Patrick Wayne unmasks extraordinary dad’s vulnerability in exclusive birthday tribute

Actor Patrick Wayne grants his most comprehensive digital interview to date marking the 110th birthday of his late father, iconic cowboy hero John Wayne. Here the Duke cuts a dashing profile as Matt Masters, owner of a combination circus / Wild West show traveling throughout the capitals of Europe and molded after real life colorful cowboy Buffalo Bill Cody. “Circus World,” a barely remembered, bloated drama unveiled on June 25, 1964, was directed by Henry Hathaway of later “True Grit” blockbuster status. Wayne had a persistent, nagging cough during filming that eventually manifested itself as lung cancer. Note his stylized signature on the publicity still. Image Credit: AF Archive / Alamy
In character as Lieutenant Colonel Kirby Yorke, a mustachioed John Wayne and son Patrick Wayne frame a majestic blue sky while filming “Rio Grande” circa June 1950 in Moab, Utah. “Rio Grande” was the final installment of director John Ford’s esteemed cavalry-themed trilogy. Image Credit: Sunset Boulevard / Corbis via Getty Images

The Patrick Wayne Interview

Cigar-chomping box office champion John Wayne confidently rumbles into Harvard Square on a 13-ton Army personnel carrier to battle liberal college students in this January 15, 1974 photo. The Duke was on hand to collect the Harvard Lampoon’s Brass Balls Award. Image Credit: Las Bugas Collection / forum
A wider shot demonstrates the capacity Harvard Square crowd greeting John Wayne on a 13-ton Army personnel carrier on January 15, 1974. The Duke was on hand to collect the Harvard Lampoon’s Brass Balls Award, a fitting trophy if ever there was one for America’s genuine article. Image Credit: Las Bugas Collection / forum
As wealthy, hard-nosed cattle baron George Washington “G.W.” McLintock, John Wayne and son Patrick Wayne butt heads in the entertaining “McLintock!,” a comedy Western released on November 13, 1963. That’s irascible scene-stealing character actor Strother Martin portraying an incompetent Indian agent at far right. Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Las Bugas collection / forum
As Colonel Mike Kirby, John Wayne directs son Patrick Wayne and a partially obscured Edward Faulkner in “The Green Berets,” a still controversial Vietnam war film released on July 4, 1968. Patrick played Lieutenant Jamison, a Navy engineer proficient at driving bulldozers. Photography by David Sutton / Warner Bros.
Sons Patrick [left] and Michael join their famous father John Wayne on the set of “The Green Berets” in Fort Benning, Georgia, circa September 1967. The Duke directed and starred in the film, Michael served as producer and Patrick had a supporting role. Photography by David Sutton / Warner Bros. / Las Bugas Collection
Three of John Wayne’s children along with seven grandchildren collide on the Warner Bros. backlot during the filming of “The Shootist” in early March 1976. Back row, left to right are Anita La Cava Swift, Brigid La Cava Casey, Toni Wayne La Cava, Kevin La Cava, John Wayne, and Patrick Wayne. Standing on the front row are David La Cava, Daniel La Cava [aka actor Brendan Wayne], Christopher John La Cava, Peter La Cava, and Marisa Wayne. Patrick, Toni, and Marisa are the Duke’s children. Seven of Toni’s eight children are pictured — son Mark La Cava is not present. Marisa is wearing turn of the 20th century clothing since she had a bit part in “The Shootist,” incidentally her film debut. Photography by David Sutton / The Peter La Cava Collection
Clockwise from top left: John Wayne, son Ethan Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Chris Mitchum (son of Robert Mitchum), singer Bobby Vinton, and son Patrick Wayne pose on a railroad depot porch in Durango. “Big Jake” debuted on May 26, 1971, the Duke’s 64th birthday. Photography by David Sutton / Paramount Pictures
John Wayne and son Patrick Wayne greet fans upon arrival at Orange County Airport in Santa Ana on April 27, 1978. The Duke had just undergone major surgery in Boston to replace a defective heart valve and would succumb to stomach cancer 14 months later. Photography by Steve Rice / Los Angeles Times / Las Bugas Collection
“Oscar and I have something in common. Oscar first came to the Hollywood scene in 1928. So did I. We’re both a little weather-beaten, but we’re still here and plan to be around a whole lot longer.” On April 9, 1979, an emaciated but distinctly handsome John Wayne and 51st Academy Awards first-time host Johnny Carson wish the 46.3 million-strong audience inside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles a good evening moments after the former presented the Best Picture Oscar to “The Deer Hunter,” a film he vehemently despised. Image Credit: The Oscars / ABC / screengrab
Dressed as Sheriff John T. Chance, John Wayne plays chess on the set of director Howard Hawks’ classic “Rio Bravo” with son Patrick Wayne circa May 1958. Duke relished the game and was often guilty of cheating unless an opponent nixed his skullduggery. Image Credit: Las Bugas collection / forum
John Wayne’s secretary and final companion Pat Stacy [center with black hat], son Patrick Wayne [directly behind Stacy in sunglasses], and other family members stand outside Our Lady Queen of the Angels Catholic Church in Corona del Mar on June 15, 1979, for the iconic actor’s private funeral service. Photography by Steve Rice / Los Angeles Times / Las Bugas Collection
Like father, like son: John Wayne lovingly cradles newborn son Patrick shortly after his July 15, 1939 birth, possibly outside the Duke’s 312 North Highland Avenue, Hancock Park-Wilshire, Los Angeles home shared with first wife Josephine Saenz. Four months earlier Wayne’s star-defining turn in John Ford’s “Stagecoach” was unleashed nationally, but he was still mired in an eight-picture contract for Herbert Yates’ Republic Pictures portraying white-hatted hero Stony Brooke in the Three Mesquiteers B-Western series. “Wyoming Outlaw” would have been playing on a matinee double bill when this snapshot was taken. Image Credit: The Patrick Wayne Collection
