John Wayne and Western movies are practically one and the same. His personality fit the genre so perfectly that it probably wouldn’t surprise anyone to find out that he came out of the womb with a cowboy hat and boots on.
The legendary actor was born in 1907. He began making movies in the silent era of film – the 1920s. His first starring role came in 1930 in The Big Trail. From there on out, his success was relatively unparalleled. Everything he got involved with seemed to turn to gold.
In 1951, John Wayne took a leading role in Flying Leathernecks. The movie was not a Western, rather about an undisciplined squadron of pilots who have to go into war. He played the role of Major Daniel Kirby.
By this time, he was already a massive name in the acting world. He was only 44 years old yet had accomplished more than most actors had in their entire careers. So, starting with this movie, he began a unique tradition.
The “official John Wayne” Instagram page detailed what he began doing for every cast and crew he worked with.
“Starting on the Flying Leathernecks in 1951, John Wayne gifted the cast and crew on each of movies with a custom gold-handled mug featuring art representing the film on the front and their name on the back.” The Instagram account continued: “Some of Duke’s personal gold handle mugs are on display at John Wayne: An American Experience in the Fort Worth Stockyards.”
John Wayne Had a Legendary Career in Hollywood
Whenever the hypothetical question arises about having dinner with a deceased icon, John Wayne often makes movie buffs lists. Over his career, he made at least 82 – there is a discrepancy in the actual number.
He created a big name for himself with the Westerns he made. But, his career was not limited to the genre. John Wayne was a supremely talented actor. Many of his fans’ favorite movie was The Quiet Man. Even though it still fit the bill of the action-packed style he often starred in, it was certainly not a Western.
Nonetheless, John Wayne will always be one of the most famous Western actors ever. His illustrious career speaks for itself.
Giving out golden-handled mugs to the entire cast and crew depicts how thoughtful he was. Not many people can say that one of their morning mugs was given to them by a legendary actor such as Wayne.