John Wayne: What Female Actor Starred Opposite the Duke the Most?

by Joe Rutland

John Wayne had his fair share of female actors appearing alongside “The Duke” in his movie career. Who, though, would be No. 1 on a list?

For hardcore Wayne fans, this answer probably is as easy as a tip of his cowboy hat. Maureen O’Hara appeared in five movies with Wayne, from 1950 through 1971. Let’s name-drop all five right here: “Rio Grande” in 1950, “The Quiet Man” in 1952, “The Wings of Eagles” in 1957, “McLintock!” in 1963, and “Big Jake” in 171.

O’Hara, according to an article from, was described by some people as “illegally beautiful” due to her striking red hair.

Their on-screen magic is something that John Wayne and O’Hara reproduced through their films together. Some film fans put their pairing up there with others, such as Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn or Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

In fairness, actor Vera Miles technically also appeared in five films with Wayne. However, her scenes with Wayne in “The Green Berets” never made it into the movie’s final cut. So O’Hara gets the nod and, well, John Wayne fans simply connect her with “The Duke” a lot more.

Here’s a scene between Wayne and O’Hara from “The Quiet Man.”

Wayne Secured Role In One Of His Movies For Classic TV Star

At times, John Wayne would want a particular actor to be a part of his movies. He did have some say when it came to casting when it mattered to him.

One particular situation arose with his movie “McLintock!” Now we mentioned earlier that O’Hara had a part in this film. But she is not the actor whom Wayne secured a role for in the movie.

Actor Yvonne De Carlo was put in the 1963 film. Why? Wayne remembered that De Carlo’s husband, stuntman Bob Morgan, suffered a career-ending injury on the set of “How The West Was Won.” She’d gone from having leading roles in films to supporting spots.

John Wayne made sure De Carlo was on that movie. So, classic TV fans, do you know De Carlo from another series? Hmm, you better. De Carlo played Lily Munster on CBS’s sitcom “The Munsters” for two seasons. Her husband in that show? Actor Fred Gwynne, who played Herman Munster.

Quite a small world from film to television for some actors. Wayne himself never had a TV series in his career as he focused on the big screen. Yet he did make numerous guest-starring spots on TV shows.