John Wayne and fetching spouse Josie Saenz, the daughter of the Consul General of Panama in the United States, casually pose with first child Michael Wayne on a wooden dock overlooking the Pacific Ocean, summer 1935. Image Credit: John Wayne Enterprises
Distributed by independent studio Avco Embassy Pictures in June 1966 is the DVD cover of intriguing Western “An Eye for an Eye,” toplined by Robert Lansing and Patrick Wayne. Fun fact: Kurt Russell’s father Bing Russell, best known to cowboy aficionados as stalwart Deputy Clem Foster on the beloved “Bonanza” series, co-wrote “An Eye for an Eye.” Image Credit: Lions Gate / Amazon
Unleashed on August 12, 1977, “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger” teamed up the progeny of two classic Hollywood actors, Patrick Wayne — son of John Wayne — and Taryn Power — daughter of Tyrone Power. The swashbuckler was directed by Sam Wanamaker, best known for the oft-neglected Western “Catlow” featuring Yul Brynner. Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment
As singing cowboy Rex O-Herlihan, Tom Berenger [left] sizes up Wrangler Bob Barber [Patrick Wayne, the real-life son of iconic cowboy John Wayne] in a still from “Rustlers’ Rhapsody,” an underrated Western parody released quietly on May 10, 1985. Photography by Federico G. Grau / Paramount
John Wayne playfully shadow boxes on the set of director John Ford’s “Mister Roberts” with son Patrick Wayne in Kailua Bay, Hawaii, circa October 1954. At the time Duke was filming “The Sea Chase,” and his son had a minor role in “Mister Roberts.” Photography by Jack Woods / MPTV
Epiphone Dove acoustic guitar slinger-songwriter-vocalist Jennifer Wayne was born on April 1, 1982, three years after her grandfather John Wayne’s prolonged battle with stomach cancer ended. This winning candid was featured in the May 5, 2016 issue of Risen Magazine, right around the time Runaway June’s debut single, “Lipstick,” landed squarely in Billboard’s Top 40 country singles chart. Image Credit: Risen Magazine
An alternate CD reissue cover of John Wayne’s “America: Why I Love Her,” dropped on December 5, 2011…featuring an arguably better shot of the Duke taken on location in Durango, Mexico, circa April 1972 while filming director Burt Kennedy’s “The Train Robbers.” Image Credit: John Wayne Enterprises / Amazon
Fashionably draping a jacket over his shoulder, an 18-year-old Patrick Wayne opts for an ill-advised, close-cropped haircut on the single 45 cover of “That’s Why” b/w “Big Love,” credited to Pat Wayne and the Corsairs. Released by Dot Records in August 1958, the record regrettably failed to see any national chart action in Billboard. Neither tune is available digitally or via YouTube…so if you stumble upon a copy please share online with fellow Wayne fans. Image Credit: 45Cat user BoyJohn / Universal Music Group
A beaming 34-year-old Elvis Presley, then thought of as a singing Hollywood has-been, confidently meets members of the press corps on August 1, 1969, in Las Vegas after roundly conquering opening night jitters at the International Hotel in his first live appearance in eight years. Father Vernon Presley chuckles in the background. Photography by Terry O’Neill / FECC Elvis-Collectors messageboard
Taken circa 2002, the incredibly handsome Chairman of the John Wayne Cancer Institute Patrick Wayne co-starred with his iconic father in films such as “The Green Berets” and crafted his own persona in the swashbuckler “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.” Image courtesy of John Wayne Enterprises
Patrick Wayne explores an issue of Modern Luxury at the Highland Park Village Theatre on September 25, 2015, while participating in the 4th annual John Wayne Film Festival in Dallas. A portrait of fellow actor Paul Newman compliments the casual, low-key vibe ingenuously captured by photographer-half sister Marisa Wayne.
John Wayne and spitfire of a second wife Chata Baur Diaz arrive at New York’s International Airport on July 20, 1951 upon completion of director John Ford’s “The Quiet Man.” Left to right are Wayne’s four kids with first wife Josie Saenz: Michael, Melinda, Patrick, and Toni. Patrick and younger sister Melinda are fortuitously still among the living. Image Credit: United Press International
Actor Patrick Wayne departs Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Hollywood with first wife Peggy Hunt following their December 11, 1965 wedding. Hunt was the daughter of an asphalt company executive while Wayne’s dad was “The Alamo” protagonist John Wayne. Image Credit: Associated Press
Clockwise from top left: Six of John Wayne’s children — Ethan Wayne, Patrick Wayne, the late Michael Wayne, Marisa Wayne, Melinda Munoz, and the late Toni La Cava — attend the dedication ceremony of the John Wayne Elementary School on October 28, 1982 in Brooklyn, New York. Aissa Wayne, the Duke’s first of three kids with Pilar Pallete, is absent. Photography by Robin Platzer / Getty Images
As Mike Cronin, a small town sportswriter attending the World Series, John Wayne poses with son Patrick Wayne in a still from “Rookie of the Year,” a December 7, 1955 episode of the “Screen Directors Playhouse” series directed by Wayne’s mentor John Ford. Image Credit: forum / Las Bugas collection
Click to watch Patrick Wayne dish about the 10 movies that he filmed with his Congressional Gold Medal-winning father John Wayne and the John Wayne Cancer Institute in this comprehensive video interview conducted around the time of the July 2009 issue of Cowboys & Indians Magazine which featured exclusive tributes from the Duke’s family. Three additional Patrick Wayne interviews can be found if you scroll further below. Video Credit: Cowboys & Indians Magazine

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

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