John Wayne was once one of the biggest names in Hollywood. His performances in multiple Westerns even led to his name to becoming synonymous with the genre. Yet Wayne was plagued by cancer throughout his later years. It became so aggressive doctors had to remove one of his lungs, per The New York Times. Later, he developed stomach cancer, which ultimately killed him in 1979, according to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.
Though his cancers may have been triggered by Wayne’s long history as a smoker, it certainly didn’t help that on the set of “The Conqueror” he and the rest of the cast and crew worked next to a recent nuclear test site. Many others who worked on the film also succumbed to cancer in the following years (via Interesting Engineering).
By the time of John Wayne’s ԁеаtһ, his film career had made him very wealthy with a net worth of $50 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. While he did share his fortune with friends and family, Wayne was very selective in who he left his money to.
WAYNE TOOK CARE OF HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS, BUT NOT HIS SON-IN-LAW
John Wayne’s will ensured that all seven of his children and his first wife (his second wife ԁıеԁ in 1961, per Find-a-Grave) received some compensation, either directly, or through trust funds, leaving them all with five and six-figure sums. He additionally left tens of thousands to both his former and (then) present secretaries, according to CelebAnswers.
After Wayne’s ԁеаtһ, The New York Times reported that his current yet estranged third wife, Pilar Pallete, was excluded from his will. While that was true, Pallete and Wayne already had a financial separation agreement.
One person was purposely barred from receiving any of Wayne’s estate — his oldest daughter’s husband, Donald LaCava. Not only was LaCava left out of the will on purpose, but Wayne’s instructions stipulated that he was to never inherit her share were she to die before him, according to Outside’s reporting.