Lung CancerAnnouncement Date : Jan 1 , 1964
Considered at the time to be a taboo topic, Wayne was encouraged to keep news of his lung cancer diagnosis private. Unconcerned with the impact on his image or career, he didn’t heed such warnings, telling the press, “there is a hell of a lot of good image in John Wayne beating cancer.”
Though he would lose a lung in battling the disease, it did not stop him from continuing with physically challenging and demanding roles – from fighting oil well fires in “Hellfighters” (1968) to fighting on the front lines in “The Green Berets” (1968) – portrayals difficult with two lungs!
Wayne became a passionate advocate for early checkups, doing numerous public service announcements for the American Cancer Society, as shown in this magazine.