John Wayne – America’s Greatest Actor?

John Wayne Fest

John Wayne Fest

John Wayne - America's Greatest Actor?

John Wayne may be the best known of all of the American actors. For many, he typifies the concept of being an American. His bold swagger and take charge ways are valued held highly by many American. This is also the same values that cause many non-Americans to have contempt and hatred for our country.

John Wayne had 181 acting credits spanning 50 years from 1926 to 1976. In those early years of Wayne’s career, he met a real western lawman who had come to Hollywood to try and sell his story. That man, from whom John Wayne learned to act like a cowboy was none other than Wyatt Earp.

Wyatt Earp is such an icon of the western movie genre that a review of IMDB shows no less than 56 movies portrayed that characters spanning from the 1930’s all the way through the ought teens including the masterful Tombstone (1993). To sum up, John Wayne could not pick a better cowboy to learn from.

Career

Wayne went to USC on a football scholarship and began working in Hollywood. During The Big Trail (1930), wagon train western Raoul Walsh met a handsome prop boy by the name of Marion Morrison and renamed him John Wayne after Revolutionary War general Mad Anthony Wayne. The name came because Walsh was reading a book about Mad Anthony Wayne at the time. I guess we can all be glad he wasn’t reading about the Swamp Fox – Francis Marion.

About 84 of Wayne’s movies were westerns of some type. These movies ranged from playing a singing cowboy in Riders of Destiny (1933 ) to his final film where he played an aging gunfighter with cancer in The Shootist (1976). In-between he played every kind of cowboy from the driver in The Searchers (1956), to mad in Red River (1948), and comedic in McLintock! (1963).

I believe it would be safe to say he made movies about being in every branch of the service (maybe not Coast Guard). In movies, he flew planes of every size and description and drove every type of boat and ship.

Wayne was a lifelong Republican and a war hawk even supporting the Vietnam War. However, during World War II he made the choice, not the enter service because it might affect his career. Wayne died in 1979, from cancer. That same year a Congressional Gold Medal was struck in his honor.

A controversial figure in life but a hell of an actor. Through his acting, he set the bar for manliness.

Films

1976 The Shootist – J.B. Books

1975 Rooster Cogburn – Rooster Cogburn

1975 Brannigan – Lt. Brannigan

1974 McQ – McQ

1973 Cahill U.S. Marshal – J. D. Cahill

1973 The Train Robbers – Lane

The Cowboys (1972)- Wil Andersen

Big Jake (1971) – Jacob McCandles (Big Jake)

1970 Rio Lobo – Col. Cord McNally

Chisum (1970)- John Chisum

The Undefeated (1969) – Colonel John Henry Thomas

1969 True Grit – Rooster Cogburn

1968 Hellfighters – Chance Buckman

The Green Berets (1968) – Col. Mike Kirby

1967 The War Wagon – Taw Jackson

1966 El Dorado – Cole Thornton

1966 Cast a Giant Shadow – Gen. Mike Randolph

1965 The Sons of Katie Elder – John Elder

In Harm’s Way (1965) – Captain Rockwell ‘Rock’ Torrey

1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told – Centurion at crucifixion

