John Wayne Takes in the Great Outdoors in Classic 1978 Great Western Savings Commercial

by Katie Maloney

Watch this throw-back Great Western Bank commercial starring John Wayne in full cowboy gear.

Certainly, John Wayne is the king of Westerns. But his roles spanned more than just movies. He also starred in several commercials for companies including Coors Light and Great Western Savings. Great Western Bank boasted that they offered big bank perks while maintaining close-knit community vibes. So who better to hire to hype the company than a larger-than-life actor who had a family and seven kids of his own? That’s right, The Duke was the perfect man for the job. So, he starred in several commercials for the company. Fortunately, we found this throw-back Great Western Bank commercial featuring The Duke from 1978. During the commercial, John Wayne, dressed in his full cowboy garb, stands next to a Sequoia tree and talks about the enduring quality of both the forest and the bank.

“Folks say they’ve been around for thousands of years. Walking through them is like being in a giant cathedral. California Sequoias,” said Wayne. “It’s a nice feeling to be around something that’s been here a long time and is going to last. That’s how I feel about Great Western Savings. I’ve hung my money on a lot of things that were just passing through. No more, today I put it with Great Western. They’re still helping people to build their homes and raise their families. And they’re going to be around for a long time.”

John Wayne stars in a Great Western Savings commercial in 1978

Two Of John Wayne’s Kids Starred In The Commercials With Him

Great Western Bank celebrated its anniversary by hiring John Wayne for several commercials. During one of the commercials, Wayne’s two kids, Ethan and Marisa (2 of 7 Wayne children) starred in the commercial with him. Although they didn’t have any lines, they both caught the acting bug. Ethan went on to work as both an actor and a stuntman. He appeared in the NBC TV movie The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory, the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, and the television series Adam-12. However, now 58-years-old, Ethan manages John Wayne Enterprises and heads the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Wayne’s daughter Marisa also worked as an actress for several years but mostly as a child actor. Now, at 55 years old, Marisa also works for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. The foundation was created after John Wayne passed from stomach cancer. Although his kids may not have followed in his acting footsteps, they still found ways to continue his legacy.