->''I define manhood simply: Men should be tough, fair and courageous, never petty. Never looking for a fight but never backing from one either.''
-->-- '''John Wayne'''.

->''"How can I hate John Wayne upholding [Barry] Goldwater and yet love him tenderly when he sweeps Creator/NatalieWood into his arms in the last reel of Film/TheSearchers?"''
-->-- '''Creator/JeanLucGodard''', discussing Wayne's cross-political appeal.

'''John Wayne''' (born Marion Michael Morrison, May 26, 1907 -- June 11, 1979), nicknamed "Duke", is considered by many to be the closest thing to the [[RatedMForManly epitome of manliness]] in his movies. For the most part, Wayne had two roles: he was either a cowboy or a soldier. It didn't matter which he was, though: he was John Wayne.

A former college football star at USC (a leg injury led to his well-known gait), Wayne got his start as a bit actor before Creator/JohnFord cast him as a major player in the movie ''Film/{{Stagecoach}}''. From there, he went on to appear in dozens of Westerns, including ''Film/SheWoreAYellowRibbon'', ''Film/TrueGrit'', ''Film/TheSearchers'', and ''Film/McLintock''. Occasionally, he switched to being a soldier (assuming, as was the case in ''Ribbon'', he wasn't both at the same time), and his wartime roles include a paratrooper in ''Film/TheLongestDay''.

However, as said earlier, just about all of his movie roles were the same: A gruff man, world-weary and realistic, but definitely [[{{Determinator}} not one to take no for an answer]]; probably harder on himself than anyone else is; not a fan of violence, but when the chips are down, turns out to be a spectacular fighter; at best confused about women and at worst saw them as a hindrance, but eventually warms up to one and gets over his prejudices; on the other hand, often said to hold views on minorities, [[Film/TheSearchers especially Native Americans,]] that are shockingly racist [[UpToEleven even for the times]]. (''Film/{{Hondo}}'' is a notable aversion of that last one....)

At this point, John Wayne is more an invocation of the CowboyCop or the manly man than he ever was in films. His most famous scenes were always the fight scenes, which ranged from dramatic (''Film/TheSearchers'') to comical (''[=McLintock!=]''). In addition, his stilted delivery and loud, commanding voice have made him the subject of imitation by just about anyone worth their imitating salt. None of it matters: he is seen as the man's man, so much so that one beer company spliced his movie footage into a series of their ads (after all, what's more manly than John Wayne and beer?).

If there is a trope in TheWestern, odds are [[TropeCodifier Wayne used it]] (or, almost just as likely, ''[[TropeMaker invented]]'' it). He also did lots of things that are covered by the RuleOfCool. But above all, he just made great movies that people love to watch, full of suspense, silliness, fistfights, and down-home American values. No wonder his style is [[{{Eagleland}} often the caricature of America]] overseas, although nowadays his roles would likely be filled by a BoisterousBruiser.

When he is invoked in politics, it is usually as [[WorthyOpponent a call for honor and fair play]], as he said of [[UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy President Kennedy]]:
-->''I didn't vote for him, but he's my president and I hope he does a good job.''

Although Wayne is known for his conservative activism - among other causes, he supported the Hollywood blacklist and the VietnamWar - he rarely let politics interfere with whom he worked with. Creator/KirkDouglas, as liberal as Wayne was conservative, praised Wayne for his willingness to keep promises and help other actors find roles.[[note]]Douglas cited ''Cast a Giant Shadow'' as an example; the film's director, Melville Shavelson, spent years trying to interest studios in the project, without success. Shavelson showed the script to Wayne, who liked it but thought he was wrong for the lead role, Mickey Marcus. He convinced Shavelson to cast Kirk Douglas instead, appearing in a brief cameo, while helping to secure financing and studio backing for Shavelson behind the scenes.[[/note]] When Creator/GeorgeTakei balked at appearing in ''FZilm/TheGreenBerets'' for political reasons, Wayne told Takei that he didn't mind his politics - he only cared that Takei was right for his part. More than anyone else, Wayne is probably the one responsible for [[AmericanPoliticalSystem shifting American conservatism away from its genteel, country-club image and toward the rough-and-tumble, often disgruntled cultural attitude it has today]].

Orange County, California's airport is named after him.

