You remember John Wayne right? It’s okay we won’t tell anyone you’re old enough to remember. He is fondly remembered for his terrific cowboy pictures and his many wild west movies.
Did you know that some of his movies were based on fact? Although most of his movies were fiction there were some that were not. John Wayne’s role as an actor has been wide and varied. He has played a wide scope of characters ranging from cowboys to solders.
Born on May 26 1907 in Winterset Iowa as Marion Robert Morrison his nickname was Duke. In fact he actually produced some movies under his nickname.
Duke was a handsome feller, with his six feet four inches tall frame, brown hair and blue eyes. Many a gal couldn’t resist! Duke played football at University of Southern California and eventually he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity.
There is much discussion between movie buffs about which movie should be credited as John Wayne’s first. At the end of the day, most agree Words and Music shot in 1929 should be classified as his first movie, even though he acted under the name Duke Morrison.
He stared in many wild west cowboy movies. His screen career was longer than most, and even today his movies are still very popular.
Some of his classic cowboy movies were Lawless Range where he aids settlers who are harassed by desperadoes. Wayne is captured and must plan his escape before it is too late. This great oldy but goldy was directed by Robert Bradbury in 1935 and was shown in black and white.
Another of John Wayne’s classics was The Range Feud directed by Ross Lederman and produced in 1931. This is a westernized Romeo And Juliet gem. Two Arizona families feud over land while he threatens to distinguish the flame between himself and co-actress Susan Fleming
The Lucky Texan starring John Wayne with George Gabby Hayes was produced in 1934 and directed by Robert Bradbury. This unlikely pairing of Wayne and Gabby produced a miner hard luck story. The pair strikes gold in their mine, but their luck turns for the worst when some low down claim jumpers frame Gabby for murder in order to get the claim
In Two Fisted Law, he stars as a rancher on the brink of losing his ranch. To make matters worse he is on the brink of also losing his girlfriend and his freedom when he becomes the prime suspect of the Wells Fargo Express Office robbery.
His role as Ringo Kid in the 1939 movie Stagecoach directed by John Ford, was the movie that made him a star. This was Duke’s ticket to stardom. The 1976 movie Shootest was the last movie Duke made.
Whether cowboy or movie buff, anyone who has watched John Wayne, also called the Duke, you have to admit that John Wayne in his wild west cowboy movies is one of the greatest cowboys ever to hit the screen!