John Wayne starred alongside a number of superstar actors during his career. Sometimes, the Duke insisted some people star in his movies. Take “McLintock!” for example. Wayne had a hand in filling out the cast. And he knew exactly who he wanted as his co-star.
Wayne wanted to cast Yvonne De Carlo as Louise Warren in the movie. In “McLintock!,” De Carlo played a widow who moved in with Wayne’s character. She looked after her two children and also served as the housekeeper and cook for the Duke’s George Washington “G.W.” McLintock.
De Carlo hit a rough spot in her career. She had gone from a leading lady to only supporting roles. In fact, producers might have overlooked De Carlo for the part if Wayne didn’t step in. So why did the Duke insist on De Carlo for the part? Well, the actor had a bit of guilt to thank.
Wayne had worked with De Carlo’s husband Bob Morgan on “How the West Was Won” in 1962. Morgan was a stuntman on the production. But an on-set injury ended Morgan’s career in Hollywood. Wayne felt bad for the crew member and helped De Carlo land a role in the film. So fans of the actor’s performance have the Duke to thank.
John Wayne and a Frequent Collaborator
Of course, “McLintock!” also starred a frequent collaborator of Wayne’s. Maureen O’Hara starred opposite the Duke in the 1963 production. Both John Wayne and O’Hara often played opposite each other in films. They managed to bring out their best as actors and had a natural chemistry on-screen.
Over Wayne’s career, he starred in five films with O’Hara. They first starred in “Rio Grande” together in 1950. “The Quiet Man,” “The Wings of Eagles,” “McLintock!” and “Big Jake” followed that film. O’Hara ended up being one of Wayne’s most reliable love interests on-screen. After all, their passion was on display in the Irish-themed “The Quiet Man.”
But in real life, the two actors became longtime friends. In fact, O’Hara was with Wayne even at the end. O’Hara visited the Duke in the hospital when he was dying of cancer. She spent a few days with her friend reminiscing on the memories they shared together. She also petitioned the government to have a commemorative gold medal made in his honor.
Over the course of his career, Wayne had a few actors he always starred alongside to produce his classics. But the Duke also went to bat for actors when he could.