John Wayne’s Daughter Revealed The Duke Once Had an Intense Confrontation With Marlon Brando

by Samantha Whidden
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Although the incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars is still continuing to make headlines, this wasn’t the first time that the big film award event had a confrontation on stage. The audience at the 1973 Oscars witnessed a scene during the show when John Wayne had a few choice words for “The Godfather” star Marlon Brando. 

However, the tension between John Wayne and Marlon Brando was started due to Brando’s interest in Wayne’s wife, Pilar Pallete. John Wayne’s daughter, Aissa, wrote in her book, “John Wayne My Father” about how her dad was jealous of Brando. Brando was actually showing interest in Aissa’s mother, Pallete.

“Brando was barely 30, gorgeous and arrogant, sizzling with success,” Aissa wrote. She also explained that Brando actually had a friend ask Wayne if he could have an evening with his wife. “My father said one word: ‘no!’” Aissa recalled. She also wrote that her father went into a jealous rage that same evening. 

“It was my mom’s first glimpse of his dark side,” Aissa continues. “She realized, only then, that my father was not the characters he played on the screen. Men who not only had self-assurance, they reeked of it.”

John Wayne Got Aggressive After Marlon Brando Refused His ‘Best Actor’ During the 1973 Oscars

Express reported “The Godfather” earned 10 Academy Award nominations in 1973, Marlon Brando did not accept his “Best Actor” Oscar. The Native American actor ended up taking the stage wearing his traditional dress and decline the award.

Fellow Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather later went on to stage on Marlon Brando’s behalf to say why the actor did not accept the award. It was due to “the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry… And on television and movie re-runs.”

It was also due to the recent happenings at Wounded Knee, which Native American activitists were occupying at the time. 

Although there were cheers and booing for Marlon Brando’s decision, John Wayne wasn’t having any of it. While telling her side of what happened on that stage, Littlefeather states, “During my presentation, he was coming towards to forcibly take me off the stage, and he had to be restrained by six security meant to prevent him from doing so.”

Following the ordeal on stage, Clint Eastwood presented the “Best Picture” Oscar, which went to “The Godfather” as well. While presenting the award, Eastwood said, “I don’t know if I should present this award on behalf of all the cowboys shot in all the John Ford westerns over the years.”

While speaking about Marlon Brando having Littlefeather speak on his behalf, John Wayne stated, “If [Brando] had something to say, he should have appeared that night and stated his views instead of taking some little unknown girl and dressing her up in an Indian outfit.”

Outsider.com