Why Is he called ‘The Duke’?


At first glance, you might not recognize this rough and tumble cowboy. His name is Marion Robert Morrison, professionally known as John Wayne and nicknamed “The Duke.” John Wayne became a popular icon for his starring roles in Western films, many of which were produced during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Wayne was recognized for coining the word “Pilgrim.”

John Wayne starred in dozens of roles. His illustrious career began in the 1920s and spanned more than five decades. John Wayne’s film career began in his late teens in an uncredited, silent movie called “Brown of Harvard” where he played a Yale football player.

Wayne had short parts in more than a dozen films before his first leading role in the 1930 film The Big Trail, but his most iconic performances were in Rio Bravo, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Shootist. Wayne brought home Best Actor as Rooster Cogburn in the box office hit True Grit.

At a commanding 6’4” Wayne was the epitomy of the quintessential Hollywood hunk. But, it was his famous lines that define him today. Some of his epic lines include:

“Whoa, take ‘er easy there, Pilgrim.” The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” True Grit (1969)

His most famous nick-name was the “Duke.” A local fireman at the station on his route to school in Glendale started calling him “Little Duke” because he never went anywhere without his huge Airedale Terrier, Duke. He preferred “Duke” to “Marion”, and the nickname stuck.

Vidgo’s library features dozens of the Duke’s movies that include:

Guns Along the Trail, Stagecoach Run, Stolen Goods, Gold Strike River, An Innocent Man, and Cold Vengeance.

All of Vidgo’s library of more than 35,000 VOD titles, including John Wayne’s classic movies, are available to Vidgo subscribers at no additional charge.


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