canby of the New York Times, who did not particularly care for the film, wrote: "Wayne is, of course, marvelously indestructible, and he has become an almost perfect father figure."

Filmography

1964 illness

Wayne had been a chain-smoker of cigarettes since young adulthood. In 1964, Wayne was diagnosed with lung cancer, and underwent successful surgery to remove his entire left lung[23] and four ribs. Despite efforts by his business associates to prevent him from going public with his illness (for fear it would cost him work), Wayne announced he had cancer and called on the public to get preventive examinations. Five years later, Wayne was declared cancer-free. Despite the fact that Wayne's diminished lung capacity left him incapable of prolonged exertion and frequently in need of supplemental oxygen, within a few years of his operation he chewed tobacco and began smoking cigars until the day he died.

Politics

Wayne claimed in his Playboy interview to have been a socialist during his years at college, and he admitted voting for Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election. In the same interview he also expressed admiration for Democratic President Harry S Truman.[24] However, for most of his career he was a vocally conservative Republican. He took part in creating the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals in February 1944 and was elected president of that organization in 1947. He was an ardent anti-communist, and vocal supporter of the House Un-American Activities Committee. In 1952, he made Big Jim McLain to show his support for the anti-communist cause. A supporter of Vice President Richard Nixon's candidacy in the United States presidential election in 1960, he expressed his vision of patriotism when John F. Kennedy won the election: "I didn't vote for him but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."[25]

Wayne used his iconic status to support conservative causes, including rallying support for the Vietnam War by producing, co-directing, and starring in the critically panned The Green Berets in 1968. In the mid-1970s, however, he talked some fellow conservatives into supporting the Panama Canal Treaty.[26]

Due to his enormous popularity, and his status as the most famous Republican star in Hollywood, wealthy Texas Republican Party backers asked Wayne to run for national office in 1968, as had his friend and fellow actor, Senator George Murphy. He declined, joking that he did not believe the public would seriously consider an actor in the White House. However, he did support his friend Ronald Reagan's runs for Governor of California in 1966 and 1970. He was also asked to be the running mate for Democratic Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968. Wayne vehemently rejected the offer.[27] Wayne actively campaigned for Richard Nixon,[28] and addressed the Republican National Convention on its opening day in August 1968. Wayne also was a member of the conservative and anti-communist John Birch Society.[29]

Soviet documents released in 2003 reveal that, despite being a fan of Wayne's movies, Joseph Stalin ordered Wayne's assassination due to his strong anti-communist politics. Stalin died before the killing could be accomplished. His successor, Nikita Khrushchev, reportedly told Wayne during a 1959 visit to the United States that he had personally rescinded the order.[30][31]

Military service controversy

America's entry into World War II resulted in a deluge of support for the war effort from all sectors of society, and Hollywood was no exception. Many established stars rushed to sign up for military service.

As the majority of male leads left Hollywood to serve overseas, John Wayne saw his just-blossoming stardom at risk. Despite enormous pressure from his inner circle of friends, he put off enlisting. Wayne was exempted from service due to his age (34 at the time of Pearl Harbor) and family status, classified as 3-A (family deferment). Wayne's secretary recalled making inquiries of military officials on behalf of his interest in enlisting, "but he never really followed up on them."[32] He repeatedly wrote to John Ford, asking to be placed in Ford's military unit, but consistently postponed it until "after he finished one more film."[33] Republic Studios was emphatically resistant to losing Wayne, especially after the loss of Gene Autry to the Army.

Correspondence between Wayne and Herbert J. Yates (the head of Republic) indicates that Yates threatened Wayne with a lawsuit if he walked away from his contract, though the likelihood of a studio suing its biggest star for going to war was minute.[35] Whether or not the threat was real, Wayne did not test it. Selective Service Records indicate he did not attempt to prevent his reclassification as 1-A (draft eligible), but apparently Republic Pictures intervened directly, requesting his further deferment.[36] In May, 1944, Wayne was reclassified as 1-A (draft eligible), but the studio obtained another 2-A deferment (for "support of national health, safety, or interest").[36] He remained 2-A until the war's end. Thus, John Wayne did not illegally "dodge" the draft, but he never took direct positive action toward enlistment.

