Actor John Wayne, who most folks (including plenty of dads) know as "The Duke," was basically Hollywood royalty. If cowboy movies were a thing on your watchlist, you couldn't miss this guy. He started out as Marion Robert Morrison before Hollywood and fame changed his name. He and director John Ford were like the dynamic duo of their time. Together, they created iconic films like The Searchers, Stagecoach, and Rio Grande. These weren't just movies at the time — they were events.
And John wasn't solely about the Wild West, as he starred in several other films as well. He showed off his range by playing an ex-boxer in The Quiet Man, which was a shift from dusty boots to Irish countrysides. And in Sands of Iwo Jima, he traded his cowboy hat for a military helmet, proving that he wasn't just a one-genre wonder. His performance as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit was so good, it won him an Academy Award.
But beyond the camera lights and movie sets, John was all about family. He tied the knot three times, and from those adventures, he had seven kids: Michael, Toni, Patrick, Melinda, Aissa, Ethan, and Marisa. Imagine the dinner table conversations! Each of his kids had their own experiences and tales about living life with a superstar dad. So, while the world knew him as "The Duke," at home he was just Dad, trying to juggle the challenges and joys of fatherhood like anyone else.
Get to know more about all of John Wane's kids below.
Michael Wayne (November 23, 1934 - April 2, 2003)
The John Wayne Foundation's former president and chairman of the board is John Wayne's first child. He started his film career as a production assistant on The Quiet Man and worked for his father's production company, Batjac Productions. Michael also served as a producer on several of his famous dad's movies, including The Green Berets, Cahill U.S. Marshal, McLintock! and The Alamo.
Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava (February 25, 1936 - December 6, 2000)
Born in Los Angeles, California, Toni was the Oscar winner's first daughter. Like her older brother, she appeared in The Quiet Man in a cameo role. Toni also had an uncredited role in The Alamo.
In 1956 she married Donald La Cava. The couple would go on to have eight children: Anita, Mark, Brigid, Kevin, Christopher, Peter, David and Brendan. She spent the rest of her life privately, as a mother and wife.
Patrick Wayne (born July 15, 1939)
Patrick John Morrison, or as he's known on the screen, Patrick Wayne, is the legendary American actor's second son. Patrick has had a prolific acting career, including in films like Mister Roberts and The Searchers, which starred his father as well. Patrick also had a great career in sci-fi, starring in films like Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and The People That Time Forgot. Patrick also screen-tested for the role of Superman.
Melinda Wayne Munoz (born December 3, 1940)
John Wayne's second daughter also had multiple appearances in his films as a child, but did not go into acting long term. Currently, Melinda lives in Newport Beach in Orange County, California, on Balboa, Island. She married Gregory Robert Munoz in 1964. The couple had five children together before divorcing in 1985.
Aissa Wayne (born March 31, 1956)
Aissa Wayne, like the rest of her siblings, had cameos in her dad's movies as a kid, but she grew up to be a high-powered attorney.
According to her website, "Ms. Wayne is an experienced trial attorney having been trained as a criminal prosecutor for the City of Los Angeles. Our associate attorneys, Of Counsel and paralegals are qualified and experienced in the area of Family Law."
John Ethan Wayne (born February 22, 1962)
The current director of John Wayne Enterprises and the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, which was founded after John Wayne died of stomach cancer, Ethan Wayne very much followed in dad's footsteps. The actor has appeared in the NBC TV movie The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory, the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, and the television series Adam-12.
Marisa Wayne (born February 22, 1966)
The daughter of John Wayne and his third wife, Pilar Pallete Wayne, was born on February 22, 1966, in Burbank, California. Marisa, like her other siblings, had cameos in a couple of her dad's movies. She did not, however, pursue acting. She married Tony Ditteaux on May 4, 2005, and the pair have had two children.
Granddaughter Jennifer Wayne
The granddaughter of John Wayne and Pilar Wayne and the daughter of Aissa Wayne has followed in Granddad's footsteps, in a sense. No, she's not an actress, but she is a performer. The country music singer and songwriter performs in the band Runaway June, who have hit songs including "Buy My Own Drinks" and "Head Over Heels."
She also competed on The Amazing Race in 2014.
This article was originally published in April of 2020.
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