1964 Circus World – Matt Masters

McLintock! (1963) – George Washington ‘G.W.’ McLintock

1963 Donovan’s Reef – Michael Patrick ‘Guns’ Donovan

1962 How the West Was Won – Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

1962 The Longest Day – Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort

1962 Hatari! – Sean Mercer

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) – Tom Doniphon

1961 The Comancheros – Capt. Jake Cutter

1960 North to Alaska – Sam McCord

The Alamo (1960) – Col. Davy Crockett

1959 The Horse Soldiers – Col. John Marlowe

1959 Rio Bravo – Sheriff John T. Chance

1958 The Barbarian and the Geisha – Townsend Harris

1957 Legend of the Lost – Joe January

1957 Jet Pilot – Col. Jim Shannon

1957 The Wings of Eagles – Frank W. ‘Spig’ Wead

1956 The Searchers – Ethan Edwards

1956 The Conqueror – Temujin, later Genghis Khan

1955 Blood Alley – Capt. Tom Wilder

1955 The Sea Chase – Captain Karl Ehrlich

1954 The High and the Mighty – Dan Roman

1953 Hondo – Hondo Lane

1953 Island in the Sky – Capt. Dooley

1953 Trouble Along the Way – Steve Aloysius Williams

Big Jim McLain (1952) – Jim McLain

1952 The Quiet Man – Sean Thornton

1951 Flying Leathernecks – Maj. Daniel Xavier Kirby

1951 Operation Pacific – Lt Cmdr. Duke E. Gifford

1950 Rio Grande – Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke

1949 Sands of Iwo Jima – Sgt. John M. Stryker

1949 She Wore a Yellow Ribbon – Capt. Nathan Cutting Brittles

1949 The Fighting Kentuckian – John Breen

1948 Wake of the Red Witch – Capt. Ralls

1948 3 Godfathers – Robert Marmaduke Sangster Hightower

1948 Red River – Thomas Dunson

1948 Fort Apache – Capt. Kirby York

1947 Angel and the Badman – Quirt Evans

1946 Without Reservations – Rusty

1945 They Were Expendable – Lt. (J.G.) ‘Rusty’ Ryan

1945 Dakota – John Devlin

1945 Back to Bataan – Col. Joseph Madden

1945 Flame of Barbary Coast – Duke Fergus

1944 Tall in the Saddle – Rocklin

1944 The Fighting Seabees – Lt. Cmdr. Wedge Donovan

1943 In Old Oklahoma – Daniel F. Somers

1943 A Lady Takes a Chance – Duke Hudkins

1942 Reunion in France – Pat Talbot

1942 Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh Markham

1942 Flying Tigers – Capt. Jim Gordon

1942 In Old California – Tom Craig

1942 The Spoilers – Roy Glennister

1942 Reap the Wild Wind – Captain Jack Stuart

1942 Lady for a Night – Jackson Morgan

1941 The Shepherd of the Hills – Young Matt Matthews

1941 Lady from Louisiana – John Reynolds

1941 A Man Betrayed – Lynn Hollister

1940 Seven Sinners – Dan

1940 The Long Voyage Home – Olsen

1940 Three Faces West – John Phillips

1940 Dark Command – Bob Seton

1939 Allegheny Uprising – Jim Smith

1939 New Frontier – Stony Brooke

1939 Wyoming Outlaw – Stony Brooke

1939 Three Texas Steers – Stony Brooke

1939 The Night Riders – Stony Brooke

Stagecoach (1939) – Ringo Kid

1938 Red River Range – Stony Brooke

1938 Santa Fe Stampede – Stony Brooke

1938 Overland Stage Raiders – Stony Brooke

1938 Pals of the Saddle – Stony Brooke

1937 Born to the West – Dare Rudd

1937 Adventure’s End – Duke Slade

1937 Idol of the Crowds – Johnny Hanson

1937 I Cover the War! – Bob Adams

1937 California Straight Ahead! – Biff Smith

1936 Conflict – Pat Glendon

1936 Sea Spoilers – Bob Randall

1936 Winds of the Wasteland – John Blair

1936 The Lonely Trail – Captain John Ashley

1936 King of the Pecos – John Clayborn

1936 The Lawless Nineties – John Tipton

1936 The Oregon Trail – Capt John Delmont

1935 Lawless Range – John Middleton

1935 The New Frontier – John

1935 Westward Ho – John Wyatt

1935 Paradise Canyon – John Wyatt / John Rogers

1935 The Dawn Rider – John Mason

1935 The Desert Trail – John Scott / John Jones

1935 Rainbow Valley – John Martin

1935 Texas Terror – John Higgins

1934 ‘Neath the Arizona Skies – Chris Morrell

1934 The Lawless Frontier – John Tobin

1934 The Trail Beyond – Rod Drew

1934 The Star Packer – John Travers

1934 Randy Rides Alone – Randy Bowers

1934 The Man from Utah – John Weston

1934 Blue Steel – John Carruthers

1934 West of the Divide – Ted Hayden posing as Gat Ganns

1934 The Lucky Texan – Jerry Mason

1933 Sagebrush Trail – John Brant aka Smith

1933 College Coach – Student Greeting Phil (uncredited)

1933 Riders of Destiny – Singin’ Sandy Saunders

1933 The Man from Monterey – Captain John Holmes

1933 Baby Face – Jimmy McCoy Jr.

1933 His Private Secretary – Dick Wallace

1933 The Life of Jimmy Dolan – Smith

1933 Somewhere in Sonora – John Bishop

1933 Central Airport – Co-Pilot in Wreck (uncredited)

1933 The Three Musketeers – Lt. Tom Wayne

1933 The Telegraph Trail – John Trent

1932 Haunted Gold – John Mason

1932 The Big Stampede – John Steele

1932 That’s My Boy – Football Player (uncredited)

1932 Ride Him, Cowboy – John Drury

1932 The Hurricane Express – Larry Baker

1932 Lady and Gent – Buzz Kinney

1932 Two-Fisted Law – Duke

1932 Texas Cyclone – Steve Pickett

1932 The Shadow of the Eagle – Craig McCoy

1931 Maker of Men – Dusty Rhodes

1931 The Range Feud – Clint Turner

1931 The Deceiver – Richard Thorpe as a corpse

1931 Arizona – Lt. Bob Denton

1931 Three Girls Lost – Gordon Wales

1931 Girls Demand Excitement – Peter Brooks

1930 The Big Trail – Breck Coleman

1929 The Forward Pass – Extra (uncredited)

1929 Salute – Midshipman Bill (uncredited)

1929 Words and Music – Pete Donahue (as Duke Morrison)

1929 The Black Watch – 42nd Highlander (uncredited)

1929 Speakeasy – Extra (uncredited)

1928 Noah’s Ark – Flood Extra (uncredited)

1928 Hangman’s House – Horse Race Spectator / Condemned Man in Flashback (uncredited)

1928 Four Sons – Officer (uncredited)

1928 Mother Machree – Extra (uncredited)

1927 The Drop Kick – Football Player / Extra in Stands (uncredited)

1927 Annie Laurie – Extra (uncredited)

1926 The Great K & A Train Robbery – Extra (uncredited)

1926 Bardelys the Magnificent – Guard (uncredited)

1926 Brown of Harvard – Yale Football Player (uncredited)

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JEC

I am s a professional archaeologist, a bonsai guy, a classic movie reviewer, and SQL pro.

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