Saturday, April 26, 2014
W is for John Wayne
BORN: May 26, 1907
DIED: June 11, 1979
AGED: 72 from cancer
REAL NAME: Marion Michael Morrison...yup Marion
NICKNAME: The Duke-after his boyhood dog the local firemen gave him the nickname since he hung around them with his doggie.
MARRIAGES: 3 times-the 2nd one-ouch!
FAMOUS PARTNERS: John Ford, Ward Bond, Maureen O'Hara
One of My all time Favs and I have to say, in his later life reminded me of my dad. A Great man, Tall, stood by his convictions even when they were not popular. He commanded respect. Conservative in his politics and agreed with the HUAC-not the best thing and a dark time. Staunch anti communist. His 2nd marriage was a disaster as they drank too much and fought and he made the biggest mistake-he let his mother in law move in. Had a terrible time to divorce her (she died of alcoholism soon after). He Loved his Latin women and his tequila and the sea. Contrary to what is now believed he did try to enter WW2 but was declined as he had an old football injury that made him 4F. He tried several times until the higher ups at the government and his studio) said he would better serve by making movies since he also was a family man and older. apparently even John Ford tried to help but to no avail. He was a 4 pack a day smoker-not good. He also made one of the all time worst films called "The Conqueror" (I claim this Tar-Tar woman...) . They filmed on location near atomic bomb testing and there was a lot of dust ups etc... The director, leading lady, supporting actors plus 78 other crew members all died from cancer. He fought the cancer or The Big C as he called it with courage. He wanted to be remembered by a Spanish saying that says "He's Big, He's Ugly But He Had Dignity". When I saw him at the Oscars in 1979 he was so thin, I wept. My dad knew it would not be long before he passed away.
OSCAR: True Grit (sorry Jeff Bridges but John Wayne does it best)
FILMS: Stagecoach, The Flying Tigers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Red River, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, Rio Bravo, The Alamo, Hatari, McLintlock, North To Alaska, Sons of Katie Elder, Chisolm, The Shootist
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Yeah, I liked Wayne's portrayal more than Bridges in True Grit. I liked Wayne even more with Kate Hepburn in Rooster Cogburn. Wasn't he in a movie with Margaret O'Hara (or Sullivan, I get them mixed up) that was based in Ireland? They were going at it like cats and dogs but that was to cover up for their attraction to each other.ReplyDelete
Three more letters. Always leave the toughest ones to last. LOL
It was Maureen O'Hara and it is the great film "The Quiet Man"Delete
The big man himself. True Grit was better with John Wayne.
I didn't know that about his second wife - it must have been horrendous.
All those people having died of cancer after filming near the atomic bomb testing site - how sad. I never knew that, either. I'm learning so much here.
Thank you for following my blog, Birgit. See you soon.
Oh he was a big man which was showcased on I Love Lucy. Yup His 2nd wife was a real beut, brute? B#@!:) That horrible movie is known more for the atomic testing and the cancer issues than anything else except picturing John Wayne as Ghingas KhanDelete
The Duke is a classic!ReplyDelete
John Wayne always reminded me of my dad too. The rugged face and blue, blue eyes. My favorite movie of his is Big Jake where his son and grandson had parts in the movie.ReplyDelete
Yes that is a great film and he often used his family in his films and he liked to showcase young singers like Ricky NelsonDelete
I remember when he died--a sad day in our house, much like the passing of Elvis! John reminded me of my dad, too, and I agree with you--Sorry Jeff, but John is the man. :-)ReplyDelete
Yes I like Jeff Bridges a lot but not in this. I felt he was trying to hard to get the gravelly voice and I found it irritating and wanted to give him a throat lozenge. It was a very sad day in our house tooDelete
I think I came to know John Wayne after he'd died, because I don't remember any drama with his passing. But he's an icon of the Western and of Hollywood's golden times. Four packs a day--wow! I smoke one and I can't really see how I'd have time to smoke more.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the visit over at Life In Dogs and your supportive words about the "incident" with my dogs at the beach. Much, much appreciated, Birgit.
I am not sure how he could smoke that much but my mom theorized that he must have left one burning in one ashtray walked across the room and lit another one and so on. Can you imagine the expense. Here in Canada they are $10 a pack! You are welcome too-I love your site and dogs need supportDelete
So weird--a John Wayne film is on right now! He's smoking. So was it the smoking that got him or filming on that set?ReplyDelete
That is THE question! I mean smoking 4 packs a day is definitely not good but that film set has been studied due to the unusually high number of people who contracted cancer and many eventually died so it almost feels like the chicken or the egg in this case, to me anywayDelete
And the airport in Orange County, CA is named after him.ReplyDelete
I did not know about the atomic bomb testing site filming. That tidbit is fascinating!
