Ok. We really did try to stump you.
Did we succeed?
We put together some, to put it gently, lesser known factoids about the life of John Wayne. (And you thought you knew everything about him.)
Let’s not waste any more verbiage. Onward to the answers to our really, really hard John Wayne Quiz.
Question 1) John Wayne’s first wife had a best friend who was a major movie star of the 1930s and 40s. Who was she, and why did they become friends?
Answer: Yes, that’s Loretta Young (above right) who was maid of honor at Wayne’s first wedding in 1933 to Josephine Saenz. Young and Josie were best friends because they were neighbors in downtown L.A. In fact Josie was friends with all the Young sisters — Pollyann and Betty Jane Young, who went by the marquee name of Sally Blane.
Question 2) Wayne became buddies with the first husband of this famous star, and even after they split and his career nosedived, Wayne helped him get small parts in his movies. Who was he, and what was the last film in which they appeared together?
Answer) Grant Withers was Loretta Young’s first husband (briefly, the marriage lasted less than two years) and Wayne’s buddy. John Ford’s 1950 western Rio Grande was the last film Wayne and Withers made together. Withers and Young eloped to Yuma, Arizona in January 1930. Their marital split occurred in September 1931, and their quickie marriage was subsequently annulled. Withers’ career may have had its ups and down, but the actor managed to log a total of some 200 movie and tv appearances. He committed suicide in his mid-Fifties. (By the way, that’s Gabby Hayes above center.)
Question 3) What famous internationally known comedy star appeared in a western with Wayne and Vera Ralston, and what was the year and title of that film?
Answer) Yes, that’s Oliver Hardy (with Duke above) minus Stanley Laurel co-starring in the 1949 western The Fighting Kentuckian. The movie was produced by Wayne’s own production outfit for Republic Pictures.
Question 4) Wayne said one of his most memorable sexual encounters occurred in a luxury hotel in Europe. Who was this encounter with and where was the hotel located?
Answer) Wayne’s enthusiastic partner was Marlene Dietrich, and their private rendezvous referred to was in a luxury hotel in Rome.
Question 5) Wayne died on June 11, 1979 at the age of 72. He died of lung cancer. a) True; or b) False.
Answer) b) False. Although Wayne had survived a bout with lung cancer, his death was caused primarily by cancer of the lower abdomen.