John Wayne

Publié le par Lifetime

The Duke, from the youthful hired gun of 'stagecoach' to the oscar-winning legend of 'true grit' - Hollywood's greatest westernstar.

John Wayne

Born Marion Michael Morrison, John Wayne moved with his family to California when he was young due to his father, Clyde's, lung condition. Wayne spent his youth ranching near the Mojave Desert, and often rode a horse to school. He took the nickname "The Duke" from the family's pet dog. When he was not accepted into the US Naval Academy, he attended the University of Southern California on a football scholarship.

Wayne got his first job in movies as a prop man, in exchange for football tickets. He was cast in his first leading role in 1929 in the movie 'The Big Trail'. After nearly ten years of appearing in small western and action films, during which time he took the name John Wayne, he gained prominence almost overnight when John Ford cast him in the lead role of 'Stagecoach'.

Soon Wayne was in demand for lead roles, and he continuously appeared in movies until the mid-1970s, usually appearing as a tough, idealized cowboy or military man. Among some of his more memorable films are 'Fort Apache', 'Rio Grande', 'Rio Bravo', and 'The Alamo'. He won an Academy Award in 1969 for best actor, for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn, in 'True Grit'.

His anti-Communist sentiments led Wayne to help found the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals in 1944. The organisation worked to exclude those on the political left from the industry.

In general, Wayne's tough guy image was just that, an image. He insisted that it was mostly a gimmick that he decided to adopt early in his career to overcome a lack of acting training.

After his death from lung and stomach cancer in 1979, a Congressional medal was created in Wayne's honour.

Publié dans Articles de Presse

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