Liz A. from Laws of Gravity
Oh Yes! I forgot about the airport and am glad it is named after him. Yes I find it fascinating about the testing and that Dick Powel-the director(also actor) died of cancer in 1962 I believe. Agnes Moorehead (Endora from Bewitched) died of Cancer in 1972, Pedro Almonderez (Can't recall the spelling) he killed himself but he was terminal from cancer and in a lot of pain and Susan Haywood had brain cancer and died in 1975(I believe-I can be a year off:))Delete
Love the Duke! My favourite films of his are The Searchers, Rio Bravo, and The Quiet Man. He was a very sensible and down-to-Earth guy. While filming Rio Bravo, he kept asking why the hell someone like Angie Dickinson would be into an old fart like him?ReplyDelete
See ya 'round the web. All Things Kevyn.
She was young to want to like him and that is funny and I recall reading that quote. Yes the Searchers is one of my all time fav as well as The Quiet Man. Rio Bravo and the other 2 that were done in the same vein was there answer to High Noon which John Wayne didn't likeDelete
It's funny that Duke disliked High Noon for political reasons, while star Gary Cooper (just as conservative as Duke) had no problems making it. It's funny how different people see different things in art.Delete
I remember where I was when we heard of his passing; interesting how we remember things like that, isn't it? I know he was favorite actor of hubby's parents.ReplyDelete
I know I remember to and I was so sad to hear about it. He was a man to be respectedDelete
One of my favorites also.ReplyDelete
I've never seen True Grit with John Wayne, but I have seen the one with Jeff Bridges, I thought it was good. I'm going to go find the the older version with John Wayne! : )
Oh, to me, John Wayne is much better and I like that movie better but I will say the young girl is better in the newer version than Kim Darby but I have to give it to the original and my favourite part is when John Wayne meets Robert Duvall in the clearing "Fill your hands you son of a bitch!"-hahahaDelete
Oh god, I didn't know that many people from that movie contracted and died of cancer! How awful. He won't be remembered exactly how he wants, though, because he's never been ugly to me.ReplyDelete
No I agree with you but that is what he wanted. he is in an unmarked grave on a hillside somewhere in California. Yes it is bad how many people died from that movie set-eerieDelete
So classic. So handsome.ReplyDelete
I think he was and I do look at him more paternally:)Delete
He's such an icon that there is a John Wayne slot machine. It uses "Howdy Partner" and some other sound clips. I actually once knew a man who smoked four packs a day. He even smoked while taking a shower.ReplyDelete
OMG! While taking a shower-that ...I just don't know what to say-lol I think there are slot machine for everything nowadays.Delete
O yes, it had to be John Wayne for W :) Can't say I enjoyed his style of movies, but he sure was and is quite an icon.ReplyDelete
Oh I love his films but you have to love westernsDelete
Well, what can I say? You either liked him or you didn't. I certainly did...his voice and manner on and off the screen, all of it. He became a legend. P.S. Love your posts, Birgit. One of the best in the A-Z!ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness-Thank you:) That is sweet. I love him to bits and wish i could have met the manDelete
The fact that he lived until 72 is amazing in itself considering the smoking and the atomic bomb movie set. I saw so many of his movies, loved him as a kid, when he was older but still commanded the screen.ReplyDelete
Yes you are right considering that he got The Big C as he called it in the early 60's and they removed a lung and he had other operations-strong manDelete
My BIL loved John Wayne. He had a huge picture of him in their log cabin. I think because his wife wouldn't let he hang it in their home. My husband won't watch any movies, so I have to view them at night when he's sleeping. It was to do with the Vietnam War and something he said about Canadians. Hollywood was smart not to let us know too much about these stars. Knowing too much definitely ruined things because they were people just like you and me.ReplyDelete
Knowing what I know of John Wayne I could see him shoot his mouth off first as he was such a proud American and so patriotic that his lines got blurred shall we say. I also think, that if he was given more information he would reflect on his actionsDelete
Love John Wayne.ReplyDelete
The best part of the Genghis Khan story was that not only did they go out to the test site for filming, but then they shipped thousands of pounds of radioactive dirt back to the sound stage to do additional shots. Ah, it was a different time. Between the nuclear fall-out and the hero-worship of guys like Wayne who was probably a real asshole in real life, it's amazing we've come as far as we have. ;-)
Yes it is amazing that they shipped that dirt back so they could roll around in it some more. I don't think he was an asshole but many people do because of his strong politics and his black and white views. Now mind you, never met the man, but I have a feeling he wasn't a bad person at all unless you were leftist then you were a damm commie-lolDelete