John Wayne children: Who are the descendants of the legendary actor?

John Wayne children: Who are the descendants of the legendary actor?

John Wayne was one of the biggest movie stars for over three decades. He starred in movies like Stagecoach, Sands of Iwo Jima, Hondo, The High and the Mighty, True Grit, and so many more. The actor died on June 11, 1979, at the age of 72 due to cancer. He was survived by his seven children from two of his three marriages. Here is all you need to know about John Wayne children.

John Wayne children
Source: Getty Images

During John’s marriage to Josephine Saenz from 1933 to 1945, the couple had four children, two daughters Antonia and Melinda, and two sons Michael and Patrick. With his third wife, Pilar Palette, he had three more children, Ethan, Aissa, and Marisa.

When the legendary actor died, he left behind seven children from his marriages and more than 15 grandchildren.

John Wayne children

Here is a breakdown of who John Wayne’s children are.

1. Michael Wayne

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John Wayne children
Source: Getty Images

Born: November 1934

Who is John Wayne's oldest son? His name is Michael Wayne.

Michael Wayne, who died in 2003, was the former president and chairman of the John Wayne Foundation board.

He also worked his way up from Production Assist, to line producer, to producer, and even worked on several of his father’s films.

Michael married Gretchen in 1958.

2. Mary Antonia Wayne Lacava

Mary Antonia Wayne Lacava
Source: Getty Images

Born: 1935

The actor's next child was his first daughter, Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava, who died in 2000.

Mary was an actress who spent most of her life as a wife to Donald La Cava (they got married on 16th May 1956) and the mother to their eight children – Anita, Mark, Kevin, Christopher, Brigid, Brendan Peter, and David.

One of her kids, Brendan Wayne, carries the same handsome looks as his grandfather. Born as Daniel Brendan La Cava in Encino, California on February 8, 1972, Brendan joined the world of Hollywood as an actor and producer in 2008.

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In 2011, Brendan co-starred in the sci-fi blockbuster Cowboys & Aliens, which was directed by Jon Favreau.

3. Patrick John Morrison

Born: 1938

Patrick’s mother was Wayne’s first wife, Josephine Alicia Saenz. Patrick Wayne, John’s middle son, built a slightly successful acting career for himself when he appeared in several movies such as Mister Roberts and The Searchers.

Patrick became an actor at an early age – he made his film debut at age 11. He is credited for appearing in 40 films, 11 with his legendary dad.

He married Peggy Hunt on 11 December 1965 and later married Misha Anderson on 8 May 1999.

4. Melinda Wayne Munoz

Born: 1940

Even though John’s fourth child and second daughter, Melinda Wayne Munoz, made several appearances in her father's films as a child, she did not become a film star.

Melinda’s son, Matthew Munoz, bears a striking resemblance to his famous grandfather. He is a Catholic priest. Father Matthew Munoz is a priest of the Diocese of Orange in California.

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Before John died, Matthew got to witness his grandfather’s conversion to the Catholic faith. The famous actor was introduced to the Catholic world by his ex-wife, Josephine Wayne Saenz.

The priest is proud of his grandpa’s conversion to become a Catholic. Out of all his success and achievements, this is one Matthew is majorly proud of. He said:

He wanted to become baptized and become Catholic. It was wonderful to see him come to the faith and to leave that witness for our whole family.

5. Aissa Wayne

Aissa Wayne
Source: Getty Images

Born: 1956

Aissa is a family law attorney who lives in Malibu.

6. John Ethan Wayne

Ethan Wayne
Source: Getty Images

Born: February 22, 1962

The actor named him after Ethan Edwards, a character from his film The Searchers. Ethan’s mom is Pilar Pallete, Wayne’s third wife.

Ethan has appeared in many different works as both an actor and a stuntman. He now serves as the manager of John Wayne Enterprises and is the director of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, and created its Team DUKE fundraising program in honour of his father.

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Despite Ethan having an iconic movie star for a father, he described his childhood as normal — one that involved living in then-small town Newport Beach, California with other families in the same neighbourhood, surrounded by oranges and strawberry farms.

John was in his late 50s when Ethan was born — and he made sure his son never forgot to do chores around the house.

Wayne, who was 17 at the time of his father’s death, said he drove John to UCLA Medical Center when he wasn’t feeling well. John never came out alive.

Ethan married Gina Rivadenegry in 1989.

7. Marisa Carmella Wayne

Marisa Wayne
Source: Getty Images

Born: 1966

Marisa Wayne opted to enjoy being a wife and mother. She founded GRIT Cycle health club in Costa Mesa, California.

John Wayne’s marriages: Who is the mother of John Wayne's children?

Wayne’s first wife, Josephine Saenz, was the daughter of a Panamanian Consul in Los Angeles. They got married on June 24, 1933, and had four children: Michael in 1934, Toni in 1935, Patrick in 1938, and Melinda in 1940.

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After a few years, their marriage was in trouble. Wayne practically lived for his work, which his wife found hard to accept. He was always surrounded by work associates and friends from the film world, which did not impress Josephine very much. The couple also had differences of opinion about how their children should be raised. In 1943, they separated and a year later, divorced.

Wayne met his second wife, Esperanza Baur Diaz, nicknamed Chata, in Mexico, while vacationing there. They got married on January 17, 1946, in California. Unlike Wayne’s first marriage, this marriage was rocky and volatile from the very start. His wife was reportedly jealous of his devotion to his work and to his four children - the couple had no children of their own.

The second marriage lasted seven years, coming to an end in November 1953, when a Superior Justice granted them a divorce under a little-used provision of a California law, reserved for cases where neither party concedes the other’s charges.

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Wayne met his third wife, Pilar Weldy (born Palette) in Lima, Peru in 1953, while he was scouting locations for The Alamo. Younger than Wayne by 22 years, Pilar and came from an upper-class family; her father was a Peruvian politician. On November 1, 1954, the very day Wayne’s divorce became final, the couple got married.

Unlike his previous wives, Pilar took an active interest in his career. She was an actress with some stage experience, although she did not pursue her own career. She bore Wayne three children: Aissa in l956, John Ethan in 1962, and Marisa Carmella in 1966.

who is the mother of John Wayne's children?
Source: Getty Images

The third marriage lasted 17 years, but in November 1973, a trial separation was announced. Pilar complained about Wayne’s lengthy absences from home, even when he was not working; he simply said that they had lost interest in each other.

That is all you need to know about John Wayne children. For more interesting details about your favourite celebrities, keep reading

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Lucy Zawadi Lucy Zawadi is a charismatic reporter with two years experience in creating content. She enjoys keeping up with pop culture, singing, cooking, baking, and jewellery making. Just like Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, Lucy believes that ‘No human is limited’. Email:

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