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This day in History: John Wayne dies, 1979
History.com ^ | June 11, 2007 | Staff

Posted on 06/11/2007 4:06:43 PM PDT by abb

1979 : John Wayne dies

On this day in 1979, John Wayne, an iconic American film actor famous for starring in countless westerns, dies at age 72 after battling cancer for more than a decade.

The actor was born Marion Morrison on May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, and moved as a child to Glendale, California. A football star at Glendale High School, he attended the University of Southern California on a scholarship but dropped out after two years. After finding work as a movie studio laborer, Wayne befriended director John Ford, then a rising talent. His first acting jobs were bit parts in which he was credited as Duke Morrison, a childhood nickname derived from the name of his beloved pet dog.

Wayne’s first starring role came in 1930 with The Big Trail, a film directed by his college buddy Raoul Walsh. It was during this time that Marion Morrison became "John Wayne," when director Walsh didn’t think Marion was a good name for an actor playing a tough western hero. Despite the lead actor’s new name, however, the movie flopped. Throughout the 1930s, Wayne made dozens of mediocre westerns, sometimes churning out two movies a week. In them, he played various rough-and-tumble characters and occasionally appeared as "Singing Sandy," a musical cowpoke a la Roy Rogers.

In 1939, Wayne finally had his breakthrough when his old friend John Ford cast him as Ringo Kid in the Oscar-winning Stagecoach. Wayne went on to play larger-than-life heroes in dozens of movies and came to symbolize a type of rugged, strong, straight-shooting American man. John Ford directed Wayne in some of his best-known films, including Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Rio Grande (1950), The Quiet Man (1952) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962).

Off-screen, Wayne came to be known for his conservative political views. He produced, directed and starred in The Alamo (1960) and The Green Berets (1968), both of which reflected his patriotic, conservative leanings. In 1969, he won an Oscar for his role as a drunken, one-eyed federal marshal named Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Wayne’s last film was The Shootist (1976), in which he played a legendary gunslinger dying of cancer. The role had particular meaning, as the actor was fighting the disease in real life.

During four decades of acting, Wayne, with his trademark drawl and good looks, appeared in over 250 films. He was married three times and had seven children.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: history; johnwayne; theduke
All-American Hero.
1 posted on 06/11/2007 4:06:45 PM PDT by abb
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To: abb

2 posted on 06/11/2007 4:09:24 PM PDT by JRios1968 (Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will. - Ben Stein)
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To: JRios1968

So he would have been 100 this year.


3 posted on 06/11/2007 4:10:34 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (Duncan Hunter 2008 (or Fred Thompson if he ever makes up his mind))
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To: Larry Lucido

He probably could have still kicked a lot of ass, though.


4 posted on 06/11/2007 4:11:35 PM PDT by JRios1968 (Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will. - Ben Stein)
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To: JRios1968

Hell, I wouldn’t even take him on right now.


5 posted on 06/11/2007 4:13:22 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (Duncan Hunter 2008 (or Fred Thompson if he ever makes up his mind))
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To: JRios1968

The Duke would drink all your liquor then kick your ass!!


6 posted on 06/11/2007 4:13:59 PM PDT by 4yearlurker (Liberals, A terrorists best friend!)
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To: abb

He was the man when men were men.

Now we have all those metro fellas.


7 posted on 06/11/2007 4:15:07 PM PDT by Retired Greyhound
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To: JRios1968

I love to this day his TV signoff, “America: You Ask Me Why I Love Her?”

The Duke is missed. To this day.


8 posted on 06/11/2007 4:15:19 PM PDT by elcid1970
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To: All

hard to believe the Duke has been gone that long.


9 posted on 06/11/2007 4:15:49 PM PDT by ibheath (I liked America better when the threats to our freedom came exclusively from abroad.)
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To: Larry Lucido

Hell, I wouldn’t even take him on right now.

He’s probably saying, “ I won’t hit you Osama......the hell I won’t!”


10 posted on 06/11/2007 4:16:44 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68

Well, he mighta not liked hitting 1 for English, but didn’t he get married to 3 Mexican gals?


11 posted on 06/11/2007 4:21:44 PM PDT by Mark2005
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To: abb

I saw The Alamo yesterday. The statements of faith in God that were proclaimed during that movie are amazing considering how most anything remotely ‘religious’ is treated in this day and age. A big theme, if not The theme of ‘The Alamo’is that freedom and liberty aren’t ‘free’ and there are those who pay the ultimate price for everyone ...... a message that’s still very true today.


12 posted on 06/11/2007 4:22:42 PM PDT by MissMagnolia (Democrats can't win unless America loses & their definition of "fairness" is equal misery for all.)
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To: abb

One of my all-time favorites! God Bless ya, John Wayne! :o)


13 posted on 06/11/2007 4:23:33 PM PDT by Millee (Tagline free since 10/20/06)
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To: abb

I remember the Richard Pryor routine that talked about even death being scared of John Wayne, and then he imitated him saying “Get the f-— out of here, Death!”


14 posted on 06/11/2007 4:24:41 PM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: abb
Lung cancer has killed My three favorite people in the world: John Wayne, Walt Disney and My mom. All three had a lot more to give, and were gone before they should have.

CC

15 posted on 06/11/2007 4:26:59 PM PDT by Celtic Conservative ("Minutum Cantorum, Minutum Baloram, Minutum Carboratum Descendam Pantorum")
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To: abb

"Yuh don't think they saw the studio bus in the lower right hand corner, do yuh, pilgrims?"

16 posted on 06/11/2007 4:38:20 PM PDT by UnklGene
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To: Mark2005

Yup, but that just shows he had good taste in exotic women. :-)


17 posted on 06/11/2007 4:47:31 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~~~Jihad Fever -- Catch It !~~~)
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To: abb
A man from a time when Hollyweird portrayed America as a nation that tamed the West and kicked the crap out of our foreign enemies. Nationalism died when those types of movies stopped being made. Just my opinion...
18 posted on 06/11/2007 4:48:15 PM PDT by 12th_Monkey
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To: JRios1968

superb...I would like to know who created this and I want to see it up on some billboards...hillarious


19 posted on 06/11/2007 5:27:09 PM PDT by maxsand
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To: UnklGene

“Now aint that rigodamdiculous.”


20 posted on 06/11/2007 5:27:37 PM PDT by spanalot
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To: abb

And the only actor to get on Stalins hit list.


21 posted on 06/11/2007 5:28:44 PM PDT by spanalot
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To: UnklGene

LOL!

I hadn’t seen that before! But sure as heck, there it is! Good catch, U.


22 posted on 06/11/2007 5:56:17 PM PDT by condo_living_is_nice
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To: abb

Yeah, I read in his autopsy they found about 40 pounds of matter in his colon.

Death begins in the colon.


23 posted on 06/11/2007 6:10:33 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man
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To: abb

The Duke was the greatest. I remember watching his movies as a kid and still enjoy one now and then.


24 posted on 06/11/2007 7:03:30 PM PDT by rfreedom4u (My Freedom of speech trumps your feelings!)
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To: abb

25 posted on 06/11/2007 7:09:11 PM PDT by nfldgirl
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To: JRios1968

I think we are supposed to consider ourselves lucky it is 1 we are pressing and not 5 say.


26 posted on 06/11/2007 10:53:37 PM PDT by Daralundy
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