Young Duke: The Early Life of John Wayneby Chris Enss, Howard Kazanjian
By the time Stagecoach made John Wayne a silver-screen star in 1939, the thirty-one-year-old was already a veteran of more than sixty films, having twirled six-guns and foiled cattle rustlers in B Westerns for five studios. By the 1950s he was Hollywood’s most popular actor—an Academy Award nominee destined to become an American/i>… See more details below
By the time Stagecoach made John Wayne a silver-screen star in 1939, the thirty-one-year-old was already a veteran of more than sixty films, having twirled six-guns and foiled cattle rustlers in B Westerns for five studios. By the 1950s he was Hollywood’s most popular actor—an Academy Award nominee destined to become an American icon.
Through previously unpublished photographs and revealing family anecdotes, The Young Duke offers an unflinching look at how Marion Morrison became the legend known as John Wayne—from his boyhood in Winterset, Iowa, to his days as a college football star, to his stunning box-office success in Westerns and war movies in the 1930s and 1940s. Shedding new light on Wayne’s formative years and early Hollywood roles and influences, this biography uncovers the true stories behind the screen legend’s public and private lives.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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- 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from Chapter 7: Private Life Public Chata Bauer frantically paced back and forth across the floor of the massive living room in the home she shared with John Wayne. It was late. She backhanded a wave of silky, black hair out of her eyes and pulled her designer robe tightly around her shapely figure. Her cheeks were stained with tears and the makeup she used to cover the blemishes on her face was streaked. She checked the clock over the fireplace for the millionth time and headed to the bar in the corner of the room. After pouring herself a glass of bourbon and stirring it with her finger, she downed the drink in one swallow. A picture of she and Duke together with their dogs caught her eye. She picked up the photo, cursed Wayne in Spanish, then threw the framed print against the wall. The glass shattered into a million pieces. Several pages of a phone book lay strewn over the coffee table. She had called everyone she could think of looking for her husband. Just as she made her way to the phone, picked up the receiver and started to dial another number, the doorbell rang. Wayne was on the other side trying to get into the house, but the door was locked. He jiggled the handle, rang the bell again and pounded on the wooden frame. He yelled for Chata to let him in, but she refused. She cursed at him, returned to the bar, poured herself another drink, and proceeded down the hallway toward her bedroom. After a few moments, Wayne’s persistent shouts for someone to let him in stopped. All was quiet for a moment and then a few of the glass panes around the door shattered. Wayne’s sturdy fist reached in through the broken window and unlocked the door. He then dragged his weary frame to the couch and plopped down. He could hear Chata and her mother, Esperanza, speaking in hushed, angry tones in the other room. He knew there would be hell to pay for his late arrival home. He was resting his eyes, waiting for the inevitable confrontation when Chata burst into the room carrying a loaded automatic weapon that she pointed at Wayne, threatening to kill him. Esperanza followed and pulled on Chata’s arm, trying to talk some sense into her. Chata jerked away from her mother and trained the barrel of the gun on her husband.
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