Skip to comments.This day in History: John Wayne dies, 1979
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.
Waynes 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 didnt think Marion was a good name for an actor playing a tough western hero. Despite the lead actors 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. Waynes 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.
So he would have been 100 this year.
He probably could have still kicked a lot of ass, though.
Hell, I wouldn’t even take him on right now.
The Duke would drink all your liquor then kick your ass!!
He was the man when men were men.
Now we have all those metro fellas.
I love to this day his TV signoff, “America: You Ask Me Why I Love Her?”
The Duke is missed. To this day.
hard to believe the Duke has been gone that long.
Hell, I wouldnt even take him on right now.
He’s probably saying, “ I won’t hit you Osama......the hell I won’t!”
Well, he mighta not liked hitting 1 for English, but didn’t he get married to 3 Mexican gals?
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.
One of my all-time favorites! God Bless ya, John Wayne! :o)
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!”
"Yuh don't think they saw the studio bus in the lower right hand corner, do yuh, pilgrims?"
Yup, but that just shows he had good taste in exotic women. :-)
superb...I would like to know who created this and I want to see it up on some billboards...hillarious
“Now aint that rigodamdiculous.”
And the only actor to get on Stalins hit list.
I hadn’t seen that before! But sure as heck, there it is! Good catch, U.
Yeah, I read in his autopsy they found about 40 pounds of matter in his colon.
Death begins in the colon.
The Duke was the greatest. I remember watching his movies as a kid and still enjoy one now and then.
I think we are supposed to consider ourselves lucky it is 1 we are pressing and not 5 say.