In 1965 iconic Hollywood cowboy John Wayne and the famous crooner Dean Martin joined together to star in the film The Sons Of Katie Elder.
However, before the filming of the western movie could get underway, John Wayne, who portrayed John Elder in the film was given a terrifying diagnosis: lung cancer.
After receiving the news, the Hollywood cowboy focused on battling cancer. All the while giving us one of his most iconic roles to date.
The strength the actor showed in his battle, and his determination to continue his commitment was one that impressed many of his fans, his family, and his costars.
Dean Martin’s Words Sum Up John Wayne’s Unwavering Strength
A recent Instagram post on the John Wayne Official page showed us just how much the actor meant to so many. And how strong the Duke was both on and off the screen.
The Saturday morning Instagram post features a still from the film The Sons of Katie Elder. The photo includes John Wayne, Dean Martin, Earl Holliman, and Michael Anderson Jr. on the 1964 film set.
Along with the still featuring the four Hollywood actors standing in full cowboy gear, the John Wayne Offical Page added a quote from The Duke’s The Sons of Katie Elder costar, Dean Martin; about John Wayne’s strength battling lung cancer during the 1964 filming of the movie.
“Someone else would have laid around, feeling sorry for himself, for a year,” Dean Martin is quoted as saying.
“But Duke, he just doesn’t know how to be sick,” the famous Rat Pack crooner continued. “He’s recuperating the hard way.”
He’s Two Guys In One
Martin went on to say that his friend, The Duke, was one of a kind. And, his name – as well as the star power behind his persona – are things that could never be duplicated.
“He’s two loud speaking guys in one,” Dean Martin said of The Duke.
“Me, when people see me, they sometimes say, ‘Oh, there goes Perry Como,'” the famous actor and singer joked. “But there’s only one John Wayne, and nobody makes any mistakes about that.”
The Only Man For The Job
When John Wayne was first given the lung cancer diagnosis on September 13, 1964, he discussed some options with The Sons Of Katie Elder producers.
In fact, the western film icon suggested that another famous actor, Kirk Douglas step into his role while he battled his diagnosis.
However, John Wayne’s lead in the film was something that The Sons of Katie Elder director Henry Hathaway was determined that the actor keep. Hathaway insisted the film would not be recast. The Duke was the only cowboy actor who could portray the role of John Elder.