John Wayne’s Granddaughter Appeared in a Classic Western: Here’s Which One

by Madison Miller

Besides leaving behind over 250 film credits, several TV appearances, a drive to help fight cancer, and even his own poetry album, John Wayne’s legacy exists with his family.

John Wayne was married three times during his life. He married Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. He had four children with Josephine. They are Michael, Mary Antonia, Patrick, and Melinda. He also had three children with Pilar — Aissa, John, and Marisa.

Anita La Cava Swift Western Movie

Many of his children followed in his entertainment business path. Now, John Wayne also has several grandchildren that are able to keep his legacy bright and alive.

Anita La Cava Swift is the oldest grandchild of John Wayne. She spent a lot of time alongside The Duke while she was growing up. She even lived with him the first year of her life while her parents worked on building their house.

She was brought along on trips to the movies, on the boat, or at the beach. He sadly passed when she was 22. This means she got to spend a lot of time with him both through her childhood and as an adult.

According to a 2014 interview with American Cowboy, Anita La Cava Swift has exactly one official acting credit in her career. She appeared in the 1960 film “The Alamo.” At the time, she couldn’t do much acting, though. She was the baby in her mother’s arms while they’re leaving the Alamo. She joked, “That was my first and last film.”

Besides that, she also would act in her different school productions over the years. John Wayne would always go out of his way to be there. He would even leave cryptic notes pretending to be other people or agents.

Anita’s Cancer Research Work And Her Relationship With John Wayne

Other than talking about his close bond with family, Anita La Cava Swift keeps Wayne’s memory alive through the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary. She is the president of the organization.

“Our primary goal is to raise funds for the John Wayne Cancer Institute and for educational outreach about cancer prevention and early detection. Breast cancer survivors founded the Auxiliary more than 35 years ago; my mother included. She died of lung cancer in 2000, and most of our founding members have also passed on, but we’ve been getting a lot of new, younger members, which we’re thrilled about. And I say that as a 55-year-old woman who will forever be sitting at the kid’s table, if you know what I mean,” she said.

Her mother is Mary Antonia Wayne La Cava. She is the oldest daughter from John Wayne’s very first marriage. Anita has four kids now herself.

Although she never got into acting herself, Anita did get to be on some of her grandfather’s sets over the years. According to a 2015 interview with Hotty Toddy, she visited the set of “The Undefeated,” “The Hellfighters,” “The Shootist,” “Rio Lobo,” “Chisum,” and “Big Jake.”

Unfortunately, stomach cancer took John Wayne’s life. Now his family works to encourage further education and funding to help with cancer patients.