John Wayne Estate Remembers His Lasting Friendship With John Ford & Costar Ward Bond With Throwback Pic

by Quentin Blount

The legend of John Wayne perhaps wouldn’t be what it is today without the help of two of his close friends — John Ford and Ward Bond.

If you are a fan of classic television, then there is a good chance that you have seen John Wayne on your TV screen. As a matter of fact, Wayne — also referred to as “The Duke” — is regarded as one of the most iconic actors of all time. He particularly shined when it came to Western and war movies. It’s said that in total, Wayne was a part of more than 80 films.

While almost everyone knows the name of Wayne, not as much is known about two of his co-workers and close friends. Wayne shared a very unique relationship with movie director John Ford and fellow actor Ward Bond. Not only did the three men share an incredible professional relationship while working together, but they were also very personal outside of work as well.

The official John Wayne Estate shared a photo on Thursday remembering those relationships.

“Two important men in John Wayne’s life were Ward Bond & John Ford. John Ford hired Ward Bond & Duke, who were former USC Football teammates, in 1929 to work on Ford’s film Salute. Ward & Duke went on to appear in 22 films together & John Wayne worked on 18 films together.”

The picture used in the post is the same picture used on the cover of a book written by Scott Allen Nollen titled, Three Bad Men. The title is in reference to Wayne, Ford, and Bond.

“Three of the greatest in Hollywood ever!!!” one fan said.

“I still watch two to three John Wayne movies a week,” admitted another fan.

John Wayne and Ward Bond Played College Football Together

That’s right, folks. Before John Wayne and Ward Bond became two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, they were actually college football teammates.

Not everyone knows this, but one of John Wayne’s biggest passions growing up was sports. More specifically, football. Growing up in Glendale, California, Wayne went on to lead his Glendale high school team to two undefeated seasons. His success on the field paved the way to a full-ride scholarship to the University of Southern California. It was there at USC that John Wayne met Ward Bond. Bond also played football for the Trojans.

So, how did Wayne and Bond end up starring in films together? That’s where director John Ford comes into the picture. Ford was looking for college football players to shoot the film Salute. Wayne was working for Ford at the time, and so he reached out to his former teammate to see if he wanted to be in the movie. He did, and that was the start of something special.