John Wayne is a cultural icon who many people admire, and he was active during Hollywood’s Golden Age. He was also known as Duke Wayne or The Duke, and his real name was Marion Robert Morrison. If you’re interested in learning more about him, you might be wondering how tall he was.
John Wayne was an amazing 6 foot 4 ½ inches (1.94 meters) tall. He frequently wore lifts in his shoes, making himself even taller, and sometimes adding as much as 4 inches to his height. This would have made him almost 6 foot 9 inches (2.06 meters), meaning he would have towered over many individuals.
Today, we’re going to find out more about John Wayne’s height, weight, and some facts about his interesting career.
How Tall Was John Wayne?
John Wayne was just over 6 foot 4 inches, and he had a strong build that meant he could cut quite an imposing figure if he chose to. He reached over 6 feet tall when he was still in high school, meaning he would really have stood out among the other kids in his classes. Another growth spurt toward the end of high school lent him even more distinction.
This, coupled with stunning good looks, meant that he was very popular with his female classmates, and it’s said that many of them harbored crushes on him. However, John Wayne was supposedly very shy while in high school, and it seems he didn’t date – at least much – until later. His confidence was something that grew with his career.
It’s likely that John Wayne’s exceptional good looks and his height helped to open doors in Hollywood for him, but this isn’t where he initially started.
He went to the University of Southern California (USC) to study law, with an athletic scholarship to pay for his fees. His height lent him an advantage here, and he played on the USC football team. However, he broke his collarbone, and this cut off his athletic success, and meant that he sadly lost his scholarship.
His coach, Howard Jones, managed to get him a job as an extra and a prop boy under the director John Ford, and John Wayne soon started to take on small roles in the movie industry. His relationship with John Ford grew, and he acted in a few different roles, occasionally appearing under the name Duke Morrison (though he was rarely credited at all).
His stage name, John Wayne, was chosen when he was selected to star in The Big Trail in 1930, and he had no say in this – the name was decided by the director Raoul Walsh and the Fox Studios chief, Winfield Sheehan. Unfortunately, the film was a failure at the time, and John Wayne continued doing small roles with limited recognition.
He later estimated that he had played in around 80 low-budget Westerns by 1939.
How Old Was John Wayne?
John Wayne died when he was 72 years old, in 1979. He had given up acting only 3 years before, in 1976, meaning he had a 50-year career on the screen. During that time, he achieved some extraordinary successes.
His first real success was when he starred in the film Stagecoach in 1939, another John Ford creation. It took a lot of work to get the funding for this movie, but it was an enormous critical success, and did well financially too. This was the point at which John Wayne started to be recognized for his work.
The war caused some problems, as John Wayne was very eager to enlist and do his part for the military, but he was not required to report for service, and the film industry was reluctant to lose him. Republic Studios, who he was in a contract with, threatened him with a lawsuit if he didn’t fulfill the contract.
John Wayne was not accepted by any significant military efforts, although he did tour US bases and hospitals, and received an OSS Certificate of Service as a result.
His success continued, and he almost always played admirable characters, with a few minor exceptions. He was usually the hero of the film, especially as his fame grew.
In the 1950s, John Wayne moved into film production with his company Batjac, which handled John Wayne’s movies and worked with other stars too.
It produced many popular films, and John Wayne also continued to appear in many of John Ford’s movies. Almost 24 of John Ford’s films had John Wayne in them at some point. The last of his movies with John Wayne was Donovan’s Reef.
John Wayne’s career continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and for the most part, he was praised and lauded for his acting prowess. His final cinematic role was The Shootist, directed by Don Siegel. The film did very well, and was named one of the Ten Best Films of 1976 by the National Board of Review.
How Much Did John Wayne Weigh?
John Wayne weighed approximately 170 lb (77 kg), which is on the lower end of the weight recommendation for a man of his height. It should be noted that some sources give different weight estimates, but his weight likely fluctuated throughout his life. On the whole, he was on the slim side, but well-built and powerful to look at, too.
His slim physique no doubt increased his appeal as an actor, especially when combined with his handsome face and curly brown hair. This may even be what led to him getting his early roles, although his skill as an actor cannot be denied.
Even in his later years, John Wayne was considered attractive, and there’s no question that his height would have made him a more appealing actor to many individuals. He was impressively tall, handsome, and excellent at acting.
John Wayne was a very tall individual, said to be around 6 foot 4 inches by many sources. That, coupled with his appearance and his skillful performances, made him a successful actor who remains a legend for many. Our screens certainly wouldn’t have been the same without John Wayne on them!