The Duke’s chil­dren open up to Closer about the im­por­tant life lessons their dad taught them.

Closer Weekly - - Contents -

He of­ten played mav­er­icks on the screen, and in real life, John Wayne didn’t al­ways fol­low the rules, ei­ther. “If we had a kit, he would just take parts out and start putting it to­gether,” son Pa­trick Wayne tells Closer. “He wouldn’t look at the di­rec­tions, and in­vari­ably there would be four or five pieces un­used by the time he was done.”

When it came to other tasks, though, John knew what he was do­ing and of­ten passed along that knowl­edge to his seven chil­dren. Now some of those use­ful tid­bits have been gath­ered in a new book, The Of­fi­cial John Wayne Handy Book for Men, by James El­lis.

The Duke didn’t dis­crim­i­nate with his own kids, how­ever. Daugh­ter Marisa has fond mem­o­ries of spend­ing time with her fa­ther in the Cana­dian wilder­ness. “We would go fish­ing and hik­ing all day, and he taught me how to bait the hook and gut and clean the fish,” she re­calls to Closer. “I can’t say I could do it to­day, but I re­ally got into it as a lit­tle girl.”

Not all of John’s leisure-time pur­suits were quite so out­doorsy. “He taught me how to play chess, backgam­mon, gin rummy and poker,” says Marisa, 52. “Back then there weren’t video games or cell­phones and we had no TV, but we had a lot of fun play­ing games.”

John also in­structed by ex­am­ple, es­pe­cially when Pa­trick, 79, co-starred with him in films like The Searchers, The Alamo and McLin­tock! “He set the bar and taught me the skills to be a pro­fes­sional,” says Pa­trick. “He was al­ways pre­pared for work and knew his lines, and if he had to do a phys­i­cal skill like shoe a horse, he’d learn to do it be­fore he came to the set so it looked nat­u­ral on cam­era.”

There was only one skill set the Duke seemed to lack. “He wasn’t much of a cook, but my mom [Pi­lar] was,” says Marisa. “He loved this cheese souf­flé she’d make. She named it the Duke Souf­flé!” Agrees Pa­trick, “I don’t re­call ever see­ing him cook. His great skill was eat­ing.” Hmm, won­der if he en­joyed true grits…. —Re­port­ing by Amanda Cham­pagne-Mead­ows

Marisa gives her fa­ther a kiss on the set of the 1975 True Grit se­quel Rooster Cog­burn. Pa­trick with his dad on the set of 1968’s The Green Berets, one of the many movies they made to­gether

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