Wayne was in the South Pacific theater of the war for three months in 1943–44, touring U.S. bases and hospitals as well as doing some "undercover" work for OSS commander William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, who thought Wayne's celebrity might be good cover for an assessment of the causes for poor relations between General Douglas MacArthur and Donovan's OSS Pacific network. Wayne filed a report and Donovan gave him a plaque and commendation for serving with the OSS, but Wayne dismissed it as meaningless.[37]

The foregoing facts influenced the direction of Wayne's later life. By many accounts, Wayne's failure to serve in the military during World War II was the most painful experience of his life.[38] There were some other stars who, for various reasons, did not enlist. But Wayne, by virtue of becoming a celluloid war hero in several patriotic war films, as well as an outspoken supporter of conservative political causes and the Vietnam War, became the focus of particular disdain from both himself and certain portions of the public, particularly in later years. While some hold Wayne in contempt for the paradox between his early actions and his later attitudes, his widow suggests that Wayne's rampant patriotism in later decades sprang not from hypocrisy but from guilt. Pilar Wayne wrote, "He would become a 'superpatriot' for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying home."[39]

Controversial statements to Playboy magazine

In an interview with Playboy magazine published on May 1, 1971, Wayne made several controversial remarks about race and class in the United States. The interview became a hot topic and many stores had trouble keeping the issue in stock.[40] He noted that, as someone living in the 20th century, he was not responsible for the way people who lived one hundred years before him had treated Native Americans, stating:

I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them if that's what you're asking. Our so called stealing of this country was just a question of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.... Look, I'm sure there have been inequalities. If those inequalities are presently affecting any of the Indians now alive, they have a right to a court hearing. But what happened 100 years ago in our country can't be blamed on us today. I'm quite sure that the concept of a Government-run reservation... seems to be what the socialists are working for now — to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave.... What happened between their forefathers and our forefathers is so far back -- right, wrong or indifferent -- that I don't see why we owe them anything. I don't know why the government should give them something that it wouldn't give me.[41][42]

Mr. Wayne later made statements in response to question about whether socialistic programs like Medicare and Social Security were good for the country:

I know all about that. In the late Twenties, when I was a sophomore at USC, I was a socialist myself -- but not when I left. The average college kid idealistically wishes everybody could have ice cream and cake for every meal. But as he gets older and gives more thought to his and his fellow man's responsibilities, he finds that it can't work out that way -- that some people just won't carry their load.... I believe in welfare -- a welfare work program. I don't think a fella should be able to sit on his backside and receive welfare. I'd like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living. I'd like to know why they make excuses for cowards who spit in the faces of the police and then run behind the judicial sob sisters. I can't understand these people who carry placards to save the life of some criminal, yet have no thought for the innocent victim.

In the interview he previously had discussed race relations, including his response to Angela Davis' assertion that her removal from a position as an assistant professor in the UCLA philosophy department on the grounds that she was an active member the Communist party was actually because she was black:

With a lot of blacks, there's quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.[43][44]

When asked how blacks could address their perceived lack of leadership experience and the inequities of the past, Wayne replied:

It's not my judgment. The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically. But some blacks have tried to force the issue and enter college when they haven't passed the tests and don't have the requisite background.... By going to school. I don't know why people insist that blacks have been forbidden to go to school. They were allowed in public schools wherever I've been. Even if they don't have the proper credentials for college, there are courses to help them become eligible. But if they aren't academically ready for that step, I don't think they should be allowed in. Otherwise, the academic society is brought down to the lowest common denominator.... What good would it do to register anybody in a class of higher algebra or calculus if they haven't learned to count? There has to be a standard. I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves. Now, I'm not condoning slavery. It's just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and has to wear braces so he can't play football with the rest of us. I will say this, though: I think any black who can compete with a white today can get a better break than a white man. I wish they'd tell me where in the world they have it better than right here in America.[40]

