John Wayne Quotes

John Wayne (Marion Mitchell Morrison), 1907 – 1979

Born: 26 May 1907, Winterset, Iowa
Died: 11 June 1979, Los Angeles, California

Born Marion Robert Morrison, his parents decided to name their next son Robert and changed his middle name to Mitchell. To complicate things, a publicist’s error later gave his “real name” as Marion Michael Morrison, and most biographical information used that until his unfinished autobiography was discovered. Small and shy, the bullies teased him about the name Marion. His Airedale followed him to school, but as dogs weren’t allowed at school he left “Duke” at a local fire station. The fire fighters had trouble remembering his name, so he became “Little Duke” and the large dog was “Big Duke”. He attended Wilson Middle School at Glendale, then Glendale High School and the University of Southern California where he majored in pre-law. A surfing accident ended his football playing, which ended his scholarship. Tom Mix had gotten him a job in the Fox prop department in exchange for football tickets, giving him an entry to gaining some bit parts under director John Ford. He appeared as a football player with his former teammates in four films early in his career. In 1930 he appeared in The Big Trail and the studio settled on John Wayne for the credits. He appeared in minor roles in about eighty westerns. During this time Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures, accused Wayne of taking a pass at Cohn’s girlfriend and told executives at other studios that Wayne was a womanizer, troublemaker, and showed up for work drunk. Wayne never accepted another role from Columbia, even when the studio bought a script specifically for Wayne to star in years later. His breakout role came when Ford cast him in Stagecoach in 1939. From that until The Shootist in 1976 he played the lead in about 140 films. There is some dispute about his lack of service in World War II; the studio opposed his entering the service, but he did tour to appear for the troops and did some undercover work for the OSS. Having been a heavy smoker throughout his adult life, he lost his left lung to cancer in 1964, requiring him to avoid exertion in his roles. The studio tried to hush it up. Cancer returned, this time to his stomach, and he died at UCLA Medical Center. He wanted his epitaph to read “Feo, Fuente y Formal”, Spanish for “ugly, strong, and dignified”, but his family left the grave unmarked for twenty years and then used a quote from his 1971 Playboy interview instead.

John Wayne quotes:

A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.
    John Wayne

But don’t get me wrong. As far as a man and a woman is concerned, I’m awfully happy there’s a thing called sex. It’s an extra something God gave us. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be in pictures. Healthy, lusty sex is wonderful.
    John Wayne

But you know, I’m very conscious that people criticize Hollywood. Yet we’ve created a form, the Western, that can be understood in every country. The good guys against the bad guys. No nuances. And the horse is the best vehicle of action in our medium. You take action, a scene, and scenery, and cut them together, and you never miss.
    John Wayne

Communism is quite obviously still a threat. Yes, they are human beings, with a right to their point of view . . .
    John Wayne

Contrary to what people think, I’m no politician, and when I have something to say I say it through my movies.
    John Wayne

Courage is being scared to death – and saddling up anyway.
    John Wayne

Don’t ever for a minute make the mistake of looking down your nose at westerns. They’re art — the good ones, I mean. They deal in life and sudden death and primitive struggle, and with the basic emotions — love, hate, and anger — thrown in. We’ll have westerns films as long as the cameras keep turning. The fascination that the Old West has will never die. And as long as people want to pay money to see me act, I’ll keep on making westerns until the day I die.
    John Wayne

Fights with too much violence are dull.
    John Wayne

Get a checkup. Talk someone you like into getting a checkup. Nag someone you love into getting a checkup. And while you’re at it, send a check to the American Cancer Society. It’s great to be alive.
    John Wayne

Give me a fifth of bourbon – that’ll square it.
    John Wayne – Request for payment for appearing on Beverly Hillbillies episode (1962)

God, how I hate solemn funerals. When I die, take me into a room and burn me. Then my family and a few good friends should get together, have a few good belts, and talk about the crazy old time we all had together.
    John Wayne

I am a demonstrative man, a baby picker-upper, a hugger and a kisser – that’s my nature.
    John Wayne

I am an old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness, flag-waving patriot.
    John Wayne

I didn’t vote for him but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.
    John Wayne – On John F. Kennedy’s election

I don’t have to assert my virility. I think my career has shown that I’m not exactly a pantywaist. But I do take pride in my work, even to the point of being the first one on the set in the morning. I’m a professional.
    John Wayne

I don’t want ever to appear in a film that would embarrass a viewer. A man can take his wife, mother, and his daughter to one of my movies and never be ashamed or embarrassed for going.
    John Wayne

