WATCH: Ethan Wayne Speaks on Learning Self-Reliance From Father John Wayne

by Taylor Cunningham
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As John Wayne’s son Ethan explained, a parent’s most important job is helping their children build a sense of worth and self-reliance. And though his own father lived a hectic, high-profile life, the Duke still found the time to do that for him, and it “means everything.”

While chatting with Amber Elle during an episode of the John Wayne Gritcast, Ethan spoke on the topic and remembered all of the moments when John Wayne would sit down for a seemingly typical talk. But those talks remain vivid in his mind to this day.

First, the 60-year-old actor passionately shared that a mother or father’s influence over their kids is pivotal. And he realized that through his own youth.

Ethan is one of seven children. He and his sister Marisa, however, came much later in his life. The actor shared the two with his third wife, Pilar Pallete. Wayne was 55 when Ethan came along. And there were more than two decades between him and his second youngest sibling.

John Wayne Was in the Beginning Stages of Cancer While Ethan Was a Young Boy

At that time, Wayne was one of the top actors in Hollywood and he was nearing the end of his life. As Ethan shared, by the time he came along, his dad’s marriage was on the fritz. And while the couple reunited before Wayne’s death, they separated for some time.

Also, John Wayne was beginning his battle with cancer, which eventually took his life. And somewhere in there, he also suffered some financial issues.

Nonetheless, he still managed to find the time to be present for his children. And the attention helped shape Ethan for stronger and healthier adulthood.

“As a young boy, when he had the time to spend with me, whether it was doing school work or explaining something about how the boat works or tying knots or how to find the location if I’m lost in Mexico, like, those moments with him are the best moments for me in where my sort of self-reliance and my personal capabilities went up,” she told Elle. “I did better in school and I did better in everything when I could get that attention.”

“You know what John Wayne is, is the guy that everybody would kind of like to be,” Ethan once said in an Instagram story. “Every girlfriend wants her boyfriend to be, every father wants their son to be, every son wants their father to be.”

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