John Wayne's personal life

John Wayne and Marelene Dietrich
 John Wayne's Personal life -

Wayne was married three times and divorced twice. His wives were Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. He had four children with Josephine: Michael Wayne (November 23, 1934 – April 2, 2003), Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava (February 25, 1936  — December 6, 2000), Patrick Wayne (born July 15, 1939), and Melinda Wayne Munoz (born December 3, 1940). He had three more children with Pilar: Aissa Wayne (born March 31, 1956), John Ethan Wayne (born February 22, 1962), and Marisa Wayne (born February 22, 1966).

Several of Wayne's children entered the film and television industry; Wayne's son Ethan was billed as John Ethan Wayne in a few films, and played one of the leads in the 1990s update of the Adam-12 television series.

His stormiest divorce was from Esperanza Baur, a former Mexican actress. She convinced herself that Wayne and co-star Gail Russell were having an affair. The night the film Angel and the Badman (1947) wrapped, there was the usual party for cast and crew, and Wayne came home very late. Esperanza was in a drunken rage by the time he arrived, and she attempted to shoot him as he walked through the front door.


Wayne had several high-profile affairs, including one with Marlene Dietrich that lasted for three years. In the years prior to his death, Wayne was romantically involved with his former secretary Pat Stacy (1941–1995). She published a biography of her life with him entitled Duke: A Love Story in 1983.


A close friend of Wayne's,  wrote of him, "Duke's personality and sense of humor were very close to what the general public saw on the big screen. It is perhaps best shown in these words he had engraved on a plaque:   'Each of us is a mixture of some good and some not so good qualities. In considering one's fellow man it's important to remember the good things ... We should refrain from making judgments just because a fella happens to be a dirty, rotten SOB."'

Wayne biographer Michael Munn chronicled Wayne's drinking habits. According to Sam O'Steen's memoir, Cut to the Chase, studio directors knew to shoot Wayne's scenes before noon, because by afternoon he "was a mean drunk". He had been a chain-smoker of cigarettes since young adulthood and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1964. He underwent successful surgery to remove his entire left lung and four ribs. Despite efforts by his business associates to prevent him from going public with his illness for fear that it would cost him work, Wayne announced he had cancer and called on the public to get preventive examinations. Five years later, Wayne was declared cancer-free. Despite the fact that his diminished lung capacity left him incapable of prolonged exertion and frequently in need of supplemental oxygen, within a few years of his operation he chewed tobacco and began smoking cigars until the day he died. 

Wayne's height has been perennially described as at least 6'4" (193 cm). He was a Freemason, a Master Mason in Marion McDaniel Lodge #56 F&AM, in Tucson, Arizona. He became a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and later joined the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple in Los Angeles. He became a member of the York Rite. During the early 1960s, John Wayne traveled extensively to Panama, during which he purchased the island of Taborcillo off the main coast. It was sold by his estate at his death and changed hands many times before being opened as a tourist attraction.


Wayne's yacht, the Wild Goose, was one of his favorite possessions. He kept it docked in Newport Harbor and it was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

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