I drink for comradeship, and when I drink for comradeship, I don’t bother to keep count.
    John Wayne

I eat as much as I ever did, I drink more than I should, and my sex life is none of your goddamned business.
    John Wayne – Playboy interview (May 1971)

I have never been conscious of going for any particular type, it’s just a happenstance.
    John Wayne – On having married three Latinas

I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please.
    John Wayne

I licked the Big C. I know the man upstairs will pull the plug when he wants to, but I don’t want to end my life being sick. I want to go out on two feet, in action.
    John Wayne – Press conference (29 December 1964)

I never trust a man that doesn’t drink.
    John Wayne

I play John Wayne in every picture regardless of the character, and I’ve been doing all right, haven’t I?
    John Wayne

I read someplace that I used to make B-pictures. Hell, they were a lot farther down the alphabet than that … but not as far down as R and X. I think any man who makes an X-rated picture ought to be made to take his own daughter to see it.
    John Wayne

I stick to simple themes. Love. Hate. No nuances. I stay away from psychoanalyst’s couch scenes. Couches are good for one thing.
    John Wayne

I want to play a real man in all my films, and I define manhood simply: men should be tough, fair, and courageous, never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either.
    John Wayne

I would like to be remembered, well … the Mexicans have a phrase, “Feo fuerte y formal”. Which means he was ugly, strong and had dignity.
    John Wayne – Time magazine interview (1969)

I’m an American actor. I work with my clothes on. I have to. Riding a horse can be pretty tough on your legs and elsewheres.
    John Wayne

I’m glad I won’t be around much longer to see what they do with it. The men who control the big studios today are stock manipulators and bankers. They know nothing about our business.
    John Wayne

I’m pleased to be present and accounted for in this capital of freedom to witness history as it happens – to watch a common man accept the uncommon responsibility he won ‘fair and square’ by stating his case to the American people – not by bloodshed, be-headings, and riots at the palace gates. I know I’m a member of the loyal opposition – accent on the loyal. I’d have it no other way.
    John Wayne – At inauguration of Jimmy Carter (20 January 1977)

I’ve always followed my father’s advice: He told me, first, to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally. If I insult you, you can be goddam sure I intend to. And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble.
    John Wayne

I’ve always had deep faith that there is a Supreme Being, there has to be. To me that’s just a normal thing to have that kind of faith. The fact that He’s let me stick around a little longer, or She’s let me stick around a little longer, certainly goes great with me, and I want to hang around as long as I’m healthy and not in anybody’s way.
    John Wayne

I’ve had lung cancer, the big C. But I’ve beaten the son of a bitch. Maybe I can give some poor bastard a little hope by being honest. I want people to know cancer can be licked. My advisers all told me that the public doesn’t want its movie heroes associated with serious illness like cancer, that it destroys their image. Well, I don’t care much about images, and, anyway, I would have thought there was a lot better image in the fact that John Wayne had cancer and licked it.
    John Wayne – Press conference (29 December 1964)

I’ve known Jane Fonda since she was a little girl. I’ve never agreed with a word she’s said, but would give my life defending her right to say it.
    John Wayne – (1979)

I’ve seen too many kids your age wounded or dead because of that flag. So I don’t take too kindly to it.
    John Wayne – To protesters waving a Viet Cong flag (1966)

If I had it to do over again, I’d probably do everything I did. But that’s not necessarily the right thing to do.
    John Wayne

If I’d known this was all it would take, I’d have put that eyepatch on 40 years ago.
    John Wayne – Accepting Oscar for True Grit (1969)

If it hadn’t been for football and the fact I got my leg broke and had to go into the movies to eat, why, who knows, I might have turned out to be a liberal Democrat.
    John Wayne

In spite of the fact that Rooster Cogburn would shoot a fella between the eyes, he’d judge that fella before he did it. He was merely trying to make the area in which he was marshal livable for the most number of people.
    John Wayne

It’s kind of a sad thing when a normal love of country makes you a super patriot. I do think we have a pretty wonderful country, and I thank God that He chose me to live here.
    John Wayne

Let’s say I hope that I appeal to the more carefree times in a person’s life rather than to his reasoning adulthood. I’d just like to be an image that reminds someone of joy rather than of the problems of the world.
    John Wayne

Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.
    John Wayne

My main object in making a motion picture is entertainment. If at the same time I can strike a blow for liberty, then I’ll stick one in.
    John Wayne

