John Wayne Thought He’d Never Win An Oscar Because Of His Conservative Views – Then He Did
Hollywood legend and Western film star John Wayne thought he'd never win an Oscar because of his conservative views but boy was he wrong.
The world of Hollywood has been trending liberal for so many decades that even legendary Western film star John Wayne was convinced that they’d never give him, a conservative, an Oscar. That’s why it came as such a welcome surprise to him when he ended up winning an Academy Award in 1970 for his work in True Grit.
If you’ve never seen the Academy Award winning Western film starring John Wayne as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, the trailer is below. It’s worth checking out!
Why John Wayne Thought He’d Never Win An Oscar
Before the Academy Awards ceremony that year, John Wayne opened up to movie critic Roger Ebert about why he thought he likely would not win the Oscar.
“Well, whether or not I win an Oscar, I’m proud of the performance,” Wayne said.
“I’d be pleased to win one, of course, although I imagine these things mean more to the public than to us. There are a lot of old standbys who don’t have one. That comedian… what the hell is his name? Cary Grant. He never won one, and he’s been a mainstay of this business.”
John Wayne went on to say that he did not think he would win because he was a conservative who was unapologetically in favor of the Vietnam War.
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“I was nominated for Sands of Iwo Jima but I didn’t win,” he added. “Well, maybe this time they’ll review the picture instead of me and the war. That little clique back there in the East has taken great personal satisfaction in reviewing my politics instead of my pictures. And they’ve drawn up a caricature of me. Which doesn’t bother me; their opinions don’t matter to the people who go to movies.
The Conservative Actor Didn’t Like Where Hollywood Was Heading
Wayne then lamented about the direction he felt the movie business was heading.
“The idea of the movies is to provide the most inexpensive and accessible entertainment in the world,” he said. “Well, we’ve gradually talked ourselves out of being the most economical. And now the thing that will finally stop the movies from being an American habit is that parents have to guard their children against pornography. It’s like when strippers took over burlesque.”
Much to The Duke’s surprise, he ended up winning the award after all!
However, unlike modern Hollywood stars, John Wayne decided to keep politics out of his Oscars acceptance speech.
John Wayne’s Oscars Acceptance Speech
“Wow! If I’d have known that I would have put that patch on thirty-five years earlier,” Wayne said.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m no stranger to this podium. I’ve come up here and picked up these beautiful golden men before, but always for friends. One night I picked up two: one for Admiral John Ford, one for our beloved Gary Cooper.”
“I was very clever and witty that night, the envy of even Bob Hope, but tonight I don’t feel very clever or very witty. I feel very grateful, very humble, and all thanks to many, many people,” he added.
The Duke finished on a humble note, “I want to thank the members of the Academy. To all you people who are watching on television, thank you for taking such a warm interest in our glorious industry. Good night.”
These days, John Wayne undoubtedly would have been blacklisted from the radically liberal world of Hollywood because of his conservative views.
We’re glad that he was able to win an Oscar that was well-deserved while also being open about his conservative views!