The Duke: John Wayne

"Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid."

Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American Academy Award-winning film actor, director and producer. Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades and epitomized rugged masculinity. Famous for his demeanor, his distinctive calm voice, walk and height, Wayne quickly became an American icon.

His first leading role came in the widescreen epic The Big Trail (1930), which led to leading roles in numerous films throughout the 1930s, many of them in the Western genre. His career rose to further heights in 1939, with John Ford's Stagecoach making him an instant superstar. Wayne would go on to star in 142 pictures.

Among his better-known later films are The Quiet Man, The Searchers, Rio Bravo, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, True Grit (the role that won Wayne his Academy Award), and The Shootist, his final screen performance. In June 1999, the American Film Institute named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Screen Legends of All Time.