Wayne later made controversial pro-war comments when asked why a North-South joint election in Viet Nam could not have been administered in lieu of armed conflict:

That would be no more practical than if France, after coming to help us in the Revolution, suggested having an election to decide what we wanted to do. It would be an exact parallel. The majority of those living in the Colonies didn't want war at that time. If there had been a general election then, we probably wouldn't be here today. As far as Vietnam is concerned, we've made mistakes. I know of no country that's perfect. But I honestly believe that there's as much need for us to help the Vietnamese as there was to help the Jews in Germany. The only difference is that we haven't had any leadership in this war. All the liberal senators have stuck their noses in this, and it's out of their bailiwick. They've already put far too many barriers in the way of the military. Our lack of leadership has gone so far that now no one man can come in, face the issue and tell people that we ought to be in an all-out war.

Personal life

Wayne was married three times and divorced twice. His wives, all of them Latina women, were Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. He had four children with Josephine:

Michael Wayne (Film Producer) - Born November 23, 1934 / Died April 2, 2003

Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava - Born February 25, 1936 / Died December 6, 2000

Patrick Wayne - (actor) - Born July 15, 1939

Melinda Wayne Munoz - Born December 3, 1940

and three with Pilar:

Aissa Wayne - (Actress, now Attorney) Born March 31, 1956

John Ethan Wayne - (Actor) - Born February 22, 1962

Marisa Wayne (Actress) - Born February 22, 1966

Heavyweight boxer Tommy Morrison alleges that Wayne is his great-uncle.[45] Wayne's son Ethan was billed as John Ethan Wayne in a few films and played one of the leads in the 1990s update of the Adam-12 television series.

His stormiest divorce was from Esperanza Baur, a former Mexican actress. She convinced herself that Wayne and co-star Gail Russell were having an affair. The night the film Angel and the Badman (1947) wrapped, there was the usual party for cast and crew, and Wayne came home very late. Esperanza was in a drunken rage by the time he arrived, and she attempted to shoot him as he walked through the front door.[18]

Wayne's hair began thinning in the 1940s and he started wearing a hairpiece by the end of that decade (though his receding hairline is quite evident in Rio Grande). He was occasionally seen in public without the hairpiece (notably, according to Life Magazine photos, at Gary Cooper's funeral).[46] The only time he unintentionally appeared on film without it was for a split second in North to Alaska. On the first punch of the climactic fistfight, Wayne's hat flies off, revealing a brief flash of his unadorned scalp. Wayne also has several scenes in The Wings of Eagles where he is without his hairpiece. (During a widely noted appearance at Harvard University, Wayne was asked by a student, "Is your hair real?" Wayne responded in the affirmative, then added, "It's not mine, but it's real!")

Wayne had several high-profile affairs, including one with Marlene Dietrich that lasted for three years.[47] In the years prior to his death, Wayne was romantically involved with his former secretary Pat Stacy (1941–1995).[12] She wrote a biography of her life with him, DUKE: A Love Story (1983).

During the early 1960s John Wayne traveled extensively to Panama. During this time, the actor reportedly purchased the island of Taborcillo off the main coast of Panama. It was sold by his estate at his death and changed hands many times before being opened as a tourist attraction.

Wayne was a Freemason, a Master Mason in Marion McDaniel Lodge #56 F&AM, in Tucson. He became a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and later joined the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple in Los Angeles. He became a member of the York Rite.[48]

Wayne biographer Michael Munn writes of Wayne's love of alcohol.[10] According to Sam O'Steen's memoir, Cut to the Chase, studio directors knew to shoot Wayne's scenes before noon, because by afternoon Wayne "was a mean drunk."[49]

John Wayne's height has been perennially described as at least 6'4" (193 cm), but claims abound that he was shorter.[50] However, Wayne's high school athletic records indicate he was 6'3" at age 17, and his University of Southern California athletic records state that by age 18, he had grown to 6'4".[51]

Death

Although he enrolled in a cancer vaccine study in an attempt to ward off the disease,[23] John Wayne died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979, at the UCLA Medical Center, and was interred in the Pacific View Memorial Park cemetery in Corona del Mar. According to his son Patrick, he converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before his death.[52] He requested his tombstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal", a Mexican epitaph Wayne described as meaning "ugly, strong and dignified".[53] However, the grave, unmarked for twenty years, is now marked with a quotation from his controversial 1971 Playboy interview: "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."

