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gold in them thar hills
Movie Actors Biography
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Movie Actors Biography

Movie Actors

I’ve always been interested in actors especially movie actors. I would expect that most people have identified with some actor on the big screen or the little one. Sometimes it surprises me that the heroes that I lived and died with in their movie role were so active off the screen, too.

Here’s a quick game for you. Can you remember an Actor/Actress who Congress awarded a gold medal, had a picture on a US stamp , and was named a Cancer Foundation ? We always like to remember the best scenes, the words that make us smile when we remember them and use them in our every day conversations and how that person made us feel when he or she did something important in the movie that won the day.

Give up? Or did you already guess it was none other than “the Duke”- John Wayne.

According to his official website when Duke was a kid he had a dog named Duke that he was almost bonded to. They called them big and little Duke. The name stuck. It occurred to me that in the Indiana Jones movie that Harrison Ford starred with Sean Connery as his dad, we learned that Indiana was named for the family dog. Somebody must have been reading John Wayne’s Bio.

John Wayne was a football player for Southern Cal( USC) in 1925. No big surprise there. He was a good student but lost his scholarship when he got hurt on the gridiron. Can you see Duke in a leather helmet? Good thing he worked the back lots of the motion picture industry and got into some bit parts playing , what else?, a football player in 2 films 1926, 1927. That’s how he met John Ford and later Howard Hawks. After that he was in the Westerns and a film legend was born.

But it wasn’t all “gold in them thar hills” pardner. He worked in B movies for 10 years. They even tried to cast him as a singing cowboy(Sandy Saunders). Ouch! Roy and Gene must have cringed when they saw who was trying to muscle in on the original territory. His next big break was in 1939. It was the movie Stage Coach. Hot movie, lots of academy awards. None for Duke. His was not to come along until 1969, Wayne won his first Academy Award for Best Actor for True Grit. He played Rooster Cogburn, an eye-patching drunkard and lawman. By that time he was already “the Man” that everyone tried to emulate.

So, Pilgrim the next time you are looking at one of today's Action Heroes just thank the man who blazed the trail to make it all possible. Thank the Duke!


Street Talk

The actions heroes like the Duke, made one go to films because the weren't just tough hard working men, but role models, when I saw them as a young kid, I always wanted to be like them, thanks for the article.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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