John Wayne will always be considered one of the all-time Hollywood greats. The Duke became a legend of the Old West after starring in countless iconic western films and, in the process, became one of the biggest movie stars in the world. While the beloved actor was well-known for having several high-profile affairs with other actresses over the years, he was also a happily married man who settled down three times and raised seven children.
Get to know the three wives of John Wayne.
Josephine Alicia Saenz
Wayne married his first wife Josephine in 1933 and the couple was together for 12 years. During that time they welcomed four children together -- Michael Wayne, Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava, Patrick Wayne, and Melinda Wayne Munoz. Not much is known about Josephine's personal life but we know that following Wayne's death she was written into the will to be taken care of with a monthly stipend.
Next Wayne tied the knot with his second wife, former Mexican movie star Esperanza Baur, in 1946 and the marriage lasted until 1954. They didn't have any children together but they did have a messy breakup. Esperanza was positive that her husband was having an affair with his Angel and the Badman co-star Gail Russell. Though both denied the claims, she couldn't be convinced. After the film wrapped, Wayne came home late from the wrap party to find his wife drunk and in a state of rage. She allegedly even tried to shoot him with a gun as he opened the front door.
John Wayne's relationships with his wives are detailed in the biography John Wayne: American by Randy Roberts and James S. Olson.
Wayne's third wife, Pilar Pallete, was the daughter of a Peruvian senator. She met Wayne (21 years older than her) when he was down in Peru scouting locations for his film The Alamo. At the time, she was still married to game hunter Richard Weldy and Wayne was still married to Bauer. Soon after their encounter, she came to Los Angeles to work on dubbing a film in English and ran into the actor again. As soon as their divorces were finalized the couple said "I do" in Kona, Hawaii in 1954. They ended up welcoming three additional children together -- Aissa Wayne, John Ethan Wayne, and Marisa Wayne.
John and Pilar Wayne spent a chunk of their marriage traveling (based on his filming schedule) before ultimately settling down in Newport Beach, California. Though Pilar maintained that they were technically married until Wayne's death in 1979, they actually separated in 1973. Pilar even moved out of the house. According to the memoir, Duke: A Love Story, Wayne's former secretary Pat Stacy became his live-in companion from 1973 until his death. While he completely wrote his wife Pilar Pallete out of his will according to the New York Times, Stacy was included along with his first wife and children.