John Wayne’s Daughter Mary Had Small Roles in 2 of His Hit Westerns

by Matthew Wilson
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John Wayne may have been one of the leading men in Hollywood. But the Duke wasn’t always flying solo on his many different productions. On more than one occasion, Wayne’s films were a family affair.

Take one of Wayne’s oldest daughters for instance. Mary Antonia may not have been a movie star. But she did play small roles in two of Wayne’s classic films. Do you know which ones feature the Duke’s oldest daughter? Well, one was “The Quiet Man” in 1952. Director John Ford filmed the movie as his ode and love letter to the country of Ireland.

And where Wayne went, so did his children. His daughter paid a visit to the Emerald Isle in the film. The Duke and his first wife Josephine Alicia Saenz affectionately called Mary by the nickname Toni. Her last of her father’s films was “The Alamo,” which he also directed.

That film also featured Wayne’s other daughter Aissa as well. Mary’s own daughter Anita Swift also makes a cameo in the film. “That was my first and last film. I’m the baby in my mother’s arms as they’re leaving the Alamo,” Anita told American Cowboy. Besides Anita, Mary Antonia had eight children in total. Her son Brendan Wayne later became an actor and recently played on “The Mandalorian” on Disney Plus.

John Wayne and His Children

In total, John Wayne had seven children during his lifetime. He had four children with his first wife: Michael, Mary, Patrick, and Melinda. He later had three children with his third wife Pilar Pallette as well – Aissa, Ethan, and Mariss as well.

Like Mary, several of the Duke’s other children appeared in his films. But the most famous of Wayne’s children was perhaps Patrick. He appeared in over 40 movies including 11 of his father’s films as well. He also hosted two television shows. “Big Jake” is among some of the classic films that starred both father and son. Meanwhile, the Duke’s oldest Michael helped his father out on the production side of the business.

John Wayne was immensely proud of his children. In fact, he said his family made him the luckiest man in Hollywood as a result.

“All I know is that I have been the luckiest man in my business,” Wayne said on “The Phil Donahue Show” in 1976. 

While each of his children were different, Wayne found a reason to be proud of all of them. They were his lasting legacy he left behind.

“I have seven children that I am very proud of. Four of them already grown up,” John Wayne also said. “And, I know a lot of it’s luck and I know also a lot of it is that they’ve felt love and security at home. That’s all I can tell you.”

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