John Wayne’s near-fatal moment on football pitch that wrecked career: ‘Killed him’


“So what he tried to do was twist his body around so he could block with the left shoulder. Well, Jones saw him do that and that was all he needed.

“All hell broke loose.

“Jones accused the Duke of being yellow, of being afraid to block and demoted him to the scrubs.”

But Wayne had the last laugh as he still managed to carve out an incredible legacy.

Away from the camera, Wayne was well regarded for his enduring friendship with co-stars, including the likes of director John Ford.

Some, though, didn’t take to him as well, including Hollywood heavyweight Gene Hackman, who Wayne once claimed was overrated.

Wayne’s daughter Aissa outlined her father’s frustrations with Hackman the 1991 book John Wayne: My Father.

She wrote: “When it came to his contemporaries in film, I only heard him speak once with any real venom.

“Gene Hackman could never appear on-screen without my father skewering his performance.

“I wish I could tell you why he so harshly criticized Hackman, but he never went into detail.

“Although it’s pure speculation, had my father lived to see more of his work, I think his view of Mr Hackman would have changed.

“Back then, however, my father called Hackman ‘the worst actor in town. He’s awful’.”

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