John Wayne Once Saved His Daughter Marisa From a ‘Snake’

by Jon D. B.

In the first episode of the official John Wayne podcast, Gritcast, three of The Duke’s children come together to discuss childhood with their legendary father. It’s an absolute treat for any John Wayne fan, and the fun is just beginning.

Son Ethan Wayne hosts the show, with Patrick Wayne – third oldest child of their father – serving as the inaugural guest. Their sister, Marisa Wayne, “crashes” the first episode, as well. All in all, it’s a lovely family affair that paints a marvelous picture of childhood with John Wayne as a father.

Staying at either “Rosa’s place” with her father (a “getaway haunt” for The Duke as his children recall), or Mexico’s lavish Morelos capital, Cuernavaca, Marisa recalls being at a “gorgeous house with vineyards and a brilliant view,” as she and her brothers cite. Well, all except for that darn “snake.”

“I remember being out and walking around this big house, and I saw this thing!” she tells her brothers. “And I went running back, and I’m like ‘Daddy, daddy! There’s a baby snake! A snake!” she imitates of her 4-year-old self.

“And he came out, and it was a worm,” she laughs.

“Oh that would’ve been like a baby snake!” her older brother Patrick grins.

“So he told me, ‘That’s a worm!” Marisa recalls her father saying. So she asked, of course, “What’s a worm?”

Surely the daughter of John Wayne knew what a worm was by the time she was 4! Either way, the story is another brilliant anecdote from the Wayne family. Gritcast is doing a wonderful job of painting a vibrant picture of The Duke as a father, indeed.

From ‘Snakes’ to Irradiated Film Sets, John Wayne’s Children Had One Hell of a Childhood

Yet a far more shocking highlight comes around the 9-minute mark for Episode 1. Within, Patrick (who starred in a whopping 11 films with his father) details a “very scary” filming location. And that’s an understatement.

“There was a big craze about uranium. Mining uranium,” he begins. “So we had these Geiger counters, and these Geiger counters were going off everywhere! ‘We’re sitting on a goldmine, here! We’re going to get all this uranium!” he recalls jovially.

Patrick was filming a truly misguided John Wayne epic: The Conqueror, at the time. Duke fans know instantly why this Utah-filmed disaster is such a disaster, too. For those playing the home game, however: Wayne plays Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan within. It’s as bad as it sounds in every way. But Patrick’s tales from shooting this dud with his father manage to make it far more terrifying.

As Patrick casually reveals of the crew’s wild Geiger readings: “As it turns out, it was fallout from the testing in the area!” he says to gasps from his siblings. “Which they didn’t tell anybody about. Anyone who lived there, worked there, any of that stuff!”

It’s a wild story, one that John Wayne fans won’t want to miss – and Outsider has it for you right here.