John Wayne Hollywood Icon
John Wayne, born Marion Robert Morrison on 5.26.1907, was an American actor, producer as well as director. He is a timeless American icon, an Academy Award winner and the biggest box office draw in history. known for his walk, voice, height and demeanor, he was the very appearance of maleness.
Born in Winterset, Iowa, began working at film studios in Los Angeles, California once he lost a football scholarship due to a bodysurfing accident. He began with bit roles in the Fox Film Company. His first role which brought him immediate recognition was the movie Stagecoach in 1939. He starred in 142 movies, most of them Westerns.
Some of his most well known movies are The Quiet Man, The Searchers, Rio Bravo, True Grit and The Shootist. Wayne was the epitome of American ideals and principles. He didn't ever play a person that shot a man in the back. When the script required it, he had it rewritten.
Wayne's popularity was significant enough that when Japanese Emperor Hirohito visited the USA in 1975, he purposely asked to be introduced to Wayne, who in the film Sands of Iwo Jima depicted Japans adversary.
Wayne visited the war areas during WW2. He was such a legend to the American Armed Forces that loads of combat veterans declared their motivation in serving the military was inspired by his films.
Wayne was public about being a conservative Republican throughout his life. Wayne supported the House of American Activities Committee as an anti-communist. To communicate his help against communism, he made the movie Big Jim McLain in 1952. Soviet records which were declassified illustrate that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered the assassination of John Wayne because of his anti-communist support.
Wayne died in 1979 of stomach cancer.
On June 9, 1980, Wayne was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter.