John Wayne never negotiated when it came to playing characters that upheld his ethics and morals that he believed aligned with America
Movie star John Wayne came to be present at awards shows, including the Golden Globes. However, he wasn’t always a fixture of such ceremonies, especially as he divided audiences, critics, and his peers when it came to his acting abilities. Wayne ultimately won three Golden Globes over the course of his career, including one in a category that no longer exists as part of the ceremony.
Director Raoul Walsh was the first filmmaker to give Wayne his chance to become a major star in 1930’s The Big Trail. However, the film took a nosedive at the box office, later becoming a film that audiences and critics came to respect. Nevertheless, Wayne found a home in the Western genre, relying on his image that perfectly fit with the cowboy characters that he played.
Wayne progressively took on more serious roles further into his career that he got. But, he never negotiated when it came to playing characters that upheld his ethics and morals that he believed aligned with America. However, Wayne’s critics didn’t believe that he was actually acting in any of his movies, but that he was simply playing himself from one role to the next. As a result, he often had to fight for respect when it came to more serious awards season conversations.
Wayne earned his first award at the Golden Globes in 1953 as the Henrietta Award recipient in the category of World Film Favorite – Male. The award was named after then-president Henry Gris where the voting body determined the year’s “world favorite” performer. Other major recipients included Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, and Marlon Brando.
The movie star didn’t earn another statue at the Golden Globes until 1966, earning the Cecil B. DeMille Award intended for an individual with outstanding contributions to the medium. Up to that point, Wayne already had titles such as The Sons of Katie Elder, McLintock!, The Alamo, and The Searchers under his belt.
Wayne finally arrived at the Golden Globes for his first nominated award in 1970 for True Grit. He had some stiff competition in the Best Actor – Drama category with Midnight Cowboy‘s Dustin Hoffman, Anne of the Thousand Days‘ Richard Burton, Popi‘s Alan Arkin, and Midnight Cowboy‘s Jon Voight. Wayne took home the win, earning his third and final honor from the Golden Globes.
Wayne’s win at the Golden Globes echoed at the Academy Awards, where he finally won for True Grit. He once again faced Hoffman, Voight, and Burton, but with the addition of Goodbye, Mr. Chips‘ Peter O’Toole. He still managed to win his first golden statue from the ceremony after many years of frustration.
The Western icon already had two nominations for his acting work in Sands of Iwo Jima and his directing role in The Alamo. However, Wayne was frustrated not to earn a nomination for what he considered his best work in films such as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Red River.
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