Ethan Wayne Discusses the ‘Future of John Wayne’ with His Niece Jennifer

by Allison Hambrick
View of American actor John Wayne (1907 - 1979) with two of his children, son John Ethan and daughter Aissa Wayne, as they are photographed in an unspecified restaurant, 1967. Wayne is in costume (as Cole Thornton) for his role in 'El Dorado' (directed by Howard Hawks). (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

John Wayne’s son, Ethan, opened up about the Duke’s legacy and future on a podcast alongside his niece, Jennifer.

“‘He’s our hero and I think that’s never going to go away,'” post promoting the podcast read. “Today on the John Wayne Gritcast, Ethan sits down with his niece, Jennifer Wayne. Jennifer is a tennis player, song writer, Amazing Race contestant, and a member of the band, Runaway June. In this clip, Ethan and Jennifer talk about the future of John Wayne. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, listen and watch on Spotify, and watch on YouTube!”

Though Wayne died in 1979, he remains an icon, not only as the premier western star but also as an Academy Award winner. Over 40 years later, his fan base is active and loyal. The comments on the post are proof enough.

“He will always remain a legend in my view and was a significant part of film and American history,” the top comment read. “Every time I watch his movies, especially during these trying times, I automatically feel better. His presence somehow makes me feel as if everything is going to be alright. I just wish I had his strength. I miss him and so many of his Era. He will never be forgotten.”

John Wayne Fans Remember His Legacy

Even more fans discussed the future of Wayne’s legacy in the comments. Many shared the belief that the best way to carry on his legacy is to share his films with loved ones.

“I’m now in my 60s; watched John Wayne constantly as a child, teen, adult, and parent; shared him with everyone who was important to me,” a fan wrote. “He is my hero, and his high moral fabric and strength of character taught me lessons on how to live my life. I shared that with my children. Amazingly – He was a member of my family; when he died I mourned, and to this day I miss him; and whenever my thoughts turn to him or I see one of his awesome movies, great memories flood back of the star and the hero, but mostly of a great man I spent my life loving and respecting.”

Another fan went so far as to share that they watch a Wayne film every day. Their comment said: “I try to watch a John Wayne movie every morning. He instills goodness and the need/want to do the right thing. As far as the “future” of John Wayne, that’s hard to say. I have a huge family in Montana and the younger generations know very little of him and have a different perspective of cowboy life and western living all together. The integrity is missing. Maybe if more parents and grandparents introduced them to these iconic and powerful films it might spark something in the hearts of a different generation.”