Thursday, April 10, 2014

John Wayne: 10 Things You Might Know About The Great Man

Martin Chilton at the British newspaper the Telegraph offers 10 things he learned from Scott Eyman's new biography of the late, great John Wayne.

John Wayne, who made 162 feature films, was one of the 20th century's biggest Hollywood stars. Here are 10 things we learned about the Oscar-winning actor from an impressive new biography by Scott Eyman.

• John Wayne cheated at chess

John Wayne was actually very good at chess (film director and experienced player Josef von Sternberg "was livid" when beaten by Wayne) and the actor had a chessboard permanently set up on his 136ft boat, The Wild Goose. Wayne once said of fellow actor Rock Hudson: "Who the hell cares if he's queer? The man plays great chess." Wayne repeatedly cheated when playing chess against Robert Mitchum (Wayne had huge hands and would carefully slide a piece into a different position as he made a separate move) and Mitchum eventually plucked up the courage to tell him he was cheating. Wayne replied "I was wondering when you were going to say something. Set 'em up, we'll play again."   

• He loved literature

Wayne liked the novels of Agatha Christie but his two favourite books were written by Arthur Conan Doyle and both are historical novels – The White Company (1891) and Sir Nigel (1906) – both set during the Hundred Years' War. Wayne was also a fan of Charles Dickens and if the actor agreed to a business deal, he would always say "Barkis is willing!", a phrase used by Mr Barkis when he tells David Copperfield that he is ready to marry Peggotty.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read a review of the John Wayne biography via the below link:

1 comment:

  1. I can imagine the English professors around the world cringing when you use the word "literature" in the context of Agatha Christie and A. C. Doyle; they would then relax when you get around to mentioning Dickens. Of course, most of those English professors are a bunch of stuffed shirts most of the time.

    I am now intrigued enough, by the way, to read the biography. Good job!