- Wayne, John
- (1907-1979)Born Marion Robert (later Mitchell) Morrison in Iowa, actor John Wayne grew up in California, and after two years at the University of Southern California in 1927, he began working in film studios as an extra. In 1930, he appeared as John Wayne in The Big Trail. In 1939, he achieved his first major success and began a lifelong working relationship with director John Ford in Stagecoach.Exempted from military service during World War II due to his age, Wayne made a considerable number of films, including Reap the Wild Wind (1942), The Long Voyage Home (1940), and They Were Expendable (1945). It was after the war that his career really developed with Fort Apache (1948), Red River (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), and Rio Grande (1950). He had the starring role in Ford’s The Quiet Man in 1952, again in The Searchers in 1956, and finally in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). Wayne produced some of his own films, including Big Jim McLain (1952) and The Alamo (1960). His conservative political outlook and outspoken patriotism was most obvious in the film he produced, directed, and starred in about Vietnam, The Green Berets (1968).In 1969, Wayne won an Oscar for Best Actor in True Grit, but his later films, with the exception of The Shootist (1976), were not highly regarded. His place in U.S. film history is best summed up in the inscription on the Congressional Medal of Honor awarded to him shortly before his death: “John Wayne, American.”See also Cinema.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.