Among the 220 or so cast and crew who filmed the 1956 film, The Conqueror, on location near St. George, Utah, ninety-one had come down with cancer, with an unheard of 41 percent morbidity rate, including stars Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Agnes Moorehead, and director Dick Powell. The film was shot in Southwestern Utah, east of and generally downwind from where the U.S. Government had tested nuclear weapons in Southeastern Nevada, and many contend that radioactive fallout from these tests contaminated the film location and poisoned the film crew working there. Despite the suggestion that Wayne’s 1964 lung cancer and his 1979 stomach cancer resulted from this nuclear contamination, he himself believed his lung cancer to have been a result of his six-pack-a-day cigarette habit.[54] The effect of nuclear fallout on The Conqueror's cast and crew, and particularly on Wayne, is the subject of James Morrow's science-fiction short story Martyrs of the Upshot Knothole.[55]

Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom

John Wayne's enduring status as an iconic American was formally recognized by the United States Congress on May 26, 1979, when he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Hollywood figures and American leaders from across the political spectrum, including Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Mike Frankovich, Katharine Hepburn, General and Mrs. Omar Bradley, Gregory Peck, Robert Stack, James Arness, and Kirk Douglas, testified to Congress of the merit and deservedness of this award. Most notable was the testimony of Robert Aldrich, then president of the Directors Guild of America: "It is important for you to know that I am a registered Democrat and, to my knowledge, share none of the political views espoused by Duke. However, whether he is ill disposed or healthy, John Wayne is far beyond the normal political sharp shooting in this community. Because of his courage, his dignity, his integrity, and because of his talents as an actor, his strength as a leader, his warmth as a human being throughout his illustrious career, he is entitled to a unique spot in our hearts and minds. In this industry, we often judge people, sometimes unfairly, by asking whether they have paid their dues. 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."

Maureen O'Hara, Wayne's close friend, initiated the petition for the medal and requested the words that would be placed onto the medal: "It is my great honor to be here. I beg you to strike a medal for Duke, to order the President to strike it. And I feel that the medal should say just one thing, 'John Wayne, American.'"[56] The medal crafted by the United States Mint has on one side John Wayne riding on horseback, and the other side has a portrait of Wayne with the words, "John Wayne, American." This Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the family of John Wayne in a ceremony held on March 6, 1980, at the United States Capitol. Copies were made and sold in large numbers to the public.

On June 9, 1980, Wayne was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter (at whose inaugural ball Wayne had appeared "as a member of the loyal opposition", as Wayne described it in his speech to the gathering). Thus Wayne received the two highest civilian decorations awarded by the United States government.

American icon

Wayne rose beyond the typical recognition for a famous actor to that of an enduring icon who symbolized and communicated American values and ideals. By the middle of his career, Wayne had developed a larger-than-life image, and as his career progressed, he selected roles that would not compromise his off-screen image. By the time of his last film The Shootist (1976), Wayne refused to allow his character to shoot a man in the back as was originally scripted,[57] saying "I've made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back. Change it."

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 (1949) was released. His footprints at Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood were laid in cement that contained sand from Iwo Jima.[58] His 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.[59]

Wayne was a popular visitor to the war zones in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. By the 1950s, perhaps in large part due to the military aspect of films such as the Sands of Iwo Jima, Flying Tigers, They Were Expendable, and the Ford cavalry trilogy, Wayne had become an icon to all the branches of the U.S. Military, even in light of his actual lack of military service. Many veterans have said their reason for serving was in some part related to watching Wayne's movies. His name is attached to various pieces of gear, such as the P-38 "John Wayne" can-opener, so named because "it can do anything," paper towels known as "John Wayne Toilet Paper" because "it's rough and it's tough and don't take shit off no one," and C-Ration crackers are called "John Wayne crackers" because presumably only someone as tough as Wayne could eat them. A rough and rocky mountain pass used by army tanks and jeeps at Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County, California, is aptly named "John Wayne Pass."