Not that I had thoughts of becoming a song and dance man, but, like most young actors, I did want to play a variety of roles. I remember walking down the street one day, mumbling to myself about the way my career was going, when suddenly I bumped into Will Rogers. “What’s the matter, Duke?” he asked, and I said things weren’t going so well. “You working?” he asked, and I said, “Yep.” “Keep working, Duke,” he said and smiled and walked away.
    John Wayne

Oscar and I have something in common. Oscar first came to the Hollywood scene in 1928. So did I. We’re both a little weatherbeaten, but we’re still here and plan to be around for a whole lot longer.
    John Wayne – Presenting Best Picture award (1979)

Paul Newman would have been a much more important star if he hadn’t always tried to be an anti-hero, to show the human feet of clay.
    John Wayne

Rooster Cogburn’s attitude toward life was maybe a little different, but he was basically the same character I’ve always played.
    John Wayne

Screw ambiguity. Perversion and corruption masquerade as ambiguity. I don’t trust ambiguity.
    John Wayne

Some people tell me everything isn’t black and white. But I say why the hell not?
    John Wayne

Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.
    John Wayne – Advice to Michael Caine (1967)

That little clique back there in the East has taken great personal satisfaction reviewing my politics instead of my pictures. But one day those doctrinaire liberals will wake up to find the pendulum has swung the other way.
    John Wayne

That Redford fellow is good. Brando. Ah, Patton – George C. Scott. But the best of the bunch is Garner – James Garner. He can play anything. Comedy westerns, drama – you name it. Yeah, I have to say Garner is the best around today. He doesn’t have to say anything – just make a face and you crack up.
    John Wayne

The fire is not discriminating. It burns anything in its path for whatever reason.
    John Wayne

The West – the very words go straight to that place of the heart where Americans feel the spirit of pride in their western heritage – the triumph of personal courage over any obstacle, whether nature or man.
    John Wayne

There must be some higher power or how else does all this stuff work?
    John Wayne

There’s been a lot of stories about how I got to be called Duke. One was that I played the part of a duke in a school play—which I never did. Sometimes, they even said I was descended from royalty! It was all a lot of rubbish. Hell, the truth is that I was named after a dog!
    John Wayne

They figure Duke Wayne with cancer isn’t a good image. I was too doped up at the time to argue with them, but I’m telling you the truth now. You know I never lie.
    John Wayne – Revealing his lung cancer, interview with James Bacon (1964)

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.
    John Wayne

Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded…. They shout you down and won’t let you speak if you disagree with them.
    John Wayne

We’ve made mistakes along the way, but that’s no reason to start tearing up the best flag God ever gave to any country.
    John Wayne

Westerns are closer to art than anything else in the motion picture business.
    John Wayne

When I started, I knew I was no actor and I went to work on this Wayne thing. It was as deliberate a projection as you’ll ever see. I figured I needed a gimmick, so I dreamed up the drawl, the squint and a way of moving meant to suggest that I wasn’t looking for trouble but would just as soon throw a bottle at your head as not. I practiced in front of a mirror.
    John Wayne

When people say a John Wayne picture got bad reviews, I always wonder if they know it’s a redundant sentence, but hell, I don’t care. People like my pictures and that’s all that counts.
    John Wayne

When the road looks rough ahead, remember the Man Upstairs and the word Hope. Hang onto both and tough it out.
    John Wayne

When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it.
    John Wayne

You can’t eat awards — nor, more to the point, drink ’em.
    John Wayne

You can’t whine and bellyache because somebody else got a good break and you didn’t.
    John Wayne

You know, I hear everybody talking about the generation gap. Frankly, sometimes I don’t know what they’re talking about. Heck, by now I should know a little bit about it, if I’m ever going to. I have seven kids and 18 grandkids and I don’t seem to have any trouble talking to any of them. Never have had, and I don’t intend to start now.
    John Wayne

You’re going to think I’m being corny, but this is how I really feel: I hope my family and my friends will be able to say that I was an honest, kind and fairly decent man.
    John Wayne

What do you think?

2.1k Points
Upvote Downvote

Written by MoneyNet

MoneyNet is the team behind the research and fact-checking of our net worth listings. We strive to provide the most up-to-date listings of the wealthiest people in the world from a wide range of industries and professions. If you have a tip, or think that we have something factually incorrect, then please let us know. Aside from that, enjoy learning everything there is to know about the rich and famous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Barbara W. Tuchman Quotes

Steven Wright Quotes