Happy Birthday to Pilar Wayne Born: September 3, 1928 in Peru.WOMAN JOHN WAYNE


Happy Birthday to Pilar Wayne

Born: September 3, 1928 in Peru

Birth Name: Pilar Palette

Spouses: Richard Weldy (1948 – 1953) ( divorced)

John Wayne (1 November 1954 – 11 June 1979) ( his death) ( 3 children -Ethan Wayne, Aissa Wayne, and Marisa Wayne)

Stephan Steward (1984 – 1997) ( divorced)

Jesse L. Upchurch (November 1998 – 2010)

Pilar Wayne was born Pilar Palette on September 3, 1928 in Peru, the daughter of a Peruvian senator, Miguel Arturo Pallete and Carmela de Pallete in the Paita Port (northern Peru). The daughter of a Peruvian senator, she grew up in an affluent household. In 1953, she starred in her only project as a lead actress, a Peruvian film titled ‘Sabotear en la selva’. She married and divorced professional big-game hunter Richard Weldy.

She met John Wayne on the set of a film she was shooting at the time. She had just finished filming a dancing routine in firelight. The director of the film introduced her to Wayne who had come to Peru to find ideal locations to shoot his first credited directorial venture, The Alamo. At that time, Wayne was still married to his second wife, Mexican actress Esperanza Baur, and Pallete was still married to Weldy. In 1953, she travelled to Los Angeles, California to dub in English for her character in ‘Sabotear en la selva’. It was there that she met Wayne for the second time and began a passionate relationship with him. A year later, they married on November 1, 1954, in Kona, Hawaii, only hours after Wayne’s divorce from Baur was finalised. Before permanently retiring from acting, she had an uncredited role in The Alamo.

In the ensuing years, she gave birth to three children, Aissa (born March 31, 1956), Ethan (February 22, 1962), and Marisa (February 22, 1966). Throughout their relationship, they travelled all over the world, mostly to places where Wayne had been shooting at the time. Eventually, in 1965, Pallete and her family moved to Newport Beach, California. She began entertaining guests at a rented studio inside the Fernleaf Courtyard, in Corona Del Mar, California. A year later, she set up a restaurant there.

In the early 1970s, things started to change. Pallete began voicing her dissatisfaction with Wayne’s long absences from home. Wayne would later state that they had simply lost interest in each other. They opted for a short-term separation in 1973. However, they never legally separated or divorced. She was married to him until the day of his death.

Five years after Wayne’s passing, Pallete wed American judge Richard Stewart. She divorced him in 1997 and married actor-producer Jesse L. Upchurch in 1998. She wasn’t initially interested in writing Wayne’s biography. However, she changed her decision after realising there were quite a few of those already in the market and none of their writers knew Wayne that well. She co-wrote ‘John Wayne: My Life with the Duke’ with author Alex Thorleifson. It was published on October 1, 1987, by McGraw-Hill publications.

Appeared with her husband. John Wayne in The Alamo (1960).

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