Friday, February 26, 2010
John Wayne, (born Marion Mitchell Morrison, May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), had to leave a football scholarship at USC because of a knee injury in 1924. He found work at a local film studio, working in the prop department, and small bit parts in movies. In 1930, director Raoul Walsh cast him in his first starring role in The Big Trail (1930). For his screen name, Walsh suggested "Anthony Wayne", after Revolutionary War general "Mad Anthony" Wayne. Fox Studios chief Winfield Sheehan rejected it as sounding "too Italian." Walsh then suggested "John Wayne." Sheehan agreed, and the name was set. Wayne himself was not even present for the discussion. His pay was raised to $105 a week, up from $75.
1. Roberts, Randy, and James S. Olson (1995). - John Wayne: American. New York: Free Press. p. 84 - ISBN 9780029238370