By the time Stagecoach made John Wayne a silver-screen star in 1939, the thirty-one-year-old was already a veteran of more than sixty films, having twirled six-guns and foiled cattle rustlers in B Westerns for five studios. By the 1950s he was Hollywood’s most popular actor—an Academy Award nominee destined to become an American icon.
Through previously unpublished photographs and revealing family anecdotes, The Young Duke offers an unflinching look at how Marion Morrison became the legend known as John Wayne—from his boyhood in Winterset, Iowa, to his days as a college football star, to his stunning box-office success in Westerns and war movies in the 1930s and 1940s. Shedding new light on Wayne’s formative years and early Hollywood roles and influences, this biography uncovers the true stories behind the screen legend’s public and private lives.
Howard Kazanjian is an award-winning producer and entertainment executive who has been producing feature films and television programs for more than twenty-five years. While vice president of production for Lucasfilm Ltd., he produced two of the highest grossing films of all time: Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. He also managed production of another top-ten box-office hit, The Empire Strikes Back. Some of his other notable credits include The Rookies, Demolition Man, and the two-hour pilot and first season of J.A.G.
In addition to his production experience, Kazanjian has worked with some of the finest directors in the history of cinema. He has worked closely with such legends as Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Sam Peckinpah, Robert Wise, Joshua Logan, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola. He is a longtime voting member in the
Chris Enss is an award-winning screen writer who has written for television, short subject films, live performances, and for the movies, and is the co-author (with JoAnn Chartier) of Love Untamed: True Romances Stories of the Old West, Gilded Girls: Women Entertainers of the Old West, and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon: Women Patriots and Soldiers of the Old West and The Cowboy and the Senorita and Happy Trails (with Howard Kazanjian). Her most recent books include
Enss has done everything from stand-up comedy to working as a stunt person at the Old Tucson Movie Studio. She learned the basics of writing for film and television at the