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people have said about John Wayne
John Wayne" by
We called him
DUKE, and he was every bit the giant off screen he was on.
Everything about him-his stature, his style, his -conveyed enduring
strength, and no one who observed, his struggle in those final days
could doubt that strength was real. Yet there was more. To my wife,
Nancy, "Duke Wayne was the most gentle, tender person I ever
knew." In 1960, as president of the Screen Actors' Guild, I was
deeply embroiled in a bitter labor dispute between the Guild and the
motion picture industry. When we called a strike, the film industry
unleashed a series of stinging personal attacks me-criticism my wife
was difficult to take. At 7:30 one morning the phone rang and Nancy
heard Duke's booming voice: "I've been readin' what these damn
columnists are saying about Ron. He can take care of himself, but
I've been worrying about how all this is affecting you."
Virtually every morning until the strike was settled several weeks
later, he phoned her. When a mass meeting was called to discuss
settlement terms, he left a dinner party so that he could escort
Nancy and sit at her side. It was, she said, like being next to a
force bigger than life. Countless others were also touched by his
strength. Although it would take the critics 40 years to recognize
what he was, the movie going public knew all along.
country and around the world, he was the most popular box-office
star of all time. For an incredible 25 years he was rated at or
around the top in box-office appeal. His films grossed $700
million-a record no performer in Hollywood has come close to
matching. Yet John Wayne was more than an actor; he was a force
around which films were made. As Elizabeth Taylor Warner stated last
May when testifying in favor of the special gold medal Congress
struck for him: "He gave the whole world the image of what an
American should be."
What people have
said about John Wayne
When asked what it was like to
be the son of John Wayne, Patrick replied, "It's just been the
greatest. I couldn't imagine being the child of anybody else. He was
a great dad and a great friend and gave me incredible
"He had an incredible presence
in real life. When he walked on a set there was an aura that people
would click into. He was an incredible guy."
"It's really amazing when you
realize that in a recent Harris poll, he was named most popular
actor. And that's 17 years after his death."
"He's an American institution
and nothing can topple him. He has tremendous guts, he always has.
There's the Rock of Gibralter, the Empire State Building, and Duke
"I can't imagine
there's anyone in the country who doesn't know who he is. Kids will
be talking about him long after the rest of us are gone. John will
make the history books, as Will Rogers did, because he as lived his
life to reflect the ideals of his country."