John Wayne was ‘hated’ and ‘feared’ by Joseph Stalin, who wanted him assassinated

John Wayne put his patriotic identity above all else. He chose many of his film projects based on a specific image that the whole family could enjoy. However, Wayne’s anti-Communist message became a major problem for former Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin. The political leader was so afraid of the actor’s power to influence public opinion that he ordered his assassination.

John Wayne was a patriot who felt guilty for not serving in the military

John Wayne | General Disney entertainment content via Getty Images

At Pilar Wayne’s John Wayne: My Life with the Duke explores one of the most popular faces to ever exist in Hollywood. Pilar is Wayne’s third wife, which details her life behind the scenes and in her personal life. He always had a deep respect for the US military, but he never served. As a result, Pilar explained that not serving in the military had become “the most painful part of her life”.

However, Wayne’s patriotism only increased due to his feelings of guilt. “He would become a ‘superpatriot’ for the rest of his life trying to redeem himself for staying home,” Pilar wrote. This is especially evident through the films he starred in, such as The green berets.

Joseph Stalin ‘hated’ and ‘feared’ John Wayne so much that he ordered the actor’s assassination

Michael Munn John Wayne: the man behind the myth offers another look at the legendary actor. He explained that he paid a lot of attention to the crushing of communism in America. Wayne was the president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, where he fought anything he deemed un-American.

Even people in the Soviet film industry who were unfamiliar with Wayne and his films heard of Stalin’s interest in killing the actor. Orson Welles spoke to Munn about Stalin’s anti-Semitism and his understanding of propaganda via film.

“I don’t know if John Wayne’s name was known to Joseph Stalin before 1949, but in 1949 he certainly learned the name,” Welles said. “He came to hate it. He feared him. He felt the name had become a major threat to him and his ideals. It was as if, in Stalin’s warped mind, the Americans had invented a new secret weapon, more subtle than a nuclear bomb, but just as destructive to Stalin’s ideals and dreams of world domination.

Welles continued, “Stalin urged Mao Tse-tung to join him in his conspiracy, making him realize that John Wayne had become communism’s greatest enemy. Mao had previously asked Stalin to help him establish his regime in China, and Stalin refused.

Stalin was even willing to cut deals to make sure Wayne was no longer a problem.

Welles concluded: “So Mao, who had his own program which was to destroy the United States without bringing his own country to war, told Stalin that he would only support the assassination of John Wayne if Stalin did everything its possible to push America into a war.

The actor died of stomach cancer

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Wayne won an Oscar for his lead performance in the 1969s The real courage. However, he already got nominations for the 1960s The Alamo and 1949 Sands of Iwo Jima. Wayne has over 180 acting credits under his belt as he continues to personify the Western genre as a whole.

However, Wayne did not die of assassination. On the contrary, he died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979, at the age of 72. Wayne’s last starring role was in The shooter, where he played a gunslinger dying of cancer. It’s a particularly personal role for the legendary actor, especially since he battled illness in his personal life.

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