Duke’s Legacy: Part 5

In honor of Father’s Day comes the fifth photo story of John Wayne in a role he played best: Dad.

Aissa in the director’s chair reading her dad’s script on set of The Alamo (1960).

Aissa in the director’s chair reading her dad’s script on set of The Alamo (1960).

AISSA WAYNE

Aissa is the eldest child of John and Pilar Wayne. Duke first met Pilar in 1953 during a visit to a local movie set in Peru. The two were later married in Kona, HI while Duke was on location for the filming of The Sea Chase (1956). Aissa was born a year later, the first of John and Pilar’s three children. And like many of John Wayne’s children, Aissa spent a lot of time on sets with her dad. Today, she’s a mother of three, including to daughter Jennifer, a member of the famous country-western group Runaway June. Aissa is also on the board of the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum, and proudly champions the work done by the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and John Wayne Cancer Institute.

John Wayne catches his daughter on the set of The Alamo.

John Wayne catches his daughter on the set of The Alamo.

Aissa leans on her dad while in Hawaii for the filming of Donovan’s Reef (1963).

Aissa leans on her dad while in Hawaii for the filming of Donovan’s Reef (1963).

Aissa with her dad in Africa.

Aissa with her dad in Africa.


“My Darling Aissa,

It was wonderful to hear your voice last night. Your dad is an especially lucky fellow to have a daughter like you. Every day you are growing into a more gentle little lady. Sorry you could not come to this location but I know you will not mind if [Mommy] joins me for a few days visit. Thank you for making me a proud and happy father.

Affectionately,
Daddy

PS. Don’t forget the stars”

— A letter from John Wayne to his daughter

John Wayne and Aissa aboard the Wild Goose in Majorca, Spain.

John Wayne and Aissa aboard the Wild Goose in Majorca, Spain.

Aissa and her dad making music with conch shells.

Aissa and her dad making music with conch shells.

Aissa and her dad walk hand-in-hand in Africa.

Aissa and her dad walk hand-in-hand in Africa.