John Wayne was in so much pain when shooting Western with Ann-Margret he couldn’t sleep
As a result, Wayne’s action scenes in The Train Robbers had to be scaled down, with co-star Rod Taylor remembered Duke being “slightly” infirm during the shoot. The Time Machine star said the Western legend had trouble with his balance and understandably needed afternoon naps.
Wayne also released Cahill: US Marshall in 1973, which saw a significantly weakened Duke having to use a stepladder to climb onto a horse. That year also marked the death of his most famous collaborator, the director John Ford.
Upon news of the filmmakers’ death that August, Wayne told journalists: “I’m pretty much living on borrowed time.”
The Train Robbers was released 50 years ago today (Image: GETTY)
Ann-Margret found John Wayne to be “a teddy bear” on set (Image: GETTY)Duke would go on to make a couple of better-reviewed Westerns in True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn opposite Katherine Hepburn and The Shootist.
The latter film was his final one and saw him playing a terminally ill gunfighter.
The Hollywood icon himself died of cancer just a couple of years later in 1979