In 1999 film icon John Wayne (born Marion Robert Morrison) was named 13th
among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time by the American Film Institute. A
Harris Poll, released January 2011, placed Wayne third among America’s favorite
film stars, the only deceased star on the list and the only one who has appeared
on the poll every year since it began in 1994. Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar for
the 1969 film True Grit. His last film was The Shootist (1976). John Wayne died
of cancer in 1979.
Wayne’s breakthrough role came with director John Ford’s classic
film in 1939.
The Searchers (1956) continues to be widely regarded as Wayne’s
finest and most complex performance.