John Wayne’s Grandson Revealed What the Duke Wanted to Be Called Instead of ‘Grandfather’

by Anna Dunn
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People knew John Wayne as Hollywood’s most famous tough guy. However, “the Duke” seemed to be more of a softie with his grandkids.

The superstar’s grandson, Brendan Wayne sat down with Vanity Fair to talk about his upcoming film Cowboys & Aliens. He also discussed what life was like with John Wayne as a grandfather.

It’s probably tiring for the actor to get asked about his grandfather in almost every interview. Brendan Wayne didn’t seem to mind at all. While he clearly resembles his grandfather in many ways, it’s also clear the actor is forging his own path.

Brendan isn’t the only one of Wayne’s grandkids to pursue a career in entertainment, but not all of them have. His mother was one of Wayne’s many children, Mary Antonia Wayne LaCava. Born in 1972, Brendan only got his childhood with Wayne. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some memories with the actor.

He told Vanity Fair that John Wayne wanted his grandkids to called him a surprising nickname.

“You know what’s funny? Of all the affectionate names we could’ve called him, all the masculine versions of “Grandfather,” what do you think he preferred? He wanted to be Granddaddy. That’s just amazing to me in hindsight. My Dad is Dad, but my grandfather wanted to be Granddaddy,” he said.

Brendan also said that the image he had of his grandfather was different than the image that most people have of him. Most people picture a tough cowboy with a cowboy hat and all. Brendan described him as a “suit and tie” kind of guy. He also claimed he saw a lot of Wayne just relaxing shirtless on boats more than he did getting into trouble on horseback.

John Wayne Estate Celebrating Father’s Day in a Big Way

The John Wayne Estate is gearing up for father’s day and wants to proudly celebrate the Duke. Wayne had a big family and was a father to seven children: Michael, Mary, Patrick, Melinda, Aissa, John Ethan, and Marisa. In fact, the estate recently posted an adorable photo of Wayne with his kids with a quote and a special announcement.

“‘I am a demonstrative man, a baby picker-upper, a hugger and a kisser – that’s my nature.’ John Wayne loved being a father to his 7 children. In honor of him and other great dads, we will be offering FREE admission in to John Wayne: An American Experience this Father’s Day!,” they wrote.

So if you still don’t know what to do with your dad this father’s day and are near Fort Worth, Texas, maybe surprise him with some quality time at the John Wayne experience.

John Wayne passed away in 1979 of stomach cancer. He was one of America’s first true film stars.

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