Journal – Page 3 – John Wayne


I Love Lucy Remastered

CBS is bringing back I Love Lucy for one special night. A re-broadcasting of two back-to-back episodes from season 5 of the series, originally broadcast in October of 1955, “Lucy Visits Grauman’s” and “Lucy and John Wayne,” are the show’s more iconic episodes.

John Wayne was one of many movie stars who had guest spots on I Love Lucy during the episodes that were set in Hollywood. The two consecutive episodes guest star John Wayne as a fictional version of himself and have been edited together to tell one complete story. (Previously they have only aired separately.) Each episode has been remastered and colorized and will be presented on Friday, May 20th.

Episode recap:

“Lucy Visits Grauman’s” finds Lucy visiting Hollywood’s famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, where Lucy discovers that the cement slab containing John Wayne’s footprints has come loose. Lucy thinks it would be a fabulous souvenir to take home, if only she can come up with a way to take it without being caught.

In “Lucy and John Wayne,” Lucy must find a way to replace the pilfered footprints. Ricky tries to help by calling John Wayne, but as usual with Lucy, the seemingly simple task of replicating the footprints becomes a comedy of errors.

Lucy.Ep129.161 Lucy.Ep129.267 Lucy.Ep129.112

Memorable Mugs

In the early 1950s, John Wayne began a tradition of making specially engraved coffee mugs for all crew and cast members on each of his projects. According to journalist Wayne Warga’s interview in 1971 with Mary St. John, the tradition began in 1951 with Flying Leathernecks. The ceramic mugs with specially engraved images and messages became treasured possessions for anyone who worked on a Wayne movie.

“I have four of the mugs on my mantle right now,” states stuntman Terry Leonard, who indeed worked on four John Wayne pictures. “I had them specially hooked up to the bottom of my mantle so that even if there’s an earthquake, they won’t fall. I want them to survive even if nothing else does.”

In fact, production and distribution of those cups was a major job that Wayne typically entrusted to Mary St. John. During production of The Sons of Katie Elder in 1965, for instance, she typed up a list of seventy people for whom she would have to get mugs produced, plus four more for family members, with special instructions from Wayne about what to write on each cup. In the Wayne archives’ folder from that project are original sketches Wayne commissioned from a local artist to be transformed into a logo for all those mugs. Dozens of thank-you notes from appreciative crew members are also preserved in the archives from that movie, and also for the mugs handed out after production on 1963’s Donovan’s Reef, among other films.

Currently, these mugs are highly sought after collectors items, and sell online for upwards of $1000 each. Pictured here is a private collection we had the chance to photograph.


A Statement on John Wayne

We did not know that the assembly was trying to get John Wayne Day passed or we would have been there to speak on my father’s behalf. It’s unfair to judge someone on something that was said 44 years ago in an entirely different era. I know that my father, John Wayne, had a great respect for all people no matter what color race or sexual preference they were. He taught us to treat all people the same. He felt strongly that things should be earned, and not given to someone simply because they were a man or woman or one race or another. I hope that America remembers John Wayne for who he really was- a family man, a great friend, a cherished actor on the big screen, for his values and morals that have made him a role model for many and his continuing work to find a cure for cancer through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

Ethan-Sig 2015

A Look Inside Volume 10

At John Wayne Enterprises, one of our favorite things we get to work on is the John Wayne: Official Collector’s Edition magazine by Topix Media. Our latest issue, Volume 10, is the complete guide to all of Duke’s films, ranked and rated by fans. We’ve asked Senior Editor, James Ellis to give a behind the scenes look on how he approached the arduous task of ranking John Wayne’s films.



Available on newsstands now!

quoteblock“Anyone can tell the difference between a good movie and one that’s not. What’s trickier is trying to rank dozens upon dozens of movies that aren’t just good, but great. But Duke never turned away from a task, no matter how tough, and we kept that in mind as we tackled ranking all of John Wayne’s films for Volume 10 of the Official John Wayne Collector’s Edition.

We started by asking the people who love and know Duke’s films the best: the fans. Fortunately for us, it’s tougher to find someone who doesn’t love John Wayne’s movies than it is to come across someone who doesn’t enjoy the stone-cold classics the man put out year after year for decades. We reached out to thousands of fans through social media (not to mention our own friends and family) to sort out which of Duke’s movies were the ones people kept returning to again and again. After collecting endless opinions and arguments on which film deserved the rank of #1, we looked at a variety of other factors—critical consensus, how well the film performed at the box office, how much of the movie featured John Wayne to name a few—to decide how to make the tough call. The process wasn’t always pretty. Two editors almost came to blows over where True Grit should fall in the ranking. But in the end, everyone agreed with the math and evidence that put Rio Bravo on the top of the heap. Strong arguments can be made that The Searchers or Stagecoach may be more important, but the fast-paced action and fun of Rio Bravo secured its status as the one John Wayne movie you would take with you on a desert island. We realize not everyone might agree. But that’s part of the fun of putting together these lists. Think of it as starting a conversation Duke himself would have enjoyed.”


