Thursday, December 22, 2022

John Wayne wore a hairpiece and 9 other fun facts about ‘The Duke’

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John Wayne was one of the most popular leading actors of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The Oscar winner, known as The Duke, was one of the film industry’s box office hits for three decades thanks to his westerns and war films.

In 1939 his career took off when he starred in John Ford’s film stagecoach. In total, he appeared in 176 films – including 83 Westerns, in which, according to his biographer Ronald Davis, he “played cowboys, cavalrymen and unbeatable loners”. But did you know that Wayne wore a hairpiece in most of these films because of her thinning hair? Here are nine more fun facts about the actor known as “The Duke.”

Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907 in Winterset, Iowa. When he was a child, his family moved to Glendale, California. There Wayne played high school football and was recruited by the University of Southern California. However, he lost his scholarship due to a bodysurfing injury.

This led to Wayne dropping out of school and looking for work in the film industry, and he landed his first job as a props man, laborer, and extra at Fox Film Corporation. It was here that he developed his friendship with Ford, who began casting Wayne in supporting roles in small films beginning in 1928 Four sons. He played his first leading role in the 1930s The big track.

The ultra-masculine Wayne was not a fan of his feminine-sounding first name, Marion Morrison, because children made it difficult for him to grow up. So he decided to change his name when he became an actor and took his dog’s name “Duke”.

The dog was known as “big duke” and Wayne was “little duke”. Previously, in 1930, he was given the name John Wayne The big track Director Raoul Walsh used the name Duke Morrison in his earlier films.

When Wayne was between shoots, he often spent time playing chess on the miniature board he brought to the set. His star-studded list of chess opponents included Rock Hudson, Marlene Dietrich and Robert Mitchum.

Whenever Wayne accompanied his wife, Pilar Pallete, to amateur tennis, his trailer was always stocked with a chess set. The actor urged fans to play him by posting a sign on the trailer that reads “Do you want to play chess with John Wayne?”

The most popular American cowboy in mid-century Hollywood films was fluent in Spanish and all three of his wives were of Hispanic descent. Wayne’s wives were Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur and Pallete. Wayne and Saenz shared four children, and he and Pallete had three children.

Some of Wayne’s seven children actually went into the film and television industry, with his son Ethan being billed as John Ethan Wayne in a handful of films and as a lead in the 1990s reboot Adam-12 TV series.

Wayne won a single Academy Award during his prolific career – Best Actor in 1970 for his portrayal of US Marshal Rooster Cogburn in True grit. At the time, the award was considered long overdue, as the academy had not yet recognized him in his decades-long career.

He didn’t get a nomination for his performance in stagecoachhe was snubbed in 1948 while playing the lead role red river. And he was basically stripped of an Oscar when he was completely ignored for his performance in The Seekers 1956 – one of the best westerns of all time.

Ironically, his last public appearance was at the 51st Academy Awards in April 1979 – two months before his death – when he presented the award for Best Picture to The deer hunter.

On Wayne’s 72nd birthday — May 26, 1979 — Congress sent President Jimmy Carter legislation to award the actor a Congressional Gold Medal. Among those who testified before Congress in support of the award were Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Kirk Douglas.

Since Wayne died just two weeks later, he was awarded the medal posthumously. The following year, President Carter presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – America’s highest civilian honor. Wayne is one of only a handful of people to have won both medals.

Wayne’s legacy is evident across the United States, as various public places are named in his honor. There’s John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, with a 9-foot bronze statue of the actor at the entrance.

John Wayne Elementary School, also known as PS 380, is located in Brooklyn, New York. It has a 38-foot mosaic mural titled “John Wayne and the American Frontier.” There’s also the John Wayne Marina near Sequim, Washington and the John Wayne Parkway (Route 347) that runs through central Maricopa, Arizona.

A larger-than-life bronze statue of Wayne on horseback sits on the corner of La Cienega and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, in front of the former offices of the Great Western Savings and Loan Corporation. Wayne starred in a number of commercials for the bank in the 1970s.

When filming The undefeated In 1969, Wayne fell off a horse and suffered three broken ribs and a torn ligament in his shoulder. Despite the severe pain and inability to use his arm efficiently, Wayne insisted on keeping working so as not to disappoint his fans. As a result, director Andrew McLaglen had to film the actor from a specific angle throughout the film in order to hide his injuries on screen.

Another fun fact, per Need Some Fun, Wayne wasn’t a huge fan of riding horses, although he has sat in the saddle for a number of films.

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