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John Wayne (1907 – 1979)

Born: Marion Mitchell Morrison
May 26, 1907

john-wayneAppearing in over 140 movies with his distinctive calm, yet rugged demeanor, John Wayne became an iconic American actor known best for his work in Hollywood Westerns. Though typecast from his earliest big success in Stagecoach (1939), Wayne had success in a variety of other roles, including a boxer in The Quiet Man (1952). Seven of his films, including Stagecoach and The Quiet Man appear on the 1001 list, including: Red River (1948), Rio Grande (1950), The Searchers (1956), Rio Bravo (1959), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). Nominated for an Academy Award twice for best actor, Wayne won for his starring role in True Grit (1969). Satarized for his “outstanding machismo and penchant for punching people” by his “Brass Balls Award” by The Harvard Lampoon, Wayne’s staunchly conservative and pro-American views of the world made him one of the most beloved and disdained actors of all time (Klaus Ming November 2013).

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3 comments on “John Wayne (1907 – 1979)

  1. Anthony Lee Collins
    11/15/2013

    Growing up, I disliked Wayne as a matter of principle, both because of his politics and because my early movie education didn’t include any Westerns (my father didn’t like them). Much much later (fairly recenrly, in fact), I went back and saw a lot of the classic Ford and Hawks Westerns, many of them with Wayne, who I grew to appreciate.

    I’m not that crazy about Rio Grande (the least of the Cavalry Trilogy, I would say), but the other Westerns you cite are all great (well, Red River has some problems, but Wayne is great in it).

    • Klaus
      11/16/2013

      I’m still not fussy on a lot of Wayne’s movies, other than his work with Ford. I do have a much better appreciation for Wayne the actor and certainly the importance of his work in film and as a cultural icon since starting the 1001 project.

      As for my favourite Wayne film – it’s a toss-up between Stagecoach and Liberty Valance.

      • Anthony Lee Collins
        11/19/2013

        I’d put The Searchers above Liberty Valance, just because I’m a sucker for the on -location Ford. Also, I’d say it’s Wayne’s best performance (of the ones I’ve seen, of course). Stagecoach and Liberty Valance could have possibly worked with another actor, but not The Searchers (though I did fantasize once about what a remake with Uma Thurman would have been like 🙂 ).

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This entry was posted on 11/15/2013 by in AFI100.
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