Born Marion Morrison, John Wayne was the son of a pharmacist. Wayne got into acting after becoming a friend of actor Tom Mix who got him a job as a prop man in exchange for football tickets to USC, where Wayne played. He became friends of director John Ford who got him bit parts. He made 70 low-budget B westerns before Ford cast him in Stagecoach, which made him a star. He went on to appear in a string of major motion pictures, including The Alamo, The Green Berets and Fort Apache. He is perhaps best known for his role as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, which earned him an Oscar.
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