Skip to comments.Happy 100th birthday, John Wayne!
Posted on 05/25/2007 6:44:54 PM PDT by ConservativeStatement
If there's one thing I've learned from asking readers to send in stories about John Wayne, it's this: people really loved the guy.
Even if they didn't know him personally, many speak of brief encounters with his gentle ways and humorous personality as if they're talking about somebody they've known for years.
The Duke turns 100 years old Saturday, so we thought we'd celebrate with our very own birthday card.
(Excerpt) Read more at ocregister.com ...
They don’t make ‘em like JW any more .
You said brother!
You said IT brother
Rest easy, Pilgrim.
John Wayne. American.
JUST DAMN!! All my favorite actors are dead and dying. Jimmy Stewart, Don Knotts, John Wayne. It’s time to break out the bourbon and drink a toast.
"Did we just run over a back stabbing liberal Treasoncrat back there?
"Good going Pilgrim!"
Why, your just a drunk with a tin star pinned on it!
There is just no other person like John Wayne. An American legend!
In about three hours.
One of a kind.
A definitive “one of a kind.”
John Wayne. I have a large painting of him, from the old California days.
"Amnesty to invaders? Throw that one by me again Pilgrim, I think may-be my hear-ing is go-ing."
“JUST DAMN!! All my favorite actors are dead and dying. Jimmy Stewart, Don Knotts, John Wayne. Its time to break out the bourbon and drink a toast.”
I agree! Heres to.......
How about another for Bob Hope and Roy Rogers.
I have a boxed collection of his movies, So there!
Bet your painting is nice, though!
Got any DVDs?
Yep, sure do!
There’s some mighty big do’ins in Winterset, Iowa this weekend...
On June 20, 1979, the Orange County Board of Supervisors renamed Orange County Airport to John Wayne Airport. The John Wayne Associates commissioned sculptor Robert Summers to create a bronze statue of "the Duke" in commemoration of the late actor and true American patriot John Wayne.
A "man of humility, of honesty, and a hero of the American West (who) was a symbol to the world of the traditional American values."
(Resolution of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, June 20, 1979)
The nine-foot statue was dedicated to the County on November 4, 1982 and placed outside, in front of the Eddie Martin Terminal. After the Thomas F. Riley Terminal was built, the refinished and restored statue was placed in the lobby of the new Terminal.
The John Wayne statue is located on the arrival level in the center of the terminal and rests atop a pedestal covered in the same marble that graces the entire facility. Designed in two tiers to allow visitors to touch the statue, the pedestal provides a fitting home for one of the nation's most loved and most remembered patriots.
Red River was good.
My Grandma (100 years old and still alive and kickin’!) is older than John Wayne? No way!
Amen brother. I’m waxing nostalgic here. Bob Hope and “King of the Cowboys” Roy Rogers. They don’t make shows like his anymore. looking back now, they look sort of hokey with the bad guys being all bad and the good guys can’t do no wrong, but those were good shows. No cussin’ , no sex in a Roy Rogers movie. I guess I’m too old to be much account except to b!tch about the quality of movies and stars nowadays.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Wayne - you wouldn’t like what is going on now........
We called him DUKE, and he was every bit the giant off screen he was on. Everything about him-his stature, his style, his convictions-conveyed enduring strength, and no one who observed, his struggle in those final days could doubt that strength was real. Yet there was more. To my wife, Nancy, "Duke Wayne was the most gentle, tender person I ever knew."
In 1960, as president of the Screen Actors' Guild, I was deeply embroiled in a bitter labor dispute between the Guild and the motion picture industry. When we called a strike, the film industry unleashed a series of stinging personal attacks me-criticism my wife was difficult to take.
At 7:30 one morning the phone rang and Nancy heard Duke's booming voice: "I've been readin' what these damn columnists are saying about Ron. He can take care of himself, but I've been worrying about how all this is affecting you." Virtually every morning until the strike was settled several weeks later, he phoned her. When a mass meeting was called to discuss settlement terms, he left a dinner party so that he could escort Nancy and sit at her side. It was, she said, like being next to a force bigger than life.
Countless others were also touched by his strength. Although it would take the critics 40 years to recognize what he was, the movie going public knew all along. In this country and around the world, he was the most popular box-office star of all time. For an incredible 25 years he was rated at or around the top in box-office appeal. His films grossed $700 million-a record no performer in Hollywood has come close to matching. Yet John Wayne was more than an actor; he was a force around which films were made. As Elizabeth Taylor Warner stated last May when testifying in favor of the special gold medal Congress struck for him: "He gave the whole world the image of what an American should be."
Stagecoach to Stardom.
