Marion Robert Morrison (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), professionally known as John Wayne and nicknamed The Duke or Duke Wayne, was an American actor who became a popular icon through his starring roles in films which were produced during Hollywood's Golden Age, especially through his starring roles in Western and war movies. His career flourished from the silent era of the 1920s through the American New Wave, as he appeared in a total of 179 film and television productions. He was among the top box-office draws for three decades, and he appeared with many other important Hollywood stars of his era. In 1999, the American Film Institute selected Wayne as one of the greatest male stars of classic American cinema.
Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, but he grew up in Southern California. After losing his football scholarship to the University of Southern California from a bodysurfing accident, he began working for the Fox Film Corporation. He appeared mostly in small parts, but his first