John Wayne and John Ford went down as one of the most iconic actor–director duos Hollywood ever saw. Together, they collaborated on some of the greatest films ever made in the Western genre and beyond. Wayne and Ford shared many laughs and arguments over the years together, but their final day together was undeniably sentimental.
John Wayne and John Ford collaborated on 14 movies
Wayne and Ford first met at Fox Studios, where the actor started in the prop department as a young man with a dream of making something of himself. Meanwhile, the director was already established as a confident filmmaker, but he had a temper that ultimately unleashed itself upon Wayne on movie sets.
Ford’s 1939 classic, Stagecoach, launched Wayne into stardom. From there, they worked on another 13 feature films, although they weren’t all quite as successful as the first. From 1940’s The Long Voyage Home to 1956’s The Searchers, they worked hard together to create the best films possible. They surprised audiences with a foray into other genres, such as drama, with 1952’s The Quiet Man.
John Wayne spent a sentimental final day with John Ford before his death
The official Wayne Facebook page emphasized the important connection the actor shared with Ford. He considered him a father, a brother, and a mentor, learning all there was to learn about Hollywood and himself. Actor Ward Bond made up the third member of their trio, who died in 1960 after a massive heart attack. On Ford’s last day, they honored his memory.
“We used to be a triumvirate – Ford and me and a guy named Ward Bond,” Wayne said. “The day I went to Palm Springs, Ford said, ‘Duke, do you ever think of Ward?’ ‘All the time,’ I said. ‘Well, let’s have a drink to Ward,’ he said. So I got out the brandy, gave him a sip, and took one for myself. ‘All right, Duke,’ he said finally, ‘I think I’ll rest for a while.’ I went home, and that was Pappy Ford’s last day.”
After Ford died, Wayne’s death followed six years later, making him the last member of the trio with Bond to die. Wayne also tragically died as a result of stomach cancer in 1979 at 72 years old. He battled cancer for more than a decade, refusing to give up his movie career so easily.
Wayne made his final public appearance at the 1979 Oscars, where the crowd erupted into thunderous applause. He left the world with some touching words that left an impact on his peers.
Additionally, Wayne and Ford created some great pieces of cinema that will never leave the minds of their fans. They crafted exceptional Westerns and dramas that continue to influence contemporary filmmakers, with even the legendary Martin Scorsese raving about The Searchers, among other notable pieces.