He was born Marion Michael Morrison in Winterset, Iowa. When Marion was six, the family moved to California. There he picked up the nickname Duke-after his Airedale. He rose at 4 a.m. to deliver newspapers, and after school and football practice he made deliveries for local stores. He was an A student, president of the Latin Society, head of his senior class and an all-state guard on a championship football team.
Duke had hoped to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and was named as an alternate selection to Annapolis, but the first choice took the appointment. Instead, he accepted a full scholarship to play football at the University of Southern California. There coach Howard Jones, who often found summer jobs in the movie industry for his players, got Duke work in the summer of 1926 as an assistant prop man on the set of a movie directed by John Ford.
One day, Ford, a notorious taskmaster with a rough-and-ready sense of humor, spotted the tall USC guard on his set and asked Duke to bend over and demonstrate his ball stance. With a deft kick, knocked Duke's arms from his body and the young athlete on his face. Picking himself Duke said in that voice which then commanded attention,"Let's try that once again." This time Duke sent Ford flying. Ford erupted in laughter, and the two began a personal and professional friendship which would last a lifetime.
From his job in props, Duke worked his way into roles on the screen. During the Depression he played in grade-B westerns until John Ford finally convinced United Artists to give him the role of the Ringo Kid in his classic film 'Stagecoach.' John Wayne was on the road to stardom. He quickly established his versatility in a variety of major roles: a young seaman in Eugene O'Neill's 'The Long Voyage Home', a tragic captain in 'Reap the Wild Wind', a rodeo rider in the comedy 'A Lady Takes a Chance.'
When war broke Out, Duke tried to enlist but was rejected because of an old football injury to his shoulder, his age (34), and his status as a married father of four. He flew to Washington to plead that he be allowed to join the Navy but was turned down. So he poured himself into the war effort by making inspirational war films-among them 'The Fighting Seabees', 'Back to Bataan' and 'They Were Expendable.' To those back home and others around the world he became a symbol of the determined American fighting man.
Duke could not be kept from the front lines. In 1944 he spent three months touring forward positions in the Pacific theater. Appropriately, it was a wartime film, 'Sands of Iwo Jima' which turned him into a superstar. Years after the war, when Emperor Hirohito of Japan visited the United States, he sought out John Wayne, paying tribute to the one who represented our nation's success in combat.
As one of the true innovators of the film industry, Duke tossed aside the model of the white-suited cowboy/good guy, creating instead a tougher, deeper-dimensioned western hero. He discovered Monument Valley, the film setting in the Arizona-Utah desert where a host of movie classics were filmed. He perfected the choreographic techniques and stunt-man tricks which brought realism to screen fighting. At the same time he decried pornography, and blood, and gore in films. "That's not sex and violence," he would say. "It's filth and bad taste."
"I Sure As Hell Did!"
In the 1940s, Duke was one of the few stars with the courage to expose the determined bid by a band of communists to take control of the film industry. Through a series of violent strikes and systematic blacklisting, these people were at times dangerously close to reaching their goal. With theatrical employee's' union leader Brewer, playwright Morrie and others, he formed the, Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals to challenge this insidious campaign. Subsequent Congressional investigations in I947 clearly proved both the communist plot and the importance of what Duke and his friends did.
In that period, during my first term as president of the Actors' Guild, I was confronted with an attempt by many of these same leftists to assume leadership of the union. At a mass meeting I watched rather helplessly as they filibustered, waiting for our majority to leave so they could gain control. Somewhere in the crowd I heard a call for adjournment, and I seized on this as a means to end the attempted takeover. But the other side demanded I identify the one who moved for adjournment.
I looked over the audience, realizing that there were few willing to be publicly identified as opponents of the far left. Then I saw Duke and said, "Why I believe John Wayne made the motion." I heard his strong voice reply, "I sure as hell did!" The meeting and the radicals' campaign-was over.
Later, when such personalities as actor Larry Parks came forward to admit their Communist Party backgrounds, there were those who wanted to see them punished. Not Duke. "It takes courage to admit you're wrong," he said, and he publicly battled attempts to ostracize those who had come clean.
Duke also had the last word over those who warned that his battle against communism in Hollywood would ruin his career. Many times he would proudly boast, "I was 32nd in the box-office polls when I accepted the presidency of the Alliance. When I left office eight years later, somehow the folks who buy, tickets had made me number one.
Duke went to Vietnam in the early days of the war. He scorned VIP treatment, insisting that he visit the troops in the field. Once he even had his helicopter land in the midst of a battle. When he returned, he vowed to make a film about the heroism of Special Forces soldiers.
