Friday, November 7, 2008

Week 5

By Guest Writer Alan Trehern

I just heard word Ben is on some type of secret mission for the government. He won't be around for the next couple of days, and your cell phone may self-destruct if you try to contact him. In lieu of that information, he bequeathed to me the honor of picking Week 5's Actor of the Week.

I thought about picking a female actress, but then I remembered I dated a number of them, and picking one over the other just isn't fair. Instead, I went to the man who has pretty much shaped me into 67% of who I am today...

Week 5 - John Wayne
Born Marion Robert Morrison in 1907, the Duke has starred in over a hundred films, a majority of them as the leading role. Mostly known for his character in westerns, Wayne also played gritty military men (The Green Berets, They Were Expendable) as well as a lovable toughman (The Quiet Man). He is best recognized for his work with director John Ford, who placed the Duke in great western epics like the "Calvary Trilogy" (Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande), The Searchers and 3 Godfathers. His best work, in my opinion, was done in the B-movies of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Movies like El Dorado, The Fighting Kentuckian and Big Jake may have not hit it big in the theaters, but they get huge playtime on TV. Back in the day, every weekend a John Wayne Classic Theater would come on and show an adventure with the Duke. Thankfully, I grew up with Wayne classics too.

John Wayne may have been one of the greatest actors of all time, and I'm prepared to take a back-lashing of reeds to say he IS the best. Wayne was finally recognized as the Best Actor with his Academy Award in 1969 for his character of Rooster Cogburn in
True Grit, whose hooting exclamations can still be heard in our house. Unfortunately, cancer beat the Duke over the years, costing him a lung, four ribs and his life in 1979. But his image and strong character live on in his movies and in his admirers. Here's to you, Duke.

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