John Wayne’s career made him one of the most famous actors of all time. The star of “True Grit” started his career in a completely different field, but he went on to become the biggest movie star of his time.
John Wayne was a well-known family man who also starred in many movies. He married three times and had seven kids from those marriages. And while some actors’ kids remember their parents not being around when they were growing up, John Wayne was not one of them.
Since his sad death, some of his kids have talked about him in public, letting everyone know the truth. Here’s everything you need to know about John Wayne, including how his life ended in tragedy.
John Wayne wasn’t really his birth name. Instead, the famous entertainer was born on May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, as Marion Morrison. His first “name change” happened when he was young. It was because his parents, Clyde and Mary, had an Airedale dog named Duke.
“There’s a picture of him in the book. He looked like he weighed about 80 pounds, and Marion was called Little Duke. “He liked the name, and for the rest of his life, he always insisted that people call him Duke,” his biographer, Scott Eyman, told Yahoo.
When Wayne was 9 or 10, his family made the decision to move to Glendale, California. His dad started working there as a pharmacist, but the family ran into a lot of problems along the way. Simply put, it turned out that making it in California wasn’t all that simple. In the end, John Wayne was given the opportunity to see many things that would shape his character and values.
Just because of this, his time there probably helped him a lot in the long run.
“There’s this young boy whose father is sick, and he and his family move to the Mojave Desert in the west to try to farm. Wayne’s father, Ethan, said of his father’s childhood, “That’s a hard place to farm, and they fail, and he has a very tough, demanding mother.”
“It’s hard on the dad, and he’s never happy about it. And they end up in Glendale, which was another small town in the country at the time. The father was friendly, and the mother was a bit of a taskmaster. I think [John] found comfort in school and the people he met there.”
John went to Glendale High School, which is where he first got interested in acting. Among other things, he played football and did well in his classes. He also took part in student theater productions.
He was the head editor of the school newspaper, he led the debate team, and he was in the dance committee and the drama club.
Wayne was also the captain of the football team. He led the team to a championship season and got a football scholarship to the University of Southern California. At first, he was a good student, but school was expensive, so he dropped out and went to work. Obviously, that wasn’t the only reason he gave up on going to college.
No, it looked like young John Wayne was going to be an NFL player. He was good at what he did and wanted to get better, but in 1926, he hurt himself while bodysurfing.
So, Wayne got a job at a local movie studio, where he worked both as a prop man and as an extra in a few movies. There, he met some of the most important people in the movie business, like John Ford, who taught him a lot.
“I was a juicer and a carpenter. I set up lights and helped put together sets. moved things. Hauled furniture. “I learned the nuts and bolts of making movies,” Wayne said, as quoted in John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman.
Wayne first worked with the aforementioned Ford on the set of the 1928 movie Mother Machree. His job was to herd geese. Since he had worked at the studio for a while, a lot of people knew who he was. One of these people was director Raoul Walsh, who gave John his first job. At the time, John was still known as Marion Morrison.
Eyman told Yahoo that back then, studios didn’t like ethnic names. Instead, they wanted names that sounded kind of classical.
How John Wayne’s name changed
“Winfield Sheehan, who ran Fox Studios, was a big fan of ‘Mad Anthony’ Wayne, a Revolutionary War general. That’s where the name ‘Wayne’ came from. ‘John’ came up in conversation because it seemed to fit with ‘Wayne’: ‘John Wayne.’ It had a nice symmetry to it.”
From then on, Marion, whose family called him “Duke,” was known as John Wayne. It was also the start of one of the most famous careers in the history of movies.
Wayne made a bunch of great movies after that. First, he was in the classic movie Stagecoach, which came out in 1939. In the 1950s, he had more hits like The Quiet Man, Rio Bravo, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. He was in the movie True Grit in 1969.
Even though John Wayne became famous quickly, John didn’t think of himself as a big star. Instead, he always thought that “Duke Morrison” and “John Wayne” were two different people in the same body.
In 1957, Wayne said, “The guy you see on the screen isn’t really me.”
“My name is Duke Morrison, and I was never and will never be a movie star like John Wayne. I really know him. I’m one of the students he knows best. I’ve got to be. I get my money from him.”
These days, a lot of actors get ready for roles by trying to be the character they will play. A big part of playing someone else is being true to that person, so a good actor will want to know everything about their role.