John Wayne Estate Celebrates the Duke’s Birthday With Epic Highlight Reel

by John Jamison

John Wayne was one of the most prolific actors of the 20th Century. He passed away at the age of 72 in 1979 after dealing with cancer on and off for 15 years. Today marks the late Western star’s birthday. And his estate is celebrating by sharing an awesome compilation of some of Duke’s best moments on screen.

It’s hard to imagine Hollywood without the impact of Duke. His career spanned nearly 50 years, and he took part in the birth of what we think of as Western movies. What better way to celebrate his legacy than with a collection of snippets from the 180 acting credits he has to his name?

“Happy Birthday John Wayne! We will be celebrating John Wayne’s life and legacy in the Fort Worth Stockyards today, follow along on our Instagram stories If you can’t celebrate with us, leave a birthday message for Duke in the comments!” the caption of the Instagram post read.

The video, complete with triumphant Western music, opens with a series of epic Wayne entrances. The man knew how to capture attention. It then moves into some of his softer, more romantic moments. Next, it shows off some of Duke’s tough guy range. The clips appear to span the majority of his career, from his earliest roles to his Rooster Cogburn days in the 1970s.

The comments on the Instagram video were full of birthday wishes for the late Western icon.

John Wayne: An American Experience Celebrates John Wayne Day

The John Wayne: An American Experience exhibit in Forth Worth, Texas is celebrating John Wayne Day today.

It’s a 10,000 sq. ft. facility that is officially sanctioned by the Wayne family. They have a whole day of themed events scheduled to honor Duke’s birthday. And the city of Fort Worth is even involved in the festivities. The event features everything from a cattle drive to a Western gunfight reenactment.

For those that are interested in checking out the experience, tickets to the exhibit are available on the website. Back in April, Ethan Wayne gave fans and potential visitors a video tour of the facility dedicated to his dad.

“To this day, people can watch a John Wayne movie, and it’s still aspirational. When somebody comes to the exhibit, I want to make sure that they get 72 years of John Wayne,” Ethan said.

Duke would be 114 years old today. And even though he’s no longer with us, there’s a huge selection of movies to choose from if you’re like us and want to celebrate his birthday with a viewing (“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” is a great option, just saying).