On this day, in 1907, 115 years ago, John Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa. Nicknamed “The Duke,” Marion Robert Morrison became an instant star after his role in John Ford’s 1939 film, “Stagecoach.”

He went on to play the hero in 142 pictures, and won the Oscar for Best Actor for “True Grit.” in 1969.  His voice, swagger, and charisma in action films and westerns made him a major box office draw for thirty years.

In his final screen performance, in “The Shootist,” he played an aging gunfighter battling cancer — three years before his own death in 1979 from stomach cancer at age 72.

Two of my many favorites…

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