John Wayne

May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979

Well, I licked the Big C.


John Wayne
John Wayne


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 was Marion, he got his nickname Duke from a dog and knew how to work a pair of espadrilles and handbag.  Rockin’ the mooseknuckle.




Wayne also smoked 5 packs of cigarettes a day which was probably only rivaled by Lucy. He had his left lung removed in 1964 because it had a cancerous tumor the size of a golf ball.


At the end of his life, John lived in Newport Beach, in a gated community.



My buddy Steve Goldstein and I decided on a trek to visit Wayne’s old cancer pad.  We were gruffly refused entry by a  1000 year old security guard who told us, “not a chance.” In fact, those were the only words he used, when he pointed for us to back up and leave. He then stroked his erection and continued with his day. We turned around at this stoplight where Mr. Wayne no doubt did, several times.



When his car would continue forward, I’m sure the butts in his overfilled ashtray came spilling out. His house was roughly around here.




I understand from a good source that the original house is gone now anyway.

January 2006- Hooray! 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 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 into a 9 1/2 hour operation because they found cancer in his stomach.  The doctors removed it.  He was released and attended the Oscars on April 9.  He returned to the hospital on May 2 and 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.  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 5:35 p.m. on Monday, June 11th, 1979.  He was 72 years old.


John Wayne's Death Certificate


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 4:25 a.m. 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.



According to my buddy Gary at, “It’s no surprise that John Wayne would be buried in Orange County, the most Republican district in America. The conservative residents of this community admired the Duke so much that they named their international airport after him. The airport is about four miles away from the cemetery where Wayne is buried.”



If any of you smoke and are easily offended by ex-smokers, you might skip the next part.
I was a smoker for 25 years. I stopped 10 years ago. In retrospect I see how deluded I was. I actually thought that if I brushed my teeth and had a mint, no one would be able to tell I smoked.

I had no idea.

The other day I had two very nice people on my tour.  I mean them no harm.  They stunk.. Thing is, I wasn’t even near them when they were actually smoking, and they sat several seats behind me on the bus. Several hours later, I could still smell it on me.  My point being, it really is unglamorous, unhealthy and gross. Sure, there are a lot of other things that are bad for you too, but this… it really is antisocial, it really is smelly. It also does horrible things to your skin as you get older.



I quit using the Allan Carr method. I paid  a couple of bucks, sat in front of the computer and listened to an online lecture in 4 hours.  I haven’t had one since. I see now that they’ve raised their prices considerably, but I still think it’s worth it.  You can get the book too.  I’m not a reader, so that wouldn’t work for me.

I’m not saying it’ll work for everyone, but it worked for me.  I’ve heard from several people who have used the Carr program to stop since I posted it here. It’s also a lot cheaper than those patches and other methods.  I’m just sayin.

Trivia:  Wanna see John Wayne in wax?



Wayne does the Time Warp.



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 he is immortalized.



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. : )

More: The bit of fuselage

and control tower

are apparently both were props from Howard Hughes’ first epic Jet Pilot.

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.

Thanks, Jeff!



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

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. Lee Marvin 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.



7 thoughts on “John Wayne

  • February 14, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Hmmm…what was John Wayne like?
    I Think he was 25, around 1930. A lot of people who were adults, in the 1930s, were a lot more closed-minded, then we are now, (so I’ve heard).

    I hear a lot of famous actors, complain about him, now.

    It probably goes like this:

    A random actor: ” I can’t STAND that John Wayne!
    He got cranky, + said a lot of dumb “trash”, one day, in the 1970s!”

    Anybody under 40: “Who is John Wayne???”

  • August 11, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    I’m a movie fan. I LOVE The Quiet Man. John Wayne was an A+, bonafide racist and homophobe and asshole…. read on…..

    In discussing the revocation of activist Angela Davis’ teaching credentials, Wayne said, “We can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.”

    Asked about Native Americans playing subordinate roles in his movies, he replied, “I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that’s what you’re asking. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”

    When the interviewer requests an example of movies he finds perverted, Wayne singles out Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight’s characters in “Midnight Cowboy,” which won three Oscars: “Wouldn’t you say that the wonderful love of those two men in ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ a story about two f*gs, qualifies? But don’t get me wrong. As far as a man and a woman is concerned, I’m awfully happy there’s a thing called sex.”

    On the matter of education in the African American community, he said, “Some blacks have tried to force the issue and enter college when they haven’t passed the tests and don’t have the requisite background. … I don’t know why people insist that blacks have been forbidden their right to go to school. They were allowed in public schools wherever I’ve been.”

    Again on education, he said, “I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves. Now, I’m not condoning slavery. It’s just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and has to wear braces so he can’t play football with the rest of us. I will say this, though: I think any black who can compete with a white today can get a better break than a white man.”

    On casting Black actors, Wayne opined, “If it’s supposed to be a black character, naturally I use a black actor, but I don’t go so far as hunting for positions for them. I think the Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far. There’s no doubt that 10 percent of the population is black, or colored, or whatever they want to call themselves; they certainly aren’t Caucasian. Anyway, I suppose there should be the same percentage of the colored race in films as in society, but it can’t always be that way.”

    • May 6, 2022 at 7:27 am

      I find the quote “ Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves” quite interesting. I suppose if someone were hungry the The Duke wouldn’t mind someone taking his sandwich? Or I’m sure he donated great sums of money to the homeless cause? Oh wait, he didn’t do any of that shit. He was a mouthy, egotistic asshole who took the “patriot” role a little too far. Good riddance.

  • September 17, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    may you rest in peace john wayne aka the duke i like stagecoach shootlist and the i love lucy one you where

  • September 11, 2020 at 7:45 am

    Trivia: Regarding the famous photo shown. Amazed, but not really surprised, people don’t reconigize a ’60s (guessing movie) camera bag when they see one! Men didn’t carry purses then; and even if they had, macho, conservative Wayne would? Unthinkable!

    Read he used to order station wagons and have the roofs raised. Being 6’4″ can kind of understand this, but think a bit excessive. Also read even being that tall he wore shoe lifts to make himself appear taller & slimmer; aside from his toupee & truss –

    Wayne was a complicated guy. Know he went USC, but seem to recall he lost an athletic scholarship due to injury & had to drop out of school. He did wear a USC class ring all his life so maybe he did graduate.

    Won’t go into his politics, too well known, but some little know personal facts might be of interest… All three of his wives were of Hispanic heritage. First wife was the patrician daughter of a diplomat. Second or third wife (can’t remember which) was a prostitute he met at her work…

    By more than a few accounts Wayne explored all of his sexual options. Reportedly John Ford & him used to review screen tests of “prospects” which showed them shirtless, bending over, lifting heavy objects, etc. Wayne would then arrange an after hours audition at deserted studios. When the guy showed up Wayne would be dressed in a cowboy hat, gun holster and… nothing else! Apparently he was mighty successful with this ploy. Also read he once got caught at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in the valley by a maid that opened one of the motel room doors unexpectedly. Another was Marlene Dietrich had a fling with him and afterwards stated “That’s not a man.” Ouch! Kinda harsh, don’t ya think? Never met the man & haven’t a clue if any of it’s true –

    • March 20, 2022 at 11:56 pm

      Him and ol Ted Nugent would be best pals …both loved the military and idea of war ..just so long as it wasn’t them

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