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John Wayne


Born May 26, 1907. Winterset, Iowa.
Died June 11, 1979. Los Angeles, California.


Josephine Saenz. 1933. Divorced 1945.
Esperanza Bauer. 1946. Divorced 1954.
Pilar Palette. 1954.


Michael Wayne. Born November 23, 1934.
Toni Wayne. Born 1936.
Patrick Wayne. Born July 15, 1939.
Melinda Wayne. Born 1940.
Aissa Wayne. Born 1956.
John Ethan Wayne. Born 1962.
Marisa Wayne. Born 1966.


John WayneBorn Marion Michael Morrison, John Wayne moved with his family to California when he was young. Wayne spent his youth ranching near the Mojave Desert, and often rode a horse to school. He took the nickname "The Duke" from the family's pet Airedale. When he was not accepted into the US Naval Academy, he attended the University of Southern California on a football scholarship.

Morrison got his first job in movies as a prop man in exchange for football tickets. He was cast in his first leading role in 1929 in the movie The Big Trail. After nearly ten years of appearing in small western and action films, during which time he took the name John Wayne, he gained prominance almost overnight when John Ford cast him in the lead role of Stagecoach.

Soon Wayne was in demand for lead roles, and he continuously appeared in movies until the mid-1970's, usually appearing as a tough, idealistic cowboy or military man. Among some of his more memorable films are Fort Apache (1948), Rio Grande (1950), Rio Bravo (1959), The Alamo (1960), The Green Beret (1968), Rio Lobo (1970). He won an Acadamy Award in 1969 for best actor for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.

In reality, Wayne's tough guy image was just that, an image. He insisted that it was mostly a gimmick that he decided early in his career he needed to overcome a lack of acting training.

After his death in 1979, a Congressional medal was created in Wayne's honor.

Wayne's oldest son Michael headed Batjac Productions, the production company that Wayne owned, and produced most of his father's films in beginning in 1963. His sons Patrick and John Ethan both followed their father's footsteps by becoming actors.

John Wayne on the Web...
John Wayne on, the offical site of John Wayne's estate

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