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Almost two decades after his death, John Wayne is still Americaa€™s favorite movie star. More than an actor, Wayne is a cultural icon whose stature seems to grow with the passage of time. In this illuminating biography, Ronald L. Davis focuses on Waynea€™s human side, portraying a complex personality defined by frailty and insecurity as well as by courage and strength. Davis traces Waynea€™s story from its beginnings in Winterset, Iowa, to his death in 1979. This is not a story of instant fame: only after a decade in budget westerns did Wayne receive serious consideration, for his performance in John Forda€™s 1939 film Stagecoach. From that point on, his skills and popularity grew as he appeared in such classics as Fort Apache, Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Quiet Man, The Searches, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, and True Grit. A mana€™s ideal more than a womana€™s, Wayne earned his popularity without becoming either a great actor or a sex symbol. In all his films, whatever the character, John Wayne portrayed John Wayne, a persona he created for himself: the tough, gritty loner whose mission was to uphold the frontiera€™s--and the nationa€™s--traditional values. To depict the different facets of Waynea€™s life and career, Davis draws on a range of primary and secondary sources, most notably exclusive interviews with the people who knew Wayne well, including the actora€™s costar Maureen Oa€™Hara and his widow, Pilar Wayne. The result is a well-balanced, highly engaging portrait of a man whose private identity was eventually overshadowed by his screen persona--until he came to represent America itself.College football had become a rage on the West Coast by the mid- 19205, and the University of Southern California Trojans were the talk of Los ... His football scholarship covered tuition and fees, but Duke had to work to pay expenses. Duringanbsp;...

Author:Ronald L. Davis
Publisher:University of Oklahoma Press - 2012-09-06


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