Is the [[TropePantheon Patron God]] of TheWestern, TheWildWest, and {{Cowboy}}s. His most likely SpiritualSuccessor (in terms of cultural impact and filling the same types of roles) is Creator/ChuckNorris.

!!Some Of Wayne's Famous Films Include:

* ''Film/BabyFace'' (1933): Before Wayne became a star with ''Stagecoach'', he spent years as a bit player and B-movie lead. Here he plays very much against his later type, as one of Barbara Stanwyck's pathetic rejects.
* ''Film/{{Stagecoach}}'' (1939): The one that put Wayne on the map, in which he plays the Ringo Kid, a criminal who turns himself in to a sheriff protecting a wagon party moving westward so that he can avenge the murders of his father and brother.
* ''Film/TheLongVoyageHome'' (1940): Ensemble piece with Wayne as one of a group of sailors aboard a British cargo ship sailing in dangerous Atlantic waters.
* ''Film/TheFlyingTigers'' (1942): Wayne plays the Colonel in charge of the American Volunteer Group in a propaganda film finish just after Pearl Harbor
* ''{{Film/Bataan}}'' (1943) Another propaganda film, Wayne leads a typically ethnic platoon in the desperate, doomed defense of the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines in 1941-42.
* ''Film/AngelAndTheBadman'' (1947): Wayne plays Quirt Evans, a notorious {{gunslinger}} who falls in love with a Quaker girl.
* ''Film/FortApache'' (1948): Wayne co-stars with Creator/HenryFonda as Kirby Yorke, an officer long-experienced in dealing with the Apaches chafing under the martinetish ways of his new commander.
* ''Film/RedRiver'' (1948): Wayne plays Tom Dunson, a rancher whose adopted son (Montgomery Clift) turns against him in the middle of a cattle drive, mainly because Dunson has become unhinged. It's like ''Literature/MutinyOnTheBounty'', but set in the post-Civil War Old West.
* ''Film/SheWoreAYellowRibbon'' (1949): Wayne is Nathan Brittles, an aging cavalry commander with one last duty before retirement: stop an Indian tribe from attacking a fort. Notable because he was playing a 65 year old man at the age of 35, and yet he's so convincing, many people born since Wayne died have a hard time placing it at the '''start''' of his career.
* ''Film/SandsOfIwoJima'' (1949) Wayne plays a grizzled Sergeant, a Guadalcanal and Tarawa vet who leads a squad through Iwo Jima. [[spoiler: What famously shocked audiences was that Wayne ''died'' in the movie.]]
* ''RioGrande'' (1950): The sequel to ''Fort Apache'' has Kirby Yorke (Wayne) stationed at the Mexican border, with the Apaches attacking from the Mexican side.
* ''Film/TheQuietMan'' (1952): Transport the scene to Ireland, as Wayne plays Sean Thornton, a retired boxer who wants to live a simple life until a burly big brother prevents him from pursuing his romantic interest.
* ''Film/TheConqueror'' (1956): Wayne plays UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan. Widely regarded as the worst movie he ever made, though little actual blame was directed at Wayne for this. The New York Times observed: "John Wayne as Genghis Khan -- history's most improbable piece of casting unless Mickey Rooney were to play Jesus in ''King of Kings''." Unfortunately, Wayne among others in the production paid a heavy price considering they shot this film in Nevada when the US military was conducting open air nuclear weapon tests and they were downwind of the fallout, resulting in fatal cancers, including, quite possibly, the cancer that finally killed Wayne in 1979. This was compounded by Creator/HowardHughes then ordering tons of the contaminated soil to be shipped back to Hollywood for studio shooting at a time when the effects of fallout and nuclear contamination were not completely understood.
* ''Film/TheSearchers'' (1956): Widely considered Wayne's finest role, as well as one of the greatest movies ever made, he is Ethan Edwards, out to avenge the apparent death (or worse) of his niece at the hands of savage Indians while combating his own internal bigotry (and not too successfully for the latter).
* ''Film/RioBravo'' (1959): Teaming up with Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, and Walter "Old Codger Voice" Brennan, Wayne as "Sheriff John Chance" has to keep a criminal in jail despite the efforts of his rich, unscrupulous brother.
