John Wayne: Biography
John Wayne, an American Legend has brought up many hours of entertainment with 198 movies. He was also politically involved in conservation issues.
Marion Michael Morrison came into this world on May 26, 1907 in a small town in Iowa. When he was five years old, he moved with both of his parents and brother to California where he grew up and went to school. It was during his childhood years that he acquired the nickname Little Duke because he was always seen in the presence of a large dog with the name of Duke.
After high school, the Duke attended The University of Southern California on a football scholarship after his goal to obtain an appointment to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland was squelched.
Mr. Wayne’s first paycheck brought him $35 a week where he worked changing props on movie sets in addition to being a stuntman. The first movie he worked in was "Mother Machree" in 1928 where he was an unbilled extra. His next film, "Hangman’s House" also in 1928, was where he received his first billing and his new name of John Wayne. His last acting role was in 1976 in "The Shootist" where he played a dying gunfighter while battling with cancer himself. During his lifetime John Wayne was in 198 films and only 31 of which were Westerns. During this time he evolved into an American Legend.
During World War II John Wayne was honored by having his handprints immortalized in cement outside the Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, California which was the height of his popularity as an actor. Mr. Wayne was also politically involved in conservation issues, which did not seem to harm his acting career. John Wayne left this life on June 12, 1979 from cancer with his legend still alive today.
Other than the Mann’s Chinese Theatre, John Wayne has been immortalized at The Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Movieland Wax Museum, The Warner Brothers Museum, The Hollywood Wax Museum, The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Wax Museum, and two Planet Hollywood locations - South Coast Plaza and Beverly Hills. There are two statues, one on Wilshire Boulevard and one at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California that also boast John Wayne’s immortality.