To me there is no other actor that embodies the spirit of America better than John Wayne. He is one of the golden age of Hollywood actors and was larger than life. An enduring American icon, he epitomized rugged masculinity and is famous for his demeanor, including his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height. In June 1999, the American Film Institute named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Screen Legends of All Time. Wayne made soo many movies and played soo many different roles in his films but to me he will always be the quintessential cowboy. As far as I am concerned his best movies are “Rio Bravo“, “The Searchers“, and I liked him in “The Man That Shot Liberty Valence“.
Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa but his family relocated to the greater Los Angeles area when he was four years old. He found work at local film studios when he lost his football scholarship to USC as a result of a bodysurfing accident.
Initially working for the Fox Film Corporation, he mostly appeared in small bit parts. His acting breakthrough came in 1939 with John Ford‘s Stagecoach, making him an instant star. Wayne would go on to star in 142 pictures, primarily typecast in Western films.
Among his best known films are The Quiet Man (1952), which follows him as an Irish-American boxer and his love affair with a fiery spinster played by Maureen O’Hara; The Searchers (1956), in which he plays a Civil War veteran who seeks out his abducted niece; Rio Bravo (1959), playing a Sheriff with Dean Martin; True Grit (1969), playing a humorous U.S. Marshal who sets out to avenge a man’s death in the role that won Wayne an Academy Award; and The Shootist (1976), his final screen performance in which he plays an aging gunslinger battling cancer.
John Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar for True Grit (1969). Wayne was also nominated as the producer of Best Picture for The Alamo (1960), one of two films he directed. The other was The Green Berets (1968), the only major film made during the Vietnam War to support the war.During the filming of Green Berets, the Degar or Montagnard people of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, fierce fighters against communism, bestowed on Wayne a brass bracelet that he wore in the film and all subsequent films. His last film was The Shootist (1976), whose main character, J. B. Books, was dying of cancer — the illness to which Wayne himself succumbed three years later.
Wayne moved to Orange County, California in the 1960s, and was a prominent Republican in Hollywood, supporting anti-communist positions.He died of stomach cancer in 1979.