James Ellis, Senior Editor at the Official John Wayne Collector’s Edition

Marisa Wayne Facebook Q&A

This past week, we hosted a Facebook Q&A session with John Wayne’s youngest daughter, Marisa Wayne. Marisa received over 900 questions from fans in the 30 minute session, and wanted to share her thoughts on some she missed.

Check out the series below to get an insight on John Wayne through the eyes of his daughter, Marisa.


Q: Do you and all your siblings have any idea just how much your father is loved and admired by everyone in this country?

MW: Thank you!! It’s very cool to know he was loved by so many.


Q: Did your father sing to his kids, spontaneously, just for fun?

MW: I remember his big, loud, boisterous voice and I loved it!! It gives me chills when I hear him sing in certain movies and he would also whistle, especially the theme to “The High and the mighty” every time we would board a plane. Such a character! 


Q: What was his favorite topic to discuss?

MW: Oh boy. He would love a good political discussion, but also loved current events, sports and history.


Q: What is your funniest memory of your dad?

MW: He was a practical joker. When we were living in London, we had a 4 story home and he gave my sister the room on the top floor and he told her it was “supposedly” haunted. After everyone was asleep, he would wake me up and we would sneak in there and tilt the paintings on the walls and move stuff around. She would freak out in the a.m. and come running down the stairs, and he would say she was being ridiculous and he and I would laugh about it.


Q: If you could ask your dad one more question what would it be? 

MW: I don’t know. I would just like to be with him and watch the sunset and hold his hand. I wish he knew my kids, but there is nothing I feel the need to ask him because he demonstrated so much through his work and lifestyle and excellent parenting.


Q: Did he have a nickname for you?

MW: It was “precious,” until I hit him accidentally with a gold club. After that he called me “9-iron”!


Q: Is there any personal item or thing of your father’s that you carry at all times or keep in a special place? And if so, what is it/are they?

MW: I have a post card he wrote me from Singapore framed on my nightstand.


Q: What was the best advice he ever gave you?

MW: Don’t hurry, don’t worry and don’t forget to smell the flowers! Also, keep moving forward. Everyone makes mistakes, but you just have to learn from them and move ahead. Don’t dwell on the past.


Q: When you hear people talk of your father with such respect and honor how does that make you feel?

MW: Proud and happy.


Marisa thanks all fans who participated for their thoughtful questions and love of John Wayne. To follow Marisa Wayne’s public page click this link and don’t forget to follow the Official John Wayne Facebook page here!

Marisa Wayne Journal Entry

When people imagine the private life of an iconic movie star like John Wayne, they might picture lavish film premieres, black-tie events—or riding off into Western sunsets. But as his daughter, Marisa Wayne, explains, her father left his strongest impressions in quieter, more personal moments. 

Though only 13 when he passed away, Marisa’s memories of John Wayne are clear and vivid. The glimpses into her father’s private life reflect the values he broadcasted to the rest of America, and to the world at large: hard work, grit, kindness, and love for family.




Marisa Wayne and her father on set.

“People ask me all the time what it’s like to be John Wayne’s daughter and I have to say, it’s pretty darn good. He was not only an incredible family man, but he was doting, fun, playful yet also strict.

Life with him was an adventure. We were either off on some exotic location or on our boat traveling through Mexico or Canada, fishing and playing games. He truly loved having his kids around him and we were not allowed to walk by him without giving him a hug or a kiss. It was a rule and I have since imposed it upon my kids.

He would not tolerate any disrespect and he only had to look at me to make my knees tremble. You always knew when he was serious and you felt bad disappointing him. He knew this so his temper was gentle and quick. He would give you his two cents and then quickly smile and say, “Now come over here and give me a hug!”

The worst part was losing him when I was only 13 years old, but I cherish the memories and being able to watch his movies and interviews.

It was important to him that we use his name to help those with cancer so, here we are, almost 37 years later, still looking for a cure, and, I believe, with the work of the John Wayne Cancer Institute and John Wayne Cancer Foundation, we are getting closer!”

– Marisa Wayne


Do you have a question for Marisa? Join Marisa at 1:30pm PDT on March 29th for a live 30-minute Q&A on the official
John Wayne Facebook page at

A Look Inside the John R. Hamilton Photo Archive

For half a century, John R. Hamilton distinguished himself as one of the greatest and most influential photographers in the entertainment industry. From the 1940’s to the 1990’s, he was celebrated for his portraits of actors like Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, Ann-Margret and more. His Life magazine cover from 1965 is one of the most iconic photos ever taken of John Wayne.


Viewing slides with a lightbox.

