"Well, I licked the Big C."
John Wayne was an American, DAMMIT! RAHHHH! If you questioned that, he would probably hit you, because he was A MAN, DAMMIT! RAHHHH!!!! His real name, however, was Marion, got his nickname Duke from a dog, and knew how to work a pair of espadrilles and a handbag. Hot.
January 2006- Hooray! Findadeath.com HERO E.J. Fleming comes through again with a great shot he took of Wayne's house from the water. Thanks E.J.! E.J.'s book below is absolutely mind bogglingly cool. A bible of celebrity addresses.
On January 12 of 1979, he went into the hospital for gall bladder surgery, and it turned in to a 9 1/2 hour operation because they found cancer in his stomach, and doctors removed it. He was released, attended the Oscars on April 9 and returned to the hospital on May 2, where cancer was found in his intestines. According to one report, Wayne was in total agony at the end, and often refused pain killers because he wanted to be with his children and his grandchildren. He was taken to the 9th floor of the UCLA Medical Center where Jimmy Carter paid him a bedside visit, and the Queen sent him a get well card. According to his daughter, John Wayne had converted to Catholicism while on his death bed. He went into a coma on Sunday the 10th, and he died at 5:35pm on Monday, June 11th, 1979. He was 72 years old.
When his death was announced several hours later, Bob Hope commented, "We've lost a big one, a jumbo in this business." His family announced there would be a "private, religious, low-key service." Wayne's body was taken to the O'Connor Laguna Hills Mortuary and placed in a $20,000 bronze casket. At 4:25am on the 15th, his body was taken out these doors, loaded in the hearse, and taken to the Our Lady Queen of the Angels Catholic Church where a funeral mass was officiated by the Archbishop of Panama. After the mass, 20 cars proceeded to the cemetery, where he was buried in an unmarked grave, for over 20 years. However, now it is.
Trivia: Wanna see John Wayne in wax?
In September of 2004, the US Postal Service unveiled a stamp commemorating John Wayne, and had a manly ceremony in the forecourt of the Grauman�s Chinese Theater, where his footprints are located. The concrete for his footprints was made from sand brought in from Iwo Jima. This made it very patriotic. Wayne didn�t put his normal handprints in the concrete - he punched it. My theory is that he was self-conscious that possibly his hands were small, and felt the need to butch it up. You should see the look of horror I get when I tell tourists that he wore fishnets and a boa to the ceremony. At the stamp unveiling, they blew up a picture of Wayne's footprints for the event. What a lot of people don't know, is that the actual prints were back here. I just found that funny. It's ALL about the show.
There is a theory that Wayne contracted cancer
while filming The
Conqueror. My friend Mark is from that area, and provided me with my own
memento of the film shoot. Thanks
Mark! I'm sure some of you are wishing I would snort it right about now. :
PS: No truth to the rumor that Wayne had 40 pounds of fecal matter in his intestines.
There is a John Wayne Cancer
Institute in Santa Monica, California
Thanks to Steve, Warren, Harry and Kim
UPDATE February 2006, from Findadeath friend Jeff:
Hi Scott, I'm Jeff from Australia. Luv your site I tune in every now and then to check out updates, etc. just Reading up on the duke, when he was putting his 'Ray Milands' in concrete you said, "Wayne didn't put his handprints in the concrete, he actually punched it, my theory is that he was self conscious that possibly his hands were small, and felt the need to butch it up."
Well, a few years back I saw an interview (on TV), with director Peter Bogdanovich and he made the comment that on first meeting JW and shaking hands with him, "He had the biggest hands I'd ever seen & my own hand which is not small either completely disappeared inside his. " So I dunno. I look at his hands in his movies, but bit hard to tell.
Anyhow, cheers from Down Under, 2006.
UPDATE April 2007, from Findadeath friend John: As to John Wayne, for all his machismo, it is ironic that he never served a day in the military. Wayne obtained 3-A status, "deferred for [family] dependency reasons,� which was later changed to 2-A classification, "deferred in support of [the] national . . . interest." The Selective Service revoked many previous deferments and reclassified Wayne 1-A but Wayne 's studio appealed and got his 2-A status reinstated until after the war ended. (you may check the details at http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a5_004.html).
During the filming of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Wayne �s draft dodging became the brunt of jokes between Lee Marvin and Woody Strode, two ex-marines who served in WWII who also starred in the movie. Wayne took offense and attempted to pick a fight with Strode. intervened, saving Wayne considerable embarrassment, since Strode, a star athlete at UCLA who went on to play pro football and to wrestle professionally, would no doubt have put the dukes to the Duke.