Duke was also incredibly kind to his Fort Apache co-star John Agar, when shooting the 1948 movie in Monument Valley together. Ford, who would constantly bait his actors to get better performances out of them, kept calling Agar “Mr Temple” since he was married to co-star Shirley Temple.
The director did this in front of cast and crew and would slam the young actor’s lack of horse riding experience and the way he delivered his lines. This seriously got to Agar one day on set. As a result, he stormed off claiming he would quit the movie, until Wayne stepped in.
Fort Apache cast – John Agar on the far right
Wayne, who was playing Captain Kirby York, came alongside Agar and mentored him with the more difficult aspects of the production. The young actor never forgot the star’s kindness to him and later said: “I would go to hell and back for Duke.”