In 2014, John Wayne Enterprises had the unique opportunity to acquire a portion of the John R. Hamilton Collection that features John Wayne. The John R. Hamilton / John Wayne Collection contains black and white negatives, color slides and silver gelatin photographer prints of both previously published as well as never before seen photos from the sets of John Wayne films such as The Searchers, The Horse Soldiers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Sons of Katie Elder, Hellfighters, and El Dorado.

Unfortunately, film deteriorates. And as stewards to this historic collection, it is our mission to preserve it using the most effective modern archival methods. Because Hamilton lived and worked in the era before digital photography, it was necessary for him to duplicate slides on a Reponar slide copy machine in order to submit his images to the magazines. This posed a challenge to us as we need to find the earliest generation to be used as a source image for digitization and restoration.

Here, we are looking at the grouping of color transparencies of one of the earliest John Wayne images in the collection: John Wayne sitting on a stool in Monument Valley, AZ during the filming of The Searchers in 1956.

Being nearly 60 years old, the restoration work required careful cleaning before being scanned raw (ie: without any corrections). Once scanned, the image was then matched to the photographers’ prints and corrected for color balance, saturation, tone, and spotted to remove any remaining dirt.


The final version after color correction. Print available for purchase at

The end result of that process is an image that has been preserved for future generations and is part of the John R. Hamilton / John Wayne Collection Limited Edition Fine Art prints.


Amy Shepherd
Executive Director of the John R. Hamilton Archive


Remembering Nancy Reagan

Last Sunday, Nancy Reagan passed away at her home in Los Angeles. She was 94. Reagan was First Lady while her husband, Ronald, served as President of the United States from 1981 through 1989. While in the White House, she was known for returning to past eras of elegance and for taking a proactive role in policy; prior to that, she starred in more than a dozen movies. It was through the film industry that she and Ronald would develop a lasting friendship with John Wayne. Here Nancy Reagan is remembered by
John Wayne’s son, Patrick. 

quoteblock“In the late 1980’s I was invited to a White House dinner by then President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy.  When I asked what was the occasion, Nancy said that it was a state dinner for the Chiracs and that Madame Chirac had personally requested my presence.  At the end of the evening, Nancy personally thanked me for attending.  Some years later, I asked Nancy to attend our fundraiser at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. She graciously accepted the invitation to be honored, saying if it will help your cause. She didn’t make these appearances often.  She didn’t forget her friends. She was a lovely, thoughtful and passionate woman.”

– Patrick Wayne


John Wayne and The Oscars


Image from the very first Academy Award ceremony

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony was held on February 28th 2016, but what do John Wayne and the Oscars have in common? That’s an easy one; they both got their big start in 1929. Although the Duke had some minor parts as an extra in 1926, his first credited film was in 1929: “Words and Music” (Musical Comedy). That was the same year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) held their very first Academy Awards ceremony at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929. Louis B. Mayer created the ceremony and the Academy President was Douglas Fairbanks. “Wings” won the very first Outstanding Picture (now known as Best Picture) award. Only 12 Oscars were presented and 270 people were in attendance. The first Oscars consisted of a private dining affair. It cost five dollars to attend and the ceremony only lasted 15 minutes – notably different from the ceremonies of today which last nearly three hours and include not only award presentations, but has become a huge production.


John Wayne’s Academy Award statue

For me, the most touching part of the ceremony is the Memoriam where members of the Academy and film industry remember lives lost over the previous 12 months. We lost some great ones this last year including an actress known by John Wayne fans worldwide, Maureen O’Hara. John Wayne fans remember all the great films she was in with the Duke: from Rio Grande to Big Jake and who can forget everyone’s favorite, The Quiet Man. We also lost another familiar face to the John Wayne films, Gregg Palmer (not mentioned in the Memoriam). Palmer worked with John Wayne in several films from The Comancheros to The Shootist.

Of his nearly 170 films, John Wayne received three Oscar nominations during his 50 years in the film industry. Many of his fans could name a dozen films they felt Duke should have received an Oscar including: Red River, The Quiet Man, The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. John Wayne received the following nominations:

  • Best Actor (Sands of Iwo Jima) 1949
  • Best Picture (The Alamo) 1960
  • Best Actor (True Grit) 1969

Duke won an Oscar for his part in the film “True Grit” where he portrayed the rough and tough one-eyed U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. When Barbra Streisand presented the award for Best Actor, the 6’4’ actor walked up to accept the award and the first thing he told everyone was:

“WOW, if I’d have known that I’d have put that patch on thirty-five years earlier.”

The crowd burst out in laughter and applause. Duke had finally won the award he so richly deserved for many years. Despite winning one Oscar in his lifetime, fans worldwide continue to watch his films every day of the year. He has left his legacy for us to enjoy for years to come.


– Michael W.