John Wayne’s Granddaughter Believed As a Child Grandfathers Only Existed on TV

by Samantha Whidden

She was born just a few years after her grandfather and western movie icon John Wayne passed away from stomach cancer, and Runaway June bandmate Jennifer Wayne has revealed how her late grandfather impacted her childhood.

During an interview with Risen, John Wayne’s granddaughter stated, “When I was little, I would always ask the other kids, ‘What channel is your grandpa on?’ Because mine was always on AMC and I could just turn it on [and see him]!”

Jennifer also said that a lot of people ask her what it was like growing up with having John Wayne as her grandfather. “You know, a lot of people ask me that and I really don’t know how to answer. Because that’s just always what I’ve known.”

Jennifer Talks Hilarious Stories About John Wayne’s Personal Life

Also during her interview with Risen, when asked what was her favorite stories about John Wayne’s life, Jennifer answered that her grandfather loved mornings. He would get up and watch the sunrise. The actor would also encourage his family to get up as well. She recalled one time when her mother brought a friend on her grandfather’s boat, he came in the morning and apparently slapped her mom’s best friend on the butt. 

“[He said], ‘Get up! You’re burnin’ daylight!’ My mom’s friend screamed and jumped up and said, ‘Mr. Wayne!’ When they all realized what happened, my mom and grandpa and her friend just laughed and laughed,” John Wayne’s granddaughter shared. She also said that the actor was actually embarrassed that he slapped someone else’s butt that he thought was his daughter. 

“They all just cracked up every time they told the story,” Jennifer continued. “My mom also said that there was a rule in the house that if you walked by him, you had to give him a kiss.  He was so affectionate and loving with his family.  He was such a family man.”

While reflecting on her favorite John Wayne movie quotes, Jennifer said, “My favorite quote of his is, ‘Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.’ It’s my favorite because it means everything to me when it comes to going for your dreams. 

And, of course, another one of her favorite John Wayne quotes is, ‘Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.”

John Wayne’s Granddaughter Talks Music Career

In regards to what made her pursue a career in music, John Wayne’s granddaughter stated that she was a tennis player growing up. When she turned 18, she grabbed a guitar and started playing music. 

Jennifer Wayne goes on to add that her Aunt Marisa was the only musical one in the family. Her aunt even moved to Nashville and pursued singing for a while. “She has been really helpful to me, and really inspiring to me, always letting me know I can do it.”