John Wayne Estate Celebrates His First Child’s Birthday With Moving Throwback Pic

by Joe Rutland
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(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

The John Wayne estate offered up a really touching photo of John Wayne along with his first child, Michael Wayne. The Duke’s eldest son was a film producer and actor during his life. He was the oldest son of Wayne and his first wife, Josephine Saenz. Sadly, Michael died back in 2003 at 68 years old.

One fan wrote in the comments, “Uncle Mike” to our family. ♥️ Love and miss him. He was a true blue friend!” The reason that the Estate shared the picture on Wednesday was that it’s Michael’s birthday. Of course, the legend that is John Wayne is bigger than life itself. Seeing him with his son is worth noting because Wayne did love his family a lot. While Michael was an actor, he played a bigger role in his father’s films as a producer and executive producer. Among the films he worked on included The Alamo, The Green Berets, Chisum, and Brannigan. Another fan wrote, “Happy Heavenly Birthday to Michael Wayne!”

John Wayne Called Legendary Gary Cooper Movie ‘un-American’

There are many legendary stories about Wayne and his movie career. Sometimes, actors turn down roles in films for different reasons. When it came to High Noon, he turned down one there. Movie buffs and fans know that Gary Cooper played the main role in the movie. Still, the fact that Wayne could have been in there is quite interesting. Why did the Duke say no? He called the movie “un-American.” John Wayne offered up quite a blazing critique of the movie to journalist Michael Parkinson. At the end of his sort-of soliloquy about the movie, Wayne said, “I don’t think that ever happens in the United States. Then at the end of the picture, he took the United States Marshal badge, threw it down, stepped on it and walked off. I think those things are just a little bit un-American.”

When it comes to True Grit, a lot of Wayne fans love the movie. The star won an Oscar for his performance as old crusty Rooster Cogburn. Yet he seemed to have a problem with one of his costars in the movie. You probably have heard of this guy named Robert Duvall before. Well, Wayne could not stand his “violent” costar. Duvall played Ned Pepper in the movie but he was a bit of a hothead back in that time. So there was a conflict between Duvall, Wayne, and True Grit director Henry Hathaway. At one point, Wayne threatened to punch out Duvall if he didn’t stop instigating issues with the director.

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