John Wayne Estate Shares Sweet Photo of the Duke and His Bride Josephine Saenz On Wedding Day in 1933

by Matthew Wilson

The John Wayne Estate is celebrating the birthday of the Duke’s first wife Josephine Saenz. To mark the occasion, they shared a sweet photo of the couple from their wedding day.

They say marriage is bliss. While Wayne and Josephine may not have made it to forever, they appeared happy and in love in this vintage wedding photo. A young Duke mugs for the camera alongside his new bride. Wayne hadn’t quite become the famous leading man he would later become. But he had already started his career in motion pictures.

On Instagram, the John Wayne Estate wrote, “Happy Birthday to Josephine Saenz. Josephine & Duke were married in 1933 at actress Loretta Young’s house, pictured here. The two had four children together; Michael, Toni, Patrick, and Melinda.”

Wayne first met Josephine when he was in college. She and her family were Catholic. And he was Presbyterian. Her parents were reluctant to let the Duke marry her. In fact, the couple ended up courting for a total of seven years before walking down the aisle. By that point in time, things changed for Wayne considerably. He had become an actor and a draw at the box office.

The couple wed on June 24, 1933. The two had their ceremony at fellow actor Loretta Young’s garden. As mentioned in the post, the couple had four children: Michael, Patrick, Mary, and Melinda.

John Wayne Was Married Three Times

But the couple’s marriage was not to last. As John Wayne’s career grew bigger, the actor began experiencing problems at home and a strained relationship with Josephine. For one, the couple had several disagreements, especially about how to raise their kids.

Secondly, Wayne was gone for extended periods of time as well. Finally, just a decade later in 1943, the couple ended up separating. They divorced the following year in 1945. Josephine later ended up re-marrying late in life to businessman Cyril Nigg. Josephine passed away in 2003.

Meanwhile, Wayne married a total of three times in his life. He married Esperanza Baur in 1946, a year after his divorce. That marriage ended up doomed as well. In fact, Esperanza once tried to shoot the Duke over accused infidelity. The two ended up getting divorced in 1954. That same year, Wayne moved on and married Pilar Pallete.

That marriage ended up lasting the rest of his life. The two stayed married until the Duke passed in 1979.