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Widely enjoyed movie star John Wayne was and continues to be, not only a household name but a classic, American icon. While he graced television screens with his unforgettable presence in over 250 films, Wayne is more commonly remembered for his western themed productions and roles.
However, at the age of 71, Wayne, unfortunately, passed away from a difficult battle with stomach cancer. While many fans remember him for his incredible movie roles, his last public appearance continues to remain sacred footage.
Appearing at the 1979 Academy Awards ceremony held on April 9, Wayne is properly introduced by TV personality Johnny Carson, who directed the star-studded audience’s attention to a former clip of Bob Hope raving about Wayne’s impeccable talent and irreplaceability.
As the clip closes, Carson is left to introduce the legend, encouraging the audience to offer Wayne a warm welcome. And that they did! Wayne received a standing ovation upon humbly entering onto the vibrantly lit stage.
A very gracious Wayne absorbs the crowd’s undying energy and kindly thanks them all.
“Thank you, ladies and gentleman. That’s just about the only medicine a fella would really ever need,” Wayne beams.
He goes on to address his illness, stating that he “plan[s] to be around for a whole lot longer.”
Tragically, Wayne passed away a few short months later, sending the nation into mourning for the beloved, American staple.
You can view Wayne’s last public appearance below and help us in remembering this legend.
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