Here’s Who John Wayne Thought Was ‘The Worst Actor’ In Hollywood
The legendary John Wayne had one star who he often said was the "worst actor" in Hollywood for many years.
John Wayne was one of the most legendary actors to ever grace the screen, and while he got along with most people in Hollywood, there was one person who he thought was the “worst actor” out of all of them.
An Actor can only dream a Director gives them the kind of entrance John Ford gave JOHN WAYNE in the classic, career-changing
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) May 18, 2023
Wayne’s Least Favorite Actor Is Revealed
In her memoir “John Wayne: My Father,” Aissa Wayne wrote about the star that her dad thought was the “worst actor.”
“When it came to his contemporaries in film, I only heard him speak once with any real venom,” she wrote, according to Far Out Magazine.
That person was none other than the actor Gene Hackman!
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“Gene Hackman could never appear on-screen without my father skewering his performance,” Aissa added: “I wish I could tell you why he so harshly criticized Hackman, but he never went into detail.”
Hackman starred in such famous movies as 1971’s The French Connection, 1974’s The Conversation and Young Frankenstein that same year. Aissa could never figure out why, but it was clear that her dad was not a fan of his work.
“Back then, however, my father called Hackman ‘the worst actor in town. He’s awful,'” she continued.
Wayne passed away in 1979 at the age of 72, and Hackman kept working for decades after that until his retirement in 2004.
“Although it’s pure speculation, had my father lived to see more of his work, I think his view of Mr. Hackman would have changed,” Aissa concluded.
Gene Hackman and John Cazale in,
The Conversation (1974) pic.twitter.com/uELk00N72L
— Skip_Bolden 💙 🎬 🎞️ (@BoldenSkip) May 13, 2023
Related: John Wayne Honored By Kirk Douglas And Frank Sinatra Days Before His Death
As for Hackman, he never took this criticism to heart, describing Wayne as “one of the best actors ever” in a 1992 interview.
“I could never be the man he was, because his politics and mine would be incompatible, but you must admire how really good he was as an actor, in command of the scene and with such great charisma,” Hackman said.
Hackman was not the only actor that Wayne took issue with, as Aissa also recalled that he often called Clark Gable of Gone With The Wind fame an “idiot.”
“My dad called Gable handsome but dumb at least four or five times, and now I wonder if it had something to do with my father’s friend, John Ford,” she said, referring to the famous director, according to The Express.
“During the filming of Mogambo, Ford and Gable had clashed again and again and the subsequent feud had simmered for years,” she continued. “In my father’s way of thinking, disloyalty to allies, support in any fashion for their enemies, was expressly forbidden. If Clark Gable took on John Ford, my father’s code demanded that John Wayne stand by his old pal.”
Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind, 1939 pic.twitter.com/tsMb6OBny7
— Hollywood Actresses (@HollywoodActre2) May 21, 2023
Angie Dickinson Loved Working With Wayne
Last month, the actress Angie Dickinson gushed about working with Wayne on the 1959 movie Rio Bravo.
“It was heaven,” she recalled, according to Entertainment Weekly. “He was so respectful of my freshness. He was an enormous star and this was as big as it gets in production, and it was a great honor to have been chosen. He was very helpful by being patient with me.”
“Once, we sat and talked for about 10 minutes about a scene. That’s unheard of. You don’t waste a second,” she continued. “But he was trying to relax me. I got in a few binds because you can tell when a scene’s not working. He leaned on his rifle and waited, and then, I finally got the scene right.”
Angie Dickinson starred alongside many legendary Hollywood actors, but who stood out among the rest? John Wayne! Have you seen Duke & Angie in Rio Bravo? pic.twitter.com/Fb68iPHVtr
— John Wayne Official (@JohnDukeWayne) January 10, 2019
Related: Angie Dickinson Reveals Why Working With John Wayne ‘Was Heaven’ – ‘He Was So Respectful’
While Wayne was never afraid of letting his opinions be known, he was also a true gentleman at heart. Whether he liked Hackman or not, we can’t help but say that we miss The Duke dearly, as they don’t make ’em like him anymore!
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