Awards – John Wayne


John Wayne never pursued his craft thinking about whether or not he would win awards for his efforts. But he did work hard at his craft, from his early years as an extra, trying to emulate stuntmen in an effort to portray a more authentic cowboy on screen, onward. He felt it was important to take pride in one’s work, and he also felt people paying to see him perform deserved his best effort. Indeed, Wayne thought a lot more about his fans than he did about awards, telling friends and family frequently that his fans were the ones “who paid the bills.” And so, any designation that indicated that fans appreciated or enjoyed his performances, or that peers admired his hard work and craftsmanship, or that indicated he had performed his duties in an honorable way and a way that brought revenue and credit to his partners and financiers, did mean a great deal to him. And so, when he finally received acting’s highest honor for his role as Rooster Cogburn in 1969’s “True Grit,” John Wayne was deeply moved and appreciative of the recognition—never feeling he deserved it, but proud to think somebody felt he might have earned it. In addition to his Oscar, over the years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association also honored Wayne with numerous achievements, including the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures and the now retired Henrietta Award for World Film Favorite. Both of these awards recognized Wayne’s deep love for film and his steadfast commitment to creating characters and film experiences that resonated deeply with audiences. As the following listing indicates, Wayne need not have worried—his hard work was well recognized and understood by fans, critics, and industry organizations alike.