If you grew up dreaming of partnering up with The Duke for shootouts in the Old West or battles in Japan, you'll probably want to rethink what you're going to do with your 401(k) fund. After John Wayne passed away in 1979, his family donated much of his film memorabilia to the National Cowboy & Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, but the remaining artifacts from the actor's estate were kept in storage since then. Now, the Wayne family is ready to share the catalog of treasures, including many personal items never seen by the public, with fans and potential buyers.
In October, Heritage Auction Galleries will auction off more than 400 items from John Wayne's estate in Los Angeles, but before the items go on sale, they'll be visiting Dallas for a special preview show in September.
In an auction press release, Ethan Wayne, one of the actor's children, stated, "My father was always open and accessible to his fans, and he was very grateful to them for supporting his films and career. Now we're very excited to be able to offer mementos of my father to them for supporting his films and career."
Cinephiles won't want to miss the chance to see the 1969 Golden Globe the actor won for True Grit or the eye patch he wore in the film, and history buffs will get a first look at his personal correspondence with Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Scripts from Stagecoach, True Grit and Red River, among others, are also on the auction block, and many of them contain notations from the actor. Wayne's costumes from films including Sands of Iwo Jima and The Green Berets will also be on display when the collection arrives in September.
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Perhaps the most interesting items up for sale are personal effects such as the actor's American Express card and driver's license. Sadly, the American Express account isn't active anymore, so good luck trying to charge a weekend stay at the Ritz to The Duke. You'll probably need your own gold card to afford a piece of this collection. Heritage Auction estimates that items will fetch between $100 and $50,000 during the October auction.
The collection will be on exhibit at Heritage Auctions' Design District Annex from September 16 through 18, then it will travel to The Fletcher Sinclair Mansion in New York from September 23 through 25. The public and online auction will begin at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles on October 3 and continue through October 6. Call 1-800-872-6467 or visit HA.com/JohnWayne for more information.
Incidentally, if you like to get your Marion Morrison via Red River, then head to the Fort Worth Stockyards on June 17 for an 8 p.m. outdoor showing of the classic film as the Alamo Drafthouse presents the Texas Monthly Rolling Roadshow. The series offers "free screenings of famous movies in famous places" like Tender Mercies at the Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the Junction House in Kingsland and The Last Picture Show at the Royal Theater in Archer City. RSVP to each film on Facebook through this calendar.