Born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa, in 1907, Wayne and his family moved to California when he was still a child. Rejected by the Naval Academy and eager to make his mark, Wayne eventually enrolled at USC where he played football.
Wayne soon landed a gig as a prop boy on Hollywood sets, where he impressed director John Ford. With his imposing frame (he stood six feet four), good looks, and lantern jaw, Wayne quickly established himself as a budding star. And box office gold.
The Duke would eventually star in more than 140 motion pictures in his Hollywood career, and he remains one of the most enduring icons of American ruggedness, individualism, and masculinity.
Wayne died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979, in Los Angeles Calif.
A look back on ten of his greatest quotes.
- "Young fella, if you're looking for trouble, I'll accommodate ya." - As Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 film True Grit, directed by Henry Hathaway
- "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." - As J.B Books in the 1976 film The Shootist , directed by Don Siegel
- "I wouldn't make it a habit of calling me that son." - As Wil Anderson in 1972 film The Cowboys, 1972, directed by Mark Rydell
- "Well, there are some things a man just can't run away from." – As the Ringo Kid in the 1939 film Stagecoach, directed by John Ford
- "Out here a man settles his own problems." – As Tom Doniphon in the 1962 film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, directed by John Ford
- "Sorry don't get it done, Dude." – As Sheriff John T. Chance is the 1959 film Rio Bravo, directed by John Ford
- "I've made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back. Change it." - Statement made by John Wayne while shooting the 1976 film The Shootist, directed by Don Siegel
- "Now you understand. Anything goes wrong, anything at all...your fault, my fault, nobody's fault...it don't matter...I'm gonna blow your head off. It's as simple as that." - As Jacob McCandles in the 1971 film Big Jake, directed by George Sherman
- "If I had known that I would have put that patch on 35 years earlier." Statement made by John Wayne while accepting the Oscar for his leading role in the 1969 film True Grit, directed by Henry Hathaway
- "All battles are fought by scared men who'd rather be some place else."- As Capt. Rock Well Torrey in the 1965 film In Harm's Way, directed by Otto Preminger
AND JUST FOR FUN
"Out here, due process is a bullet!"- As Col. Mike Kirby in the 1968 film The Green Berets, 1968, directed by Ray Kellogg
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