The public jammed theaters to see the resulting film, 'The Green Berets.' The critics, however, delivered some of the harshest reviews ever given a motion picture. The New Yorker bitterly condemned the man who made the film. The New York Times called it "unspeakable ... rotten ... stupid." Yet Duke was undaunted. "That little clique back there in the East has taken great personal satisfaction reviewing my politics instead of my pictures," he often said. "But one day those doctrinaire liberals will wake up to find the pendulum has swung the other way.
I never once saw Duke display hatred toward those who scorned him. Oh, he could use some pretty salty language, but he would not tolerate pettiness and hate. He was human, all right: he drank enough whiskey to float a PT boat, though he never drank on the job. His work habits were legendary in Hollywood-he was virtually always the first to arrive on the set and the last to leave.
His torturous schedule plus the great personal pleasure he derived from hunting and deep-sea fishing or drinking and card-playing with his friends may have cost him a couple of marriages; but you had only to see his seven children and 21 grandchildren to realize that Duke found time to be a good father. He often said, "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."
To him, a handshake was a binding contract. When he was in the hospital for the last time and sold his yacht, The Wild Goose, for an amount far below its market value, he learned the engines needed minor repairs. He ordered those engines overhauled at a cost to him of $40,000 because he had told the new owner the boat was in good shape.
Duke's generosity and loyalty stood out in a city rarely known for either. When a friend needed work, that person went on his payroll. When a friend needed help, Duke's wallet was open. He also was loyal to his fans. One writer tells of the night he and Duke were in Dallas for the premiere of 'Chisum.' Returning late to his hotel, Duke found a message from a woman who said her little girl lay critically ill in a local hospital. The woman wrote, "It would mean so much to her if you could pay her just a brief visit." At 3 o'clock in the morning he took off for the hospital where he visited the astonished child and every other patient on the hospital floor who happened to be awake.
I saw his loyalty in action many times. I remember that when Duke and Jimmy Stewart were on their way to my second inauguration as governor of California they encountered a crowd of demonstrators under the banner of the Vietcong flag. Jimmy had just lost a son in Vietnam. Duke excused himself for a moment and walked into the crowd. In a moment there was no Vietcong flag.
Like any good John Wayne film, Duke's career had a gratifying ending. In the 1970s a new era of critics began to recognize the unique quality of his acting. The turning point had been the film 'True Grit.' When the Academy gave him an Oscar for best actor of 1969, many said it was based on the accomplishments of his entire career. Others said it was Hollywood's way of admitting that it had been wrong to deny him Academy Awards for a host of previous films. There is truth, I think, to both these views.
Yet who can forget the climax of the film? The grizzled old marshal confronts the four outlaws and calls out: "I mean to kill you or see you hanged at Judge Parker's convenience. Which will it be?" "Bold talk for a one-eyed fat man," their leader sneers. Then Duke cries, "Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!" and, reins in his teeth, charges at them firing with both guns. Four villains did not live to menace another day.
"Foolishness?" wrote Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mike Royko, describing the thrill this scene gave him. "Maybe. But I hope we never become so programmed that nobody has the damn-the-risk spirit."
Fifteen years ago when Duke lost a lung in his first bout with cancer, studio press agents tried to conceal the nature of his illness. When Duke discovered this, he went before the public and showed us that a man can fight this dread disease. He went on to raise millions of dollars for private cancer research. Typically, he snorted: "We've got too much at stake to give government a monopoly in the fight against cancer."
Earlier this year, when doctors told Duke there was no hope, he urged them to use his body for experimental medical research, to further the search for a cure. He refused painkillers so he could be alert as he spent his last days with his children. When he died on June 11, a Tokyo newspaper ran the headline, "Mr. America passes on."
"There's right and there's wrong," Duke said in The Alamo. "You gotta do one or the other. You do the one and you're living. You do the other and you may be walking around but in reality you're dead."
Duke Wayne symbolized just this, the force of the American will to do what is right in the world. He could have left no greater legacy.
Amen to that! Well, ok and The Searchers. Can’t beat the scenery.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Wayne! You were a great American!
As a little kid on Catalina in the early ‘60s, we’d always go down to the pier to meet John Wayne’s battleship-sized yacht, because he’d throw candy and coins into the water for us to dive for. Happy Centennial, Duke, and thanks for the memory!
Who shot Liberty Valence!
He swore that "Stage Coach" was the best cowboy movie ever made, I tend to agree.
