John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn were born two weeks apart in 1907 (Image: GETTY)
On top of all this, Wayne injured himself during the Rooster Cogburn shoot in Oregon when teaching his eight-year-old daughter golf, but luckily his character’s eye patch covered the mark.
Struggling through all this meant the star had little patience, becoming frustrated by director Stuart Millar’s instance on lots of takes.
At one point Duke snapped at the Rooster Cogburn director: “God damn it Stuart, there’s only so many times we can say these awful lines before they stop making any sense at all.”
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Wayne’s Rooster Cogburn co-star Hepburn became bemused by his continual arguing with everyone on set. So at the wrap party, she told him: “I’m glad I didn’t know you when you had two lungs, you must have been a real b*****d. Losing a hip has mellowed me, but you!”
Despite all this, both Hollywood legends who were born within two weeks in 1907 were very admiring of each other.
Hepburn had put aside her opposition to Wayne’s conservative political beliefs and said she saw a lot of Spencer Tracy’s integrity in Duke.
In her autobiography Me, she wrote of the Western star: “From head to toe he is all of a piece. Big head. Wide blue eyes. Sandy hair. Rugged skin–lined by living and fun and character. Not by just rotting away. A nose not too big, not too small. Good teeth. A face alive with humor. Good humor, I should say, and a sharp wit. Dangerous when roused. His shoulders are broad–very. His chest massive–very. When I leaned against him (which I did as often as possible, I must confess–I am reduced to such innocent pleasures) thrilling. It was like leaning against a great tree.”
Wayne himself was very impressed with Hepburn’s nature, saying: “You should have seen her up on those mountain locations. She can’t ride a hobby horse. But she climbed right up on those horses and gave ’em hell. We had a great girl stunt rider for her, but Kate said, ‘She doesn’t sit as straight in the saddle as I do.’”