Wayne’s family moved to Southern California when he was only 9, but the Duke, birth name Marion Morrison, was born just 100 feet from the site of the new museum.
The actor is famous for roles in westerns and frontier-themed films. In 1969 he was awarded an Oscar for best actor for his part in True Grit.
The 6,100-square-foot museum will house the largest and most comprehensive collection of John Wayne-related memorabilia and artifacts, and will also include a theater showing highlights from the actor’s glittering Hollywood career.
The museum shows several exhibits that are sure to excite film fans, including Wayne’s rifle from The Alamo (1960) and the saddle he used in The Cowboys (1972). Other highlights include original props from the film set and a bloody shirt worn by the actor in his last ever scene in The Shootist (1976).
A series of special events to celebrate the opening of the museum are scheduled to take place from May 22-25.
A ribbon cutting ceremony marking the opening of the new museum on May 23 is expected to be attended by John Wayne’s frequent co-star Maureen O’Hara. Wayne’s close friend and country music singer Marty Stuart will speak at a subsequent dinner benefitting the museum.
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