John Wayne married three times in his life. And with two of his wives, he had seven children. He raised them in California, settling in spots in Riverside and Orange County.
His first wife was Josephine “Josie” Saenz. They married in 1933 and stayed together for a dozen years. This was back when John Wayne was just kicking off his acting career, starring in B movies, the lower budget westerns. By 1939, he enjoyed a breakout role in 1939 with Stagecoach. John Wayne and Josie were the proud parents of four children.
In 1954, months after he and his second wife were divorced, Wayne married Pilar Pallette, an actress from Peru. The couple had three children.
Patrick Wayne, one of John Wayne’s sons, said: “Dad believed a childhood should be filled with love.”
John Wayne and Josie Were Parents to 4 Kids
Michael was the oldest of the Duke’s kids. He dabbled in acting, but he worked mostly behind the camera, including The Green Berets, The Alamo and Cahill U.S. Marshal. Michael later ran the John Wayne Foundation and was on the board of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. He died in 2003.
Mary Antonioa Wayne LaCava went by “Toni.” She stayed out of the public eye, marrying in 1956. She was the mother of eight children. Toni died in 2000 at age 64 of lung cancer.
Patrick Wayne probably had the most high-profile career of all of John Wayne’s children. He appeared in 11 of his dad’s movies. And he also hosted two TV shows.
Meanwhile, Melinda Wayne Munoz had bit parts in her dad’s movies when she was a kid. She married in 1964. She and her husband are parents to four children.
John Wayne And Pilar Had Three Children
Wayne and his wife Pilar were parents of three children. And they lived at a ranch in Riverside County, then moved to Wayne’s beloved Newport Beach. John Wayne docked his yacht, the Wild Goose, nearby.
The house faced the water. And it was an idyllic spot to raise a family.
John Wayne joked with Architectural Digest in 1977:”I’m glad I came down here to live fourteen years ago. I sure as hell couldn’t afford it now.”
All the Wayne Kids Tried Acting
Aissa Wayne, the oldest, acted in a couple of her dad’s films — McLintock and The Alamo. These days, she’s an attorney, mother and grandmother. Her daughter, Jennifer, is a member of the country group Runaway June.
John Wayne and his wife named son, Ethan, after a character in The Searchers. He ended up as both an actor and a stuntman. A cool factoid — he did stunts on The Blues Brothers. He now manages John Wayne Enterprises and directs the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.
Marisa Wayne also did some acting and made six appearances in movies or TV shows. Born in 1966, she’s the baby of the Wayne family. She and her husband have two children.
The Duke Loved His Home. Biggest Room Was His Office
According to Architectural Digest, the largest room at the home was the study. The magazine described it this way:
Mr. Wayne’s study, the largest room in the house, presents the clearest and most compelling image of the man himself. It is warm and generous and comfortable, most definitely a man’s room. The paneling and the fireplace and the small collection of guns strengthen the feeling, and there are many fine examples of Western American art—bronzes and prints and oils— as well as many American Indian artifacts. A favorite collection of kachina dolls, for example, was begun long ago, in the days when John Wayne used to ride into Monument Valley in Arizona to make films. Everywhere in the study are the memorabilia of his remarkable career as an actor.
The magazine said the room featured a desk and many, many photographs. Wayne’s Oscar for True Grit also was in the study. There’s a wall that John Wayne called “Fifty Years of Hard Work Wall.”
John Wayne is buried in Newport Beach. His grave spot remained unmarked for several years after he died in 1979. It’s now marked by a plaque. It features a cowboy riding his horse.