John Wayne (1907-1979) was born Marion Robert Morrison but his middle name was changed to Mitchell when his parents decided to name the next born Robert. As an actor Wayne came to symbolise masculinity, bravery, action and individual struggle against overwhelming odds and challenges. A prominent Republican and avowed anti-communist, he was also renowned for right wing thinking on matters as diverse as politics, indigenous affairs, women’s rights and welfare.
"We must always look to the future. Tomorrow - the time that gives a man just one more chance - is one of the many things that I feel are wonderful in life. So`s a good horse under you. Or the only campfire for miles around. Or a quiet night and a nice soft hunk of ground to sleep on. A mother meeting her first-born. The sound of a kid calling you dad for the first time. There`s a lot of things great about life. But I think tomorrow is the most important thing. Comes in to 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."
“Talk low, talk slow and don't say too much.”
"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. "
Although Wayne had requested that the above words be placed on his grave, the plaque marking his final resting place uses different words, those quoted in the first item above:
“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”
“Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid.”
"I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to the point of responsibility. I don`t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people."
"Have you ever heard of some fellows who first came over to this country? You know what they found? They found a howling wilderness, with summers too hot and winters freezing, and they also found some unpleasant little characters who painted their faces. Do you think these pioneers filled out form number X6277 and sent in a report saying the Indians were a little unreasonable? Did they have insurance for their old age, for their crops, for their homes? They did not! They looked at the land, and the forest, and the rivers. They looked at their wives, their kids and their houses, and then they looked up at the sky and they said, 'Thanks, God, we'll take it from here.' "
“I've had three wives, six children and six grandchildren and I still don't understand women”
"I don`t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."
"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 practised in front of a mirror."