Melinda Wayne Munoz, John Wayne’s Daughter, Dead at 81

by Samantha Whidden
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Melinda Wayne Munoz, the daughter of the western film icon John Wayne, is reportedly dead at the age of 81. The late actor’s family confirmed the news in an Instagram post on Thursday (April 14).

The social media post also features a series of snapshots featuring Munoz with her father. John Wayne’s Instagram account shared, “We are saddened that John Wayne’s daughter, Melinda Wayne Munoz, passed away this week. Melinda was the 4th of John Wayne’s 7 children and the youngest child from Duke’s first marriage to Josephine Saenz.”

The post also reveals that Munoz had 5 children of her own. Duke’s daughter was also the grandmother of 14. “For the past 35 years, she has been a passionate advocate and supporter in the fight against cancer through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. If you ever had the pleasure of meeting Melinda, you knew how warm, welcoming, and passionate she was and chances are, she probably made you laugh!”

According to IMDb, Melinda Wayne Munoz was born on December 3, 1940, in Los Angeles. She was an actress and made an appearance in “The Quiet Man” alongside John Wayne. She was married to her husband, Gregory Munoz from 1964 to 1985. 

Details about Melinda Wayne Munoz’s death have not been revealed at this time.

John Wayne’s Daughter Described Him As Being ‘Just a Normal Father’ 

According to John Wayne’s website, Melinda Wayne Munoz described Duke as just being a normal father. “He was so wonderful. But we were raised so normally it is almost boring. He was a man of honor. I loved being my father’s daughter.”

Melinda Wayne Munoz also spoke about her parents were respectful to one another and never spoke against each other. “That is a great example of how two people can be parents even though they are not married. My mother never gave an interview or talked about him [after their divorce] and he was hugely respectful and appreciative of her.”

Wayne Munoz also revealed when she had her daughters, John Wayne would give her some advice about education. “My father said, ‘Make sure the girls get an education.’ He understood that the world was changing. He shot from the hip but was he really open about life. He was a voracious reader, very bright. Interested in everything. Whatever he might have done, whether it was an actor or a lawyer, he wanted to be at the top. Not for the adulation. He wanted to be excellent.”

In regards to her father’s “golden rule,” Wayne Munoz went on to also add, “Do something and finish it. Keep your word and honor your commitments. Never let anyone down. If you’re going to be somewhere, be there. Finish what you start. Don’t quit.”

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