Meet the 7 Kids John Wayne Had With His 3 Wives

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John Wayne was one of the first Hollywood heartthrobs, known for his countless portrayals in Hollywood classics from the silent era through the American New Wave. Nicknamed “The Duke,” he was most famous for his roles in Western films, where he played the archetypal rugged, stoic hero. A symbol of American patriotism and masculinity, his performances often reflected these values — as did his personal life. John Wayne was married three times and had seven children before he passed away from cancer in 1979.

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John Wayne Was One of Hollywood’s OG Western Heroes

1969: John Wayne, in his Oscar winning performance as Rooster Cogburn, in scene from the movie ‘True Grit’ directed by Henry Hathaway in 1969. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

John Wayne, born Marion Robert Morrison, was an American actor and filmmaker who was one of the most popular and iconic figures in the history of American cinema. He was born on May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, and began his acting career in the 1920s. Wayne appeared in over 170 films during his career, including many Westerns, war movies, and dramas. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in True Grit (1969) and was also nominated for his performances in Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) and The Alamo (1960). The Searchers, Red River, and True Grit are often cited as his best performances.

Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, but his family moved to Palmdale and then Glendale, California when he was a kid. The proximity to Hollywood gave Wayne the unique opportunity of finding film work before the film industry had its renaissance. His first gigs were as extras and a prop boy, but with his 6’4” stature, willingness to stand his ground in fight scenes, and knack for reading lines, he quickly became a known figure among the big studios and directors of his time — especially John Ford.

In addition to his film career, Wayne was known for his political conservatism and was a vocal supporter of American military interventionism. He received the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to American culture and society.

John Wayne Had a Busy Love Life!

View of American actor John Wayne (1907 – 1979) with two of his children, son John Ethan and daughter Aissa Wayne, as they are photographed in an unspecified restaurant, 1967. Wayne is in costume (as Cole Thornton) for his role in ‘El Dorado’ (directed by Howard Hawks). (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

John Wayne’s love life was a topic of public interest during his career. He was married three times and had affairs with several women. His first marriage to Josephine Alicia Saenz, whom he married in 1933, was reportedly troubled, and they divorced in 1945. Wayne and Saenz had four children together.

He then married Esperanza Baur in 1946, but the marriage was short-lived, and they divorced the following year.

Wayne’s third and final marriage was to Pilar Pallete, a Peruvian actress, whom he married in 1954. Wayne had three children with Pallete, and the couple stayed together until his death at age 72.

Throughout his life, Wayne had several affairs, including a long-term relationship with actress Marlene Dietrich. He was also rumored to have had relationships with other actresses, including Merle Oberon and Joan Crawford.

Overall, Wayne’s love life was marked by tumultuous relationships and infidelities, but he remained a beloved figure in American culture and cinema.

Michael Wayne

American actor John Wayne (1907-1979) sits reading a ‘Prince Valiant’ comic with his four children (American actor Patrick Wayne, Melinda Wayne (1940-2022), Toni Wayne (1936-2000), and American actor Michael Wayne (1934-2003)) at the family home in Encino, California, circa 1943. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Michael Wayne was born on November 23, 1934. He was the eldest of John Wayne’s children with his first wife, Josephine Saenz. While Michael’s legal last name was Morrison, like his famous father, he adopted the same stage name. Born and raised in the greater Hollywood area, Michael became a well-known producer and actor. He married his wife Gretchen in 1958 and they had five children together: Christopher, Alicia, Josephine, Maria, and Teresa.

Michael Wayne suffered from the autoimmune disease lupus erythematosus, which led to heart failure. He passed away on April 2, 2003, at the age of 68.

Mary Antonia “Toni” Wayne La Cava

1939: L-R George Bancroft, John Wayne and Louise Platt on the set of the movie ‘Stagecoach’ in 1939. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Toni Wayne was born on February 25, 1936, in Los Angeles. Like her father and older brother, she made a career in the film industry. Her first role was at the age of five. Toni married Donald Leon La Cava in 1956. They had eight children together before divorcing in 1981. One of their sons, Brendan Wayne, went on to be an actor and producer. He played Renny in Sons of Anarchy and has a recurring role in The Mandalorian.

Patrick Wayne

MAY 26: (Top row, L-R) John Wayne, John Ethan Wayne (Wayne’s 8 year-old son), Maureen O’Hara, and (seated, L-R) Patrick Wayne, Bobby Vinton, and Chris Mitchum pose for a family portrait in a scene from the movie “Big Jake” which was released May 26, 1971. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Patrick Wayne (Patrick John Morrison) was born on July 15, 1939. He worked as an actor and appeared in almost a dozen films with his famous father. Patrick was also a TV host, known for The Monte Carlo Show and the 1990 revival of the Tic-Tac-Dough gameshow. He appeared in The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote, and Charlie’s Angels. While Patrick did retire from acting, he currently lives in Arizona and is 83 years old. He was married twice, currently to Misha Anderson (since 1999), and has four children.

Melinda Wayne Munoz

Paul Regret, played by American actor Stuart Whitman (left), and Captain Jake Cutter, played by John Wayne (1907 – 1979), driving a covered wagon in ‘The Comancheros’, directed by Michael Curtiz and John Wayne, 1961. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Melinda Wayne was born on December 3, 1940, in Los Angeles, California. She was the youngest of John Wayne’s four children with his first wife. Melinda had an uncredited acting role in The Quiet Man at the age of 12 but did not pursue film as an adult. She married Gregory Robert Munoz in 1964 but divorced twenty-one years later. Melinda had five children and fourteen grandchildren before she suddenly passed away in April of 2022 at the age of 81. She was proud to be her father’s child and once said, “He was a man of honor. I loved being my father’s daughter.”

Aissa Wayne

BROOKLYN, NY – OCT 28: (Clockwise from top left) Patrick Wayne, Melinda Munoz, Michael Wayne, Toni La Cava, Ethan Wayne and Marisa Wayne attends the dedication ceremony of the John Wayne Elementary School at the school on October 28, 1982 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Images/Getty Images)

Aissa Wayne was born on March 31, 1956. She was the eldest child of John Wayne’s third wife, Pilar Pallete. Aissa was in a handful of films as a young child, including The Alamo, Comancheros, and Donovan’s Reef. However, Aissa veered away from Hollywood and eventually became an attorney. Aissa married film editor Scott Conrad, who won an Oscar for his work in Rocky in 1976. She had three children from former marriages: Anastasia, Nicholas, and Jennifer.

John Ethan Morrison (Ethan Wayne)

Portrait of actor John Wayne, with his son Michael, daughter-in-law Gretchen, and granddaughters Alicia, Maria, Teresa and Josephine, March 19th 1968. (Photo by Avalon/Getty Images)

Ethan Wayne was born on February 22, 1962. He got his start in acting in 1970 and eventually went on to do stunt work. Ethan retired from acting in 2003, when his father passed away. He currently serves as the director of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

Marisa Wayne

LOS ANGELES – MARCH 25: John Wayne with his wife Pilar and daughter at the Academy Awards after winning the best actor Oscar for “True Grit” on April 7 1970 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Marisa Wayne was born on February 22, 1966, exactly four years after her older brother Ethan. Although she dabbled in acting and had a couple cameos in her father’s movies, Marisa didn’t pursue acting. She married Tony Ditteaux in 2005 and has two children.

Read More: John Wayne Reportedly Hated Watching Himself in Movies

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