Speaking of, I haard Wayne give a short speech at a Republican convention in 1964 I think, that was a masterpiece. He was a bright guy who did well at USC before he dropped out and much underestimated as an actor. An excellent orator, technically as good as Reagan. On the wrong side of the Panama Canal issue, because he was pro-Latino.
|1926 - GREAT K & A TRAIN ROBBERY|
|1926 - BROWN OF HARVARD|
|1926 - BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT|
|1927 - THE DROPKICK|
|1927 - ANNIE LAURIE|
|1928 - MOTHER MACHREE|
|1928 - HANGMAN'S HOUSE|
|1928 - FOUR SON'S|
|1929 - WORDS AND MUSIC/Duke Morrison|
|1929 - SPEAKEASY|
|1929 - SALUTE|
|1929 - NOAH'S ARK|
|1929 - THE FOWARD PASS|
|1929 - THE BLACK WATCH|
|1930 - ROUGH ROMANCE|
|1930 - MEN WITHOUT WOMEN|
|1930 - CHEER UP AND SMILE/Duke Morrison|
|1930 - BORN RECKLESS|
|1930 - THE BIG TRAIL|
|1931 - THREE GIRLS LOST|
|1931 - THE RANGE FUED|
|1930 - MEN ARE LIKE THAT|
|1931 - MAKER OF MEN|
|1931 - GIRLS DEMAND EXCITEMENT|
|1931 - THE DECEIVER|
|1932 - THE VOICE OF HOLLYWOOD No.13|
|1932 - TWO-FISTED LAW|
|1932 - THAT'S MY BOY|
|1932 - TEXAS CYCLONE|
|1932 - THE SHADOW OF THE EAGLE|
|1932 - RIDE HIM COWBOY|
|1932 - LADY AND GENT|
|1932 - THE HURRICANE EXPRESS|
|1932 - THE HOLLYWOOD HANDICAP|
|1932 - HAUNTED GOLD|
|1932 - THE BIG STAMPEDE|
|1933 - THE THREE MUSKETEERS|
|1933 - THE TELEGRAPH TRAIL|
|1933 - SOMEWHERE IN SONORA|
|1933 - SAGEBRUSH TRAIL|
|1933 - RIDERS OF DESTINY|
|1933 - THE MAN FROM MONTEREY|
|1933 - THE LIFE OF JIMMY DOLAN|
|1933 - HIS PRIVATE SECRETARY|
|1933 - COLLEGE COACH|
|1933 - CENTRAL AIRPORT|
|1933 - BABYFACE|
|1934 - WEST OF THE DEVIDE|
|1934 - THE TRAIL BEYOND|
|1934 - THE STAR PACKER|
|1934 - RANDY RIDES ALONE|
|1934 - THE MAN FROM UTAH|
|1934 - THE LUCKY TEXAN|
|1935 - THE LAWLESS FRONTIER|
|1934 - BLUE STEEL|
|1934 - `NEATH THE ARIZONA SKIES|
|1935 - WESTWARD HO|
|1935 - TEXAS TERROR|
|1935 - RAINBOW VALLEY|
|1935 - PARADISE CANYON|
|1935 - THE NEW FRONTIER|
|1935 - LAWLESS RANGE|
|1935 - THE DESERT TRAIL|
|1935 - THE DAWN RIDER|
|1936 - WINDS OF THE WASTELAND|
|1936 - SEA SPOILERS|
|1936 - THE OREGON TRAIL|
|1936 - THE LONELY TRAIL|
|1936 - THE LAWLESS NINETIES|
|1936 - KING OF THE PECOS|
|1936 - CONFLICT|
|1937 - IDLE OF THE CROWDS|
|1937 - I COVER THE WAR|
|1937 - CALIFORNIA STRAIGHT AHEAD|
|1938 - BORN TO THE WEST|
|1937 - ADVENTURES END|
|1938 - SANTA FE STAMPEDE|
|1938 - RED RIVER RANGE|
|1938 - PALS OF THE SADDLE|
|1938 - OVERLAND STAGE RAIDERS|
|1939 - WYOMING OUTLAW|
|1939 - THREE TEXAS STEERS|
|1939 - STAGECOACH|
|1939 - THE NIGHT RIDERS|
|1939 - NEW FRONTIER|
|1939 - ALLEGHENY UPRISING|
|1940 - THREE FACES WEST|
|1940 - SEVEN SINNERS|
|1940 - THE LONG VOYAGE HOME|
|1940 - THE DARK COMMAND|
|1941 - WHEEL OF FORTUNE|
|1941 - STARS PAST AND PRESENT|
|1941 - THE SHEPARD OF THE HILLS|
|1941 - A MAN BETRAYED|
|1941 - LADY FROM LOUISIANA|
|1941 - LADY FOR A NIGHT|
|1942 - THE SPOILERS|
|1942 - REUNION IN FRANCE|
|1942 - REAP THE WILD WIND|
|1942 - PITTSBURGH|
|1942 - IN OLD CALIFORNIA|
|1942 - FLYING TIGERS|
|1943 - A LADY TAKES A CHANCE|
|1943 - WAR OF THE WILDCATS (IN OLD OKLAHOMA)|
|1944 - TALL IN THE SADDLE|
|1944 - THE FIGHTING SEABEES|
|1945 - THEY WERE EXPENDABLE|
|1945 - FLAME OF THE BARBARY COAST|
|1945 - DAKOTA|
|1945 - BACK TO BATAAN|
