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John Wayne died more than thirty years ago, but he remains one of the five favorite movie stars of contemporary audiences. Yet, there has never been a comprehensive biography worthy of the man as well as the star. Until now.
The beloved Hollywood icon comes fully to life in this complex portrait by a master biographer whose skillful prose has been hailed as ?outstanding? and ?compulsive reading? by reviewers from The New York Times to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Washington Post Book World called Scott Eyman ?one of the most distinguished and reliable of popular film historians.? In Eyman?s hands, this enduring symbol of American grit gets the biography he deserves.
Exploring Wayne?s early life with a difficult mother and a feckless father, Eyman makes startling connections to his later days as an anti-Communist conservative, his stormy marriages to Latina women, and his notorious?and surprisingly long-lived?extra-marital affair with Marlene Dietrich.
In addition to his interviews with those who knew Wayne best?many of whom had never spoken on the record before?Eyman draws on the actor?s own business records to weave a rich tapestry of American cultural history: the story of a man who went from college football to romantic lead on the silver screen, and who ultimately became the dominant?and often domineering?symbol of his country at mid-century, the quintessential American male against which all other screen heroes are compared.
Through it all, the author provides a nuanced and sympathetic portrait that is as charming, compelling, and complicated as the Duke himself.