Signature on Autograph Album Page
Large, clear and bold pencil signature on 4.25″ x 5.5″ autograph album page, from the collection of another actor of the same period. Perfect for framing.
JOHN WAYNE (1907-1979), born Marion Robert Morrison, was an Academy Award-winning American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and has become an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive voice, walk and height. He was also known for his conservative political views and his support in the 1950s for anti-communist positions.
A Harris Poll released January 2009 placed Wayne third among America’s favorite film stars, the only deceased star on the list and the only one who has appeared on the poll every year since it first began in 1994. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, having appeared in over 170 films.
As a teen, Wayne worked in an ice cream shop for a man who shod horses for Hollywood studios. He played football for the 1924 champion Glendale High School team. Wayne applied to the U.S. Naval Academy, but was not accepted. He instead attended the University of Southern California (USC), majoring in pre-law. He was a member of the Trojan Knights and Sigma Chi fraternities. Wayne also played on the USC football team, but an injury curtailed his athletic career; Wayne later noted he was too terrified of his coach’s reaction to reveal the actual cause of his injury, which was bodysurfing at the “Wedge” at the tip of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. He lost his athletic scholarship and, without funds, had to leave the university.
Wayne began working at the local film studios. Prolific silent western film star Tom Mix had gotten him a summer job in the prop department in exchange for football tickets. Wayne soon moved on to bit parts, establishing a longtime friendship with the director who provided most of those roles, John Ford. Early in this period, Wayne appeared with his USC teammates playing football in Brown of Harvard (1926), The Dropkick (1927), and Salute (1929) and Columbia’s Maker of Men (filmed in 1930, released in 1931).
The Searchers (1956) continues to be widely regarded as perhaps Wayne’s finest and most complex performance. In 2006 Premiere Magazine ran an industry poll in which Wayne’s portrayal of Ethan Edwards was rated the 87th greatest performance in film history. He named his youngest son Ethan after the character. John Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar for True Grit (1969). Wayne was also nominated as the producer of Best Picture for The Alamo (1960), one of two films he directed. The other was The Green Berets (1968), the only major film made during the Vietnam War to support the war. During the filming of Green Berets, the Degar or Montagnard people of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, fierce fighters against communism, bestowed on Wayne a brass bracelet that he wore in the film and all subsequent films. His last film was The Shootist (1976), whose main character, J. B. Books, was dying of cancer—the illness to which Wayne himself succumbed 3 years later.
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