10 Things John Wayne Would Have Tweeted

The man that Hollywood would call The Duke was born in Iowa in 1907. During his career, he would star in a staggering number of films; the number is estimated to be somewhere around 175. Due to his extensive work as an extra in the earliest days of his career, it’s nearly impossible to pin down an exact figure. His tough-guy persona helped him to become an American icon that lives on in our cultural awareness still. If social networking sites like Twitter had existed during his lifetime, here are some of the things that John Wayne might have tweeted.

  1. “Think I’ll go body surfing today at #NewportBeach.” – When, then-USC student, Marion Morrison made the fateful decision to go body surfing in 1927 on Newport Beach, he sustained an injury that ended his promising football career and led to the loss of his athletic scholarship and encouraged his pursuit of studio work as a means of supporting himself.
  2. “@RaoulWalsh just gave me a role on #TheBigTrail. Says I should change my name to John Wayne.” – On the set of the 1930 film The Big Trail directer Raoul Walsh suggested that the young Marion Morrison change his name to John Wayne. The moniker would be the one he used for the rest of his life.
  3. “Working with @YakimaCanutt on some new #StuntWork.” – Though he began working in film more than a decade before his breakthrough role in 1939, John Wayne and longtime colleague Yakima Canutt worked for years to develop and perfect stunt techniques that are still in use today.
  4. “Just got a role in a @JohnFord movie. #Stagecoach” – The 1939 role in Stagecoach was the launch of John Wayne’s already-prolific career, propelling him to near-overnight stardom. Though it was rejected by every major studio in Hollywood, Stagecoach proved to be a huge success. As a result, Wayne would appear in more than twenty of John Ford’s films.
  5. “Making my first color film with @HarryCarey. #ShepherdOfTheHills” – The 1941 release Shepherd of the Hills was John Wayne’s first role in a color film. His longtime friend Harry Carey costarred.
  6. “Making #RioGrande with @MaureenOHara. She’s a gem.” Wayne first appeared with actress Maureen O’Hara in 1950’s Rio Grande. This pairing was so successful with audiences across the country that they would costar in several more films over the next two decades.
  7. “I’ve been diagnosed with #LungCancer. Make a cancer screening part of your routine check up.” – Despite pleas from industry insiders to keep his illness a secret, John Wayne went public with his lung cancer diagnosis and treatment in 1964. As a result of his heavy smoking, Wayne was forced to have his entire left lung and four ribs removed. His first bout with the disease inspired him to campaign for research funding and raise cancer awareness for the rest of his life.
  8. “The Degar of Vietnam presented me with a bracelet out of gratitude for my anti-communist stance.” – One of the only films made during the Vietnam War that supported the war effort was the Wayne-produced The Green Berets in 1968. During filming, the Degar of the Central Highlands presented him with a brass bracelet that he would wear in The Greet Berets and every subsequent film of his career.
  9. “Just won an Oscar. Never thought I’d make it this far when I was a USC football player. #AcademyAwards” – In 1969, John Wayne was nominated for and won an Academy Award for his role in True Grit. He’d been nominated in a producer capacity for The Alamo, but did not win.
  10. “On the set of #TheShootist with @JimmyStewart, @LaurenBacall and @RichardBoone.” – John Wayne’s last film before his death was 1976’s The Shootist, which reunited him with former co-stars Jimmy Stewart, Lauren Bacall and Richard Boone. Two years later, Wayne was diagnosed with stomach cancer; he lost that battle at the age of 72 on June 11, 1979.

John Wayne entered this world at a larger-than-life thirteen pounds, and lived his life on just as large as scale. Known for his controversial political views and outspoken opinions, there’s no doubt that The Duke would have used Twitter to share those thoughts with the world if he’d had the chance.

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