John Wayne
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John Wayne was one of the most legendary Hollywood stars of all time, but behind the scenes, he was a proud family man who was devoted to his seven children. A newly-surfaced story is now going viral that showcases just how good of a father he really was, as he managed to heroically save his daughter after she fainted on her wedding day.

Wayne Saves His Daughter

Melinda Wayne was the fourth of Wayne’s seven children, and the youngest of the four that he had with his first wife Josephine.

On April 4, 1964 the then-23 year-old Melinda married the Los Angeles County deputy district attorney Gregory Robert Munoz, 26, at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood. There, James Francis Cardinal McIntyre performed the ceremony in front of 700 people, including the celebrities Loretta Young, Cesar Romero, Jeanne Crain, and Irene Dunne.

It appears that the big day became overwhelming for Melinda at some point, however. During the nuptial Mass that followed the wedding ceremony, Wayne, who was 56 at the time, noticed that his daughter was teetering on her kneeling bench. Realizing that his little girl was about to fall, Wayne made like one of the heroic characters that he played in countless movies and bolted out of his seat.

Running up the aisle, Wayne managed to catch Melinda just as she began to fall while fainting, but thankfully, her father was there to save the day!

Melinda quickly recovered with Wayne holding her up on one side and her bridegroom kneeling on the other. The priest then brought a chair for her and allowed the young newlywed to sit down for the rest of the ceremony.

Related: John Wayne Thought Jane Fonda Should Be ‘Ashamed’ – Questioned How She Could ‘Sleep At Night’

Melinda Passes Away

Wayne remained devoted to his family until he died in 1979 after battling cancer for over a decade. Melinda died in 2022 at the age of 81, with her obituary stating that she passed on “after outliving the standard longevity of the lung transplant she received 11 years ago.”

“She especially prided herself on being a fun grandmother to 14 grandchildren who will always remember her creative gift-wrapping, incredible poker playing,  as well as her incredible ability to make them laugh,” it continues, going on to describe Melinda as “a faithful, active Catholic.”

Related: Angie Dickinson Reveals Why Working With John Wayne ‘Was Heaven’ – ‘He Was So Respectful’

Melinda’s Memories Of Her Father

Prior to her death, Melinda opened up about what Wayne was like as a father.

“He was just a normal father,” she recalled. “He was so wonderful. But we were raised so normally it is almost boring. He was a man of honor. I loved being my father’s daughter.”

Melinda went on to say that her father’s golden rule was, “Do something and finish it. Keep your word and honor your commitments. Never let anyone down. If you’re going to be somewhere, be there. Finish what you start. Don’t quit.”

“My father was a very considerate person,” Melinda explained. “I remember when John Ford was directing a movie and we’d come onto the set—we had to say, ‘permission to come aboard, sir.’ He always thought about the other guy. He had respect for people—real respect. He showed respect.”

“If my father met someone, he was more interested in that person than himself,” she concluded. “He wasn’t snobbish. He would ask you questions. He was very interested in people and life.”

Wayne was a true hero both on and off the screen, and what he did at his daughter’s wedding only serves as more proof of that. If only we still had stars like John Wayne in Hollywood today, but alas, the days of that are long gone!

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