* ''Film/TheAlamo'' (1960): Wayne's first of two full-fledged directorial efforts.
* ''Film/NorthToAlaska'' (1960): Wayne is an Alaskan gold miner who has to bring his partners' wife-to-be up from Seattle, only she's already married someone else! Now Wayne tries to find his friend a substitute to help his pal.
* ''Film/TheComancheros'' (1961): Wayne is a Texas Ranger who hunts for, arrests, and eventually befriends a professional gambler as they investigate who is manipulating the Comanche into another war. Co-directed by Wayne when director Creator/MichaelCurtiz fell sick.
* ''Film/TheLongestDay'' (1962): Wayne is a Colonel in the 82nd Airborne who breaks his leg landing in Normandy.
* ''Film/TheManWhoShotLibertyValance'' (1962): Wayne plays Tom Doniphon, a tragic rancher/gunfighter who may or may not have performed the title action. This is the film that codified "pilgrim" in the minds of John Wayne impressionists everywhere.
* ''Film/{{Hatari}}'' (1962): Wayne as "Sean Mercer" teams with Red Buttons as big game hunters in Africa forced to carry around [[TheLoad a zoo photographer]] per orders in this character study.
* ''Film/McLintock'' (1963): Wayne is the richest man in town, but has to put up with a nagging ex-wife and strange townsfolk; the movie is famous for a fistfight on the edge of (and in) a muddy quarry.
* ''Film/TheGreatestStoryEverTold'' (1965): Wayne appears as the Roman soldier who, upon witnessing the death of Jesus Christ, proclaims "Truly, this man was the son of God."
* ''Film/InHarmsWay'' (1965): A WorldWarII WarEpic centering on a group of naval officers in the first years of WorldWarII. Shortly after filming finished, Wayne was diagnosed with lung cancer.
* ''Film/ElDorado'' (1966): Basically a remake of ''Film/RioBravo'' by the same director and writer but with Creator/RobertMitchum as Wayne's drunken friend and a young James Caan as TheGunfighterWannabe.
* ''Film/TheGreenBerets'' (1968): Wayne directs and stars as a portrays a colonel in the US Special Forces in quite possibly the only pro-[[TheVietnamWar Vietnam]] film ever made. Co-stars Creator/GeorgeTakei as a South Vietnamese Captain.
* ''Film/{{HellFighters}}'' (1968): Wayne plays the head of an elite team of firefighters that specialize in oil-well cases.
* ''Film/TrueGrit'' (1969): Wayne's only Oscar win came about as the one-eyed hero Rooster Cogburn, hired by a young girl to capture her father's killer.
* ''Film/{{Chisum}}'' (1970): Wayne plays John Chisum, a real-life CattleBaron involved in the Lincoln County War in the 1870s Old West.
* ''Film/BigJake'' (1971). Wayne plays RetiredBadass Jake [=McCandles=] whose grandson is kidnapped by a group of violent thugs who demand a ransom. Jake, along with two of his sons, [[BadassGrandpa goes to get his grandson back]]. One of the Duke's later films, and set in the year 1909, it dealt with themes such as [[TwilightOfTheOldWest the closing of the American West]] and the end of the day of cowboy heroes like the ones Wayne had always played. Notable also for featuring two of Wayne's real-life sons, as well as the son of Creator/RobertMitchum, in prominent roles.
* ''Film/TheCowboys'' (1972): Wayne plays Wil Anderson, a tough rancher who recruits a group of teenage boys to help him on a cattle drive as no experienced cowboys are available, and becomes their harsh-but-fair mentor. [[spoiler:And then he gets killed by a vicious rustler, and the rest of the film is about the boys avenging him.]]
* ''Film/{{McQ}}'' (1974): Wayne plays the eponymous Seattle detective. This film is notable for introducing the [[CoolGuns MAC-10 submachine gun]] to the public and for its climactic car chase which features the first cannon rollover in film history.
* ''Film/RoosterCogburn'' (1975): A sequel to ''True Grit'' that pairs Wayne with another screen legend, Creator/KatharineHepburn.
* ''Film/TheShootist'' (1976): Wayne's final role, in which he plays J.B. Books, a gunman dying of cancer who wants to end his life in peace (not coincidentally, Wayne's own cancer was in remission; it would kill him three years later).