Why Glen Campbell Said He Was ‘Looking Like Mickey Rooney’ While Working with John Wayne on ‘True Grit’

by Keeli Parkey
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The original version of “True Grit” remains one of the most beloved Westerns in the history of film. Glen Campbell remembers making the film for many reasons.

And, some of those are pretty interesting. One had to do with his appearance how he looked while riding his horse.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it starred “The Duke” himself, John Wayne. He played the legendary character Rooster Cogburn in the film. The plot, according to IMDb.com, is: “A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn teenager track down her father’s murderer …”

The film was released in 1969. Also appearing the film were Robert Duvall, Kim Darby, and Dennis Hopper. Glen Campbell played the role of La Boeuf.

Campbell shared his thoughts about “True Grit” and John Wayne during the Jules Verne Festival’s tribute to the legendary Hollywood icon. The event took place during November 2011. Campbell passed away on Aug. 8, 2017. He was 81 years old at the time of this death.

Getting his role in “True Grit” alongside John Wayne reportedly came about because The Duke’s daughter was a fan of the singer’s. The two came to meet Campbell and Wayne asked him if he would like to appear in a film.

Glen Campbell Humorously Talked About Riding His Horse On the Set of ‘True Grit’

Unsurprisingly, Glen Campbell agreed – even though he had never acted. Once on the set, the singer learned that making a film can be very taxing.

“There was a lot of hard work and climbing up in places,” Campbell recalled. “I said, ‘Ain’t they got a second guy for this? Whatever they call those guys – stand-ins.’ I was climbing up stuff. And, just wow.”

One of the more humorous memories Glen Campbell shared in 2011 was what it was like riding the horse given to him to use in the film. Let’s just say it wasn’t the most impressive of animals.

“He had me on a damn Shetland (pony), basically for my horse,” Campbell said. “And, we’d take off running and (John Wayne) said, ‘You’ve got to catch up to us on these takes.”

Being on that horse led Campbell to think he looked like a famous, but small in stature, movie star from the 1940s.

“And I said, ‘This d***, little old horse won’t keep up with that big old horse,” he also said. “I looked like Mickey Rooney on that horse – that short.”

Being part of the making of “True Grit,” was something Campbell enjoyed.

“It was so much fun,” he said.

Also during the interview, Glen Campbell described John Wayne as “one of the nicest men I ever met in my life.”

Watch Glen Campbell talk about “True Grit” below. His comments about looking “like Mickey Rooney” begin around the 1-minute mark of the video.

Outsider.com