John Wayne

Chisum: John Wayne’s major disappointment and how John Mitchum made Duke very emotional

CHISUM was John Wayne's first movie of the 1970s, which would be the Western legend's final decade. Having had a cancerous lung removed a few years earlier, Duke had to rely on an oxygen mask and hide his ailments from his fans in his movies. When this failed to happen, he was left seriously disheartened.

The movie was based on the Lincoln County War of 1878 with John Wayne starring as John Simpson Chisum, a wealthy cattle baron of the American West. The 62-year-old actor was playing a 54-year-old man, so had to go out of his way to hide his advancing age, having cosmetic surgery in September 1969 – a month before filming began. As usual, Duke wore his hairpiece and had make-up applied to appear more youthful than he was.

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