The shot hits Sunday courtesy of INSP TV, “Your home for Westerns,” as they describe themselves over on Twitter. Within, we see The Duke himself standing alongside none other than Hollywood siren Ann-Margret.
“Here’s a behind-the-scenes photo of @johndukewayne and Ann-Margret on the set of The Train Robbers,” INSP captions the shot. The Train Robbers isn’t exactly one of John Wayne’s finest, but it’s always a treat to see these two icons together. And on this front, 1973’s Robbers delivers full force.
Ann-Margret, now 80, still remembers The Duke more fondly than anyone else. Yet all those decades ago, she was a young star wishing to work with one of her heroes. She got that wish in The Train Robbers with John Wayne.
“I didn’t know what to expect. But when he hugged me, it’s like the world was hugging me,” the icon said of The Duke in a recent interview. “He was so big and wide with that booming voice.”
For The Train Robbers, “We were shooting in Durango, Mexico and my parents came down to visit me,” Ann-Margret continues. “He was so great with my parents. So absolutely welcoming and gentle with them.”
To the screen siren, “Anybody who was great to my parents was on a throne in my eyes.”
No Outsider will ever argue with a throne for John Wayne, ma’am. Not a one.
From Elvis Presley to Ann-Margret to John Wayne
Sadly, Wayne would meet his end after a long battle with cancer in 1979. In the same interview, however, Ann-Margret says “I was friends with him forever.”
We all wish that “forever” could’ve been far longer. Wayne’s death came a mere six years after The Train Robbers‘ 1973 release.
“He was never [pretentious],” she continues of The Duke in life. “He had so many friends and every single person loved him.”
Among them, too, was Elvis Presley. Much has been written about the long, tumultuous forbidden love between the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Ann-Margret, but far less on the friendship between The King and The Duke.
John Wayne was famously at Elvis’ funeral in 1977, just two years before his own death. Over their decades in Hollywood, the two would often cross paths on movie sets and became industry friends. In fact, Wayne once asked Elvis to co-star in one of his films. Yet his infamous manager, Col. Tom Parker, wouldn’t let Elvis be outshone as the center star. As a result, such a glorious proposition never came to be. Which is just really, really sad for this Outsider.
Hopefully, in some other universe out there, there’s a John Wayne and Elvis Presley caper glittering on the big screen.