Various public locations have been named in memory of John Wayne. They include John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, where his nine-foot bronze statue graces the entrance; the John Wayne Marina[60] near Sequim, Washington; John Wayne Elementary School (P.S. 380) in Brooklyn, NY, which boasts a 38-foot mosaic mural commission by New York artist Knox Martin[61] entitled "John Wayne and the American Frontier";[62] and a 100-plus-mile trail named the "John Wayne Pioneer Trail" in Washington state's Iron Horse State Park. A larger than life-size bronze statue of Wayne atop a horse was erected at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California at the former offices of the Great Western Savings & Loan Corporation, for whom Wayne had done a number of commercials. (The building now houses Larry Flynt Enterprises.)

In the city of Maricopa, Arizona, part of AZ State Highway 347 is named John Wayne Parkway, which runs right through the center of town.

On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Wayne into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.[63]

Celebrations and landmarks

Several celebrations took place on May 26, 2007, the centennial of John Wayne's birth.

At the Birthplace of John Wayne in Winterset, Iowa, the John Wayne Birthday Centennial Celebration was held on May 25–27, 2007. The celebration included chuck-wagon suppers, concerts by Michael Martin Murphey and Riders in the Sky, a Wild West Revue in the style of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, a Cowboy Symposium with John Wayne co-stars, Gregg Palmer, Ed Faulkner, and Dean Smith along with Paramount producer A.C. Lyles and costumer Luster Bayless were all there to talk about their friendships with Duke. They had cavalry and trick horse demonstrations as well as many of John Wayne's films running at the local theater.

This event also included the ground-breaking for the New John Wayne Birthplace Museum and Learning Center at his birthplace house. Over 30 family members were there including Melinda Wayne Munoz, Aissa, Ethan and Marisa Wayne. Several grandchildren and great-grandchildren were also present. An old gas station is being torn down to make way for the new museum. This groundbreaking was held with Ethan Wayne at the controls of the equipment.

In 2006, friends of Wayne's and his former Arizona business partner, Louis Johnson, inaugurated the "Louie and the Duke Classics" events benefiting the John Wayne Cancer Foundation[64] and the American Cancer Society.[65][66] The weekend long event each fall in Casa Grande, Arizona includes a golf tournament, an auction of John Wayne memorabilia and a team roping competition".[65]

Missed roles

John Wayne desperately wanted the role of "Jimmy Ringo" in the 1950 film The Gunfighter, directed by Henry King. But the role went to Gregory Peck instead. John Wayne's final film, The Shootist (1976), directed by Don Siegel was very similar to The Gunfighter.[18]

An urban legend has it that John Wayne was offered the leading role of Matt Dillon in the longtime favorite television show Gunsmoke, but he turned it down, recommending instead James Arness for the role. The only part of this story that is true is that Wayne did indeed recommend Arness for the part. Wayne introduced Arness in a prologue to the first episode of Gunsmoke.[67]

Wayne was approached by Mel Brooks to play the part of the Waco Kid in the film Blazing Saddles. After reading the script he said, "I can't be in this picture, it's too dirty ... but I'll be the first in line to see it."[68]

He reportedly had initially strongly considered taking the role of Major Reisman in The Dirty Dozen, even asking MGM to make changes to the script to accommodate him. But ultimately, he turned it down to make The Green Berets. The role went to Lee Marvin.

Wayne had lobbied to play the lead in Dirty Harry, but Warner Bros. felt that at age 63, he was too old for the role. The role eventually went to Clint Eastwood.

Prior to his death, Wayne had bought the film rights to Buddy Atkinson's novel, Beau John, and was in the pre-production stage of the movie when he took ill. The film was a comedy set in Kentucky during the 1920s, and would have co-starred Ron Howard and Hal Linden.

