John Wayne was born Marion Michael Morrison on May 26 th 1907 in Iowa. The family moved to California when John was young, where he spent some time ranching and adopted the nickname ‘The Duke’ from the family pet dog. John tried to join the US Naval Academy, but after being refused he opted for the University of Southern California on a football scholarship. This is how he got his first job in the movies, by trading football tickets for a job in the movies – as a prop man.
In 1929 John was offered a role in the movie ‘The Big Trail’, and for the next decade continued to star and act in a variety of westerns and high action movies (it was around this time that he changed his name to John Wayne). His biggest break came when he was identified for the starring role in one of his now classic movies, ‘Stagecoach’. Following this movie, Wayne became an overnight sensation, with offers of work rolling in from all directions.For the next few decades, John Wayne continued to impress and wow the crowds with his acting in movies such as: ‘Fort Apache’, ‘Rio Grande’ and ‘The Alamo’. He also starred in the movie ‘True Grit’ for which he picked up an Academy Award. He captivated people all around the world with his tough image and fine acting, and throughout his acting career proved that he was a diverse and popular entertainer. John Wayne died in 1979 from stomach and lung cancer.
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