WATCH: John Wayne’s Son Ethan Sits Down With John Ford’s Grandson

by Joe Rutland

When it comes to movie heroes, no one can hold a shining light up to The Duke himself, the legendary John Wayne. Listening to Wayne’s son Ethan talk about this topic is quite interesting. And he’s talking about it with Dan Ford. Does the last name sound familiar? If you are a John Wayne fan, then it should. Because Dan is actually the grandson of director John Ford. Of course, Wayne and Ford worked on some of the actor’s most beloved movies like The Searchers. Listening to these two relatives of these movie giants is definitely worth taking a minute out of your busy day to do so. Yes, John Wayne had a deep love and respect for John Ford. We’ll talk about that in a minute but listen in to Ethan and Dan chat it up right here.

Heroes come in many shapes and sizes. For The Duke, though, he played plenty of them throughout his career. Would you consider Ethan Edwards in The Searchers one of them? Well, we do know that Wayne not only loved the character but the movie, too. He would take that character’s first name and give it to his son. That’s how Ethan Wayne got his name. Pretty interesting story, huh?

John Wayne Story Reflected Actor’s Deep Respect For John Ford

Oh man, John Wayne and John Ford were a great team together. As we mentioned, there was deep respect and love from one John to another one. It would be brought to light during an awards show. When this happened, Ford was quite a bit older now. He would go up and present an award to Wayne. Well, as he was going up there, Ford slipped on a step and slid back down the dais. It looked like it might have been some type of bit but it was an honest mishap.

Wayne didn’t like to see that happen. So, he came up with an idea. What was it? He would slip on the same step that Ford, who was quite elderly at this time (heck, he was nearly 70 years old), did and slide back down. People saw it and thought it was funny. Well, Wayne got back to his feet and went forward to accept the award. He would, in effect, embarrass himself to protect his elderly mentor. The award would be presented to Wayne after the director and actor worked together on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. What a great movie and the stellar theme song is sung by Gene Pitney. Well, Wayne would talk about how much Ford meant to his career. He once said that Ford was the “best thing that ever happened to me.”