[edit] Quotations

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Movie quotations

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." (The Shootist)[69]

Speaking to his young cavalry lieutenants: "Don't apologize—it's a sign of weakness." (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon)

"Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!" (True Grit)

"That'll be the day!" (The Searchers - Spoken several times; inspired Buddy Holly to write a song with that title.)

"Pilgrim." (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Reportedly he used the expression "Pilgrim", as in "tenderfoot" or "dude" or "amateur", 23 times in that film, and once also in McLintock!. It became a catchphrase for impressionists such as John Byner, and Rich Little)

"I haven't lost my temper in 40 years; but, Pilgrim, you caused a lot of trouble this morning; might have got somebody killed; and somebody oughta belt you in the mouth. But I won't. I won't. The hell I won't!" (He belts him in the mouth). (To Leo Gordon in McLintock!)

"Out here, due process is a bullet!" (To anti-war journalist David Janssen in The Green Berets)[69]

"Not hardly!" (Big Jake - used several times throughout the movie when told by others "Jacob McCandles?! I thought you were dead!")

"It's a hard life!" (The Cowboys - in response to "The 'long-haired man'" played by Bruce Dern saying "You're a hard man!")

Famous quotations outside the movies

"I eat as much as I ever did, I drink more than I should, and my sex life is none of your goddamned business." (May 1971, Playboy interview)

"If I had known this, I would've put that patch on thirty-five years earlier." (1969, Academy Awards speech for Best Actor in True Grit.)

"We had a pretty good time together, when she wasn't trying to kill me!" (1954, in an interview with Hedda Hopper regarding his marriage to Esperanza "Chata" Baur.)

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are presented annually by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry. Wayne was nominated for three competitive awards and won once.

Actor

The winner for each year is in bold face text against a yellow background.

- 1949 - Best Actor - 1969 - Best Actor

Actor Film Actor Film

Broderick Crawford All the King's Men {Best Picture} Richard Burton Anne of the Thousand Days

Kirk Douglas Champion Dustin Hoffman Midnight Cowboy {Best Picture}

Gregory Peck Twelve O'Clock High Peter O'Toole Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Richard Todd The Hasty Heart Jon Voight Midnight Cowboy {Best Picture}

John Wayne Sands of Iwo Jima John Wayne True Grit

Producer

- 1960 -

Producer Film

Bernard Smith Elmer Gantry

Jerry Wald Sons and Lovers

John Wayne The Alamo

Billy Wilder The Apartment {Best Picture}

Fred Zinnemann The Sundowners

Golden Globes

The Golden Globe Awards are presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) to recognize outstanding achievements in the entertainment industry, both domestic and foreign, and to focus wide public attention upon the best in motion pictures and television. Wayne won a competitive award and received the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

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http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/masonic_actors_and_screen_writer.htm

Masonic membership: Marion McDaniel Lodge No. 56, Tucson, Arizona. Al Malaika Temple A.A.O.N.M.S. Los Angeles California. -------------------- MOVIE ACTOR -------------------- John Wayne (Marion Michael Morrison) was a Movie Star, Actor, Producer, Director and Oscar Winner for the Movie "True Grit".

He and Floyd Bliss Hanson are 9th Cousins, while He and Clint Eastwood are 8th Cousins. He and Lucille Ball are also 9th Cousins, see [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucille_Ball] for a picture of them together on the I Love Lucy Show. Also, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are 8th Cousins.

The Minimal Common Great GrandParents (8th) of John Wayne and Floyd Hanson: Sen Thomas Bliss, and Margaret (Hulins) Bliss.

See Overmire's listing for more information:

[http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=glencoe&id=I8434]

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John Wayne's Timeline

1907
May 26, 1907
Winterset, Madison County, Iowa, United States
1933
June 24, 1933
Age 26
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, United States
1934
November 23, 1934
Age 27
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1936
February 25, 1936
Age 28
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
1945
December 25, 1945
Age 38
California, United States
25, 1945
Age 37
1946
January 17, 1946
Age 38
Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, United States
1954
November 1, 1954
Age 47
Kona District, Hawaii County, Hawaii Territory, United States