Today, a tribute portrait of John Wayne has been added to my shop. He was such a character actor. Always having a drawl and a strange sort of walk.
John Wayne, whose birth name was actually Marion Morrison, went to USC in the 1920s. He was a surfer in his free time and a bad surfing accident made him lose his football scholarship. A friend got him a job as a prop man at Fox Studios and by 1930 he was starring in movies. In total, John Wayne starred in 162 movies. That is a lot of work.
His nickname, ‘the Duke’, was actually the name of the family Airdale Terrier. He liked it and took it for himself.
Anyone who knew John Wayne personally knew he was a great chess player. He often brought a miniature board with him so he could play between scenes on set.
Smoking five packs a day for many years (eck), John Wayne developed lung cancer in the early 1960s. He had an operation that removed a rib and half of one lung, which enabled him to live another 15 years until his passing in 1979.
And finally, John was a man who liked his drink. By the early 1970s, when John would leave for several months to shoot one of his movies he made sure that his son packed a case or two of Wild Turkey Bourbon and Sauza Conmemorativo Tequila to ensure he had a steady supply on set.
So there you have it. Because of these fun facts and that I like some of his movies, I painted John’s portrait in a sea of grass. May he still be a straight-shooting, tough guy who doesn’t take crap from anybody in heaven.