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REAL MEN: John Wayne

As an ongoing feature at the Cowboy Movies fansite we are going to reintroduce the world to some REAL MEN who are so prevalent in westerns. No girly men here. First up, the man who represents the whole genre, John Wayne.
One thing we need to worry about in the world today is the feminization of men in today’s culture: Boys don’t get to be boys anymore. REAL MEN like John Wayne provide the type of example that boys of today need.

John Wayne, despite being dead, is still considered a favorite actor of Americans. What makes him so iconic and timeless? In a word, MANLINESS.

Think about the way he acts in his movies: strong, patriotic, moral, tough. Despite overwhelming odds, he does not quit. He does what is right and necessary, no matter what. Such an attitude was summed by his character in The Shootist: “I won’t be wronged; I won’t be insulted and I won’t be laid a hand on; I don’t do these things to other people and I require the same from them.” A simple moral code, to be sure; nothing complicated or metaphysical about it. Yet it rings with so much truth, with so much honor.

John Wayne provides a great example of how a man should act: loyal to his country and to his woman; father to his children; a good friend, but a horrible enemy; moral and straightforward, with a strong sense of justice; and above all, he perseveres through it all.

John Wayne: his character is a great example of what we need more of.


Born May 26, 1907. Winterset, Iowa.
Died June 11, 1979. Los Angeles, California.


Josephine Saenz. 1933. Divorced 1945.
Esperanza Bauer. 1946. Divorced 1954.
Pilar Palette. 1954.


Michael Wayne. Born November 23, 1934.
Toni Wayne. Born 1936.
Patrick Wayne. Born July 15, 1939.
Melinda Wayne. Born 1940.
Aissa Wayne. Born 1956.
John Ethan Wayne. Born 1962.
Marisa Wayne. Born 1966.


Born Marion Michael Morrison, John Wayne moved with his family to California when he was young. Wayne spent his youth ranching near the Mojave Desert, and often rode a horse to school. He took the nickname "The Duke" from the family's pet Airedale. When he was not accepted into the US Naval Academy, he attended the University of Southern California on a football scholarship.

Morrison got his first job in movies as a prop man in exchange for football tickets. He was cast in his first leading role in 1929 in the movie The Big Trail. After nearly ten years of appearing in small western and action films, during which time he took the name John Wayne, he gained prominance almost overnight when John Ford cast him in the lead role of Stagecoach.

Soon Wayne was in demand for lead roles, and he continuously appeared in movies until the mid-1970's, usually appearing as a tough, idealistic cowboy or military man. Among some of his more memorable films are Fort Apache (1948), Rio Grande (1950), Rio Bravo (1959), The Alamo (1960), The Green Beret (1968), Rio Lobo (1970). He won an Acadamy Award in 1969 for best actor for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.

In reality, Wayne's tough guy image was just that, an image. He insisted that it was mostly a gimmick that he decided early in his career he needed to overcome a lack of acting training.

After his death in 1979, a Congressional medal was created in Wayne's honor.
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