John Wayne was an actor who was known for playing Western roles in his early 20s and 30s. For about a decade, he acted mostly in B movies as a cowboy, but he really broke into Western movies in 1939. At this time, he was cast as outlaw Ringo Kid in "Stagecoach." The movie received several Oscar nominations. He broke out of the Western role in 1940 as a sailor in "The Long Voyage Home."
Wayne's acting career took a turn into action movies and war dramas. He played a war hero in "Sands of Iwo Jima" and "The Searchers" and a boxing champion in "The Quiet Man." He started directing in 1960 with "The Alamo." Although he was diagnosed with lung cancer in the 1960s, the still acted in "El Dorado" and "The Green Berets," a movie about the Vietnam War. John Wayne started becoming part of the political view, supporting fellow actor and soon-to-be president Ronald Reagan. He finally won an academy award for the 1969 film "True Grit." His final movie was a Western, "The Shootist," where he played a gunslinger dying of cancer.Learn more about Art & Literature