|1946 - WITHOUT RESERVATIONS|
|1946 - DESERT COMMAND|
|1947 - TYCOON|
|1947 - ANGEL AND THE BADMAN|
|1948 - WAKE OF THE RED WITCH|
|1948 - RED RIVER|
|1948 - FORT APACHE|
|1948 - 3 GODFATHERS|
|1949 - SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON|
|1949 - SANDS OF IWO JIMA|
|1949 - THE FIGHTING KENTUCKIAN|
|1950 - RIO GRANDE|
|1951 - OPERATION PACIFIC|
|1951 - FLYING LEATHERNECKS|
|1952 - THE QUIET MAN|
|1952 - BIG JIM McLAIN|
|1953 - TROUBLE ALONG THE WAY|
|1953 - ISLAND IN THE SKY|
|1953 - HONDO|
|1954 - THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY|
|1955 - BLOOD ALLEY|
|1955 - THE SEA CHASE|
|1955 - ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (TV)|
|1956 - THE CONQUEROR|
|1956 - THE SEARCHERS|
|1957 - JET PILOT|
|1957 - LEGEND OF THE LOST (TIMBUCTU)|
|1957 - THE WINGS OF EAGLES|
|1958 - THE BARBARIAN AND THE GEISHA|
|1958 - CHINA DOLL|
|1958 - I MARRIED A WOMAN|
|1959 - THE HORSE SOLDIERS|
|1959 - RIO BRAVO|
|1960 - THE ALAMO|
|1960 - NORTH TO ALASKA|
|1961 - THE COMANCHEROS|
|1962 - HATARI!|
|1962 - HOW THE WEST WAS WON|
|1962 - THE LONGEST DAY|
|1962 - THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE|
|1963 - DONOVAN'S REEF|
|1963 - McLINTOCK!|
|1964 - CIRCUS WORLD|
|1965 - THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD|
|1965 - IN HARMS WAY|
|1965 - THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER|
|1966 - CAST A GIANT SHADOW|
|1967 - EL DORADO|
|1967 - THE WAR WAGON|
|1968 - HELLFIGHTERS|
|1968 - THE GREEN BERETS|
|1969 - TRUE GRIT|
|1969 - THE UNDEFEATED|
|1970 - CHISUM|
|1970 - RIO LOBO|
|1971 - BIG JAKE|
|1972 - THE COWBOYS|
|1973 - CAHILL -UNITED STATES MARSHAL|
|1973 - THE TRAIN ROBBERS|
|1974 - MCQ|
|1975 - ROOSTER COGBURN|
|1975 - BRANNIGAN|
|1976 - THE SHOOTIST|
Thanks. I will check it out. Obviously I am a big fan.
my stories about John Wayne.........The Duke’s neighbor in Orange County was named Jack Early and a friend of mine.
Remember the old Oldsmobile station wagon with the glass paneled roof ? Duke bought one and took it to the coach builders ( the ones that make limos) and had the roof raised 6 inches so he could wear his hat. Mr Early said when the station wagon came back from the coach builders it was spotless and the Duke drove it everywhere. But he never washed it EVER....Mr Early said he thought John Wayne thought it was a stage coach.............lol
2nd story......some will remember the chinese man always in the Duke’s movies. That man was a dear freind of his and never had much money and the Duke hired him to be his gardner.Now the Duke’s house was western styles with rocks and cactus everywhere. Rod Taylor,a Wayne friend was visiting once and saw the china man and asked the Duke why he needed a gardner since John Wayne’s house did not have one blade of grass...............the Duke looked at Taylor ,smiled and answered, Ohhh, I make him surrender to me every day............lmao
I can’t remember the first time I saw Stagecoach but it had to be in the early 50’s, I was a kid and it was a great movie.
It’s still a great movie and may well be the best Western ever made.
Sad thing is, that would never happen today. They'd name it after some "oppressed" illegal alien who died in the desert because the gringos failed to rescue him .
Eulogy by Ronald Regean?