He was ugly, strong, and had dignity — Uncovering John Wayne’s hidden treasure

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John Wayne, then a strikingly handsome 46-year-old star, is captured during the June 1953 filming of “Hondo” in Camargo, Mexico. The image accompanied a Look magazine article entitled “Big John,” and the 3-D movie, a first for Wayne, had began shooting on May 28, 1953. Photography by Maurice Terrell / Shorpy Historical Photo Archive
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Still physically commanding at age 63, John Wayne is determined ranch owner Wil Andersen in a scene from “The Cowboys.” The hard-hitting, coming of age Western began shooting on April 5, 1971, at the San Cristobal Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photography by David Sutton / Reprinted from “John Wayne: The Genuine Article” by Michael Goldman, published by Insight Editions © 2013

The Michael Goldman Interview

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Four scant months after undergoing a major six-hour surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles to remove the entire, cancerous upper lobe of his left lung, in February 1965 John Wayne does his own stunts under a cypress bridge overlooking a freezing river in Durango, Mexico. Wayne portrayed the wrongly imprisoned John Elder in director Henry Hathaway’s satisfying “The Sons of Katie Elder,” unleashed to moviegoers on July 1, 1965. Image Credit: The Lasbugas Collection / Paramount Pictures
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The coffee table book cover of “John Wayne: The Genuine Article,” published on May 19, 2013, by Michael Goldman. Incidentally, the cover shot of the Stetson-clad Duke chomping on a cigar comes from the star’s 1970 Western “Chisum.” Image Credit: Insight Editions
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Ethan Wayne, the youngest son of actor John Wayne, and journalist Michael Goldman participate in a book signing on July 14, 2013, inside Laguna Beach Books in Laguna Beach, California, celebrating the release of “John Wayne: The Genuine Article.” Image courtesy of Michael Goldman
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John Wayne and youngest son Ethan Wayne enjoy an afternoon together aboard the Wild Goose, the acting legend’s converted World War II mine sweeper, circa May 1976, shortly after production had ended for his final film, “The Shootist.” Photography possibly by Pat Stacy / Photo reprinted from “John Wayne: The Genuine Article” by Michael Goldman, published by Insight Editions © 2013
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Author Michael Goldman and “Big Jake” co-star Ethan Wayne pose inside the Crowell Public Library in Pasadena, California, on March 13, 2014, for an autograph session commemorating the release of Goldman’s “John Wayne: The Genuine Article.” Image courtesy of Michael Goldman
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Relaxing aboard the Wild Goose somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, John Wayne wears the brass bracelet given to him in June 1966 by members of the Montagnard Strike Force, mountain tribesmen who had fought for the French during the Indochina War and were currently working as mercenaries for the Americans in Vietnam, usually as the defenders of isolated camps in the highlands or elsewhere, on his right wrist. Reprinted from “John Wayne: The Genuine Article” by Michael Goldman, published by Insight Editions © 2013
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Only the Duke would look good in a driver’s license photo op: Issued on May 12, 1977, is John Wayne’s final California driver’s license, which sold for $89,625 in a public auction conducted in Los Angeles and online by Heritage Auctions in 2011. Reprinted from “John Wayne: The Genuine Article” by Michael Goldman, published by Insight Editions © 2013
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On January 15, 1974, a 66-year-old, cigar chomping John Wayne boldly entered Harvard Square riding atop a 13-ton Army personnel carrier along Mass Avenue to accept the liberal Harvard Lampoon’s inaugural Brass Balls Award. Image Credit: The Lasbugas collection
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“America, Why I Love Her,” unleashed in February 1973 via RCA Victor Records. The cover was taken while John Wayne was filming director Burt Kennedy’s disappointing “The Train Robbers,” which bowed in theaters that same month. Image Credit: iCollector / Sony Music Entertainment
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Thrashing rhythm chords on his iconic 1956 J-200 Gibson acoustic guitar, a frenzied Elvis Presley slays an audience on July 31, 1969, opening night of the rocker’s debut residency at the Las Vegas International Hotel after an astonishing eight-year absence from live performances. Image Credit: Archive Photos / Getty Images
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Dated June 12, 1970, the same day that Steve McQueen was heading to France to begin filming “Le Mans,” is an unearthed letter sent by the King of Cool to John Wayne thanking the latter for a year’s supply of Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Image reprinted from “John Wayne: The Genuine Article” by Michael Goldman, published by Insight Editions © 2013
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Steve McQueen and John Wayne attend a lavish party in 1969. Both stars, who jockeyed for most paid actor status in Hollywood during the 1960s, supported the Republican party. Image Credit: Movie Market
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On the cusp of being a star: Circa November 1938, a 31-year-old John Wayne sits atop a massive formation of rocks in character as the Ringo Kid while filming director John Ford’s magnificent “Stagecoach.” Image Credit: United Artists / John Wayne Enterprises
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An enormous fistful of chess pieces: Accomplished, often devious chess player John Wayne relaxes between takes of filming his final movie, Don Siegel’s “The Shootist,” ultimately distributed on August 20, 1976. Photography by David Sutton / The Lasbugas Collection
Genuine article John Wayne is interviewed aboard his prized Wild Goose yacht shortly after completing “The Shootist,” circa June 1976, for an extremely rare BBC documentary entitled “The Great American Picture Star.” Video Credit: The BBC
Click to see the inside contents of “John Wayne: The Genuine Article,” as detailed by a conscientious female fan who purchased the coffee table tome for her dad’s birthday. Video Credit: YouTube user RiverThoughts

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Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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