Without This, John Wayne May Never Have Started Acting.

Even though John Wayne is one of the most famous actors to have ever appeared in a film, his legendary career might not have taken off if it weren't for a bodysurfing mishap.  

The Duke was a football scholarship student at USC who planned to get a legal degree.  

However, he was cut from the football team and forfeited his scholarship when he hurt his shoulder and was unable to play on the field. 

The 20-year-old started moving props for Fox Film Corporation because he needed money and had a connection to a movie studio through his former instructor Howard Jones. 

When Raoul Walsh noticed him moving furniture for the studio, it led to a few small appearances in John Ford films and his first leading role in The Big Trail. As they say, the rest is history.  

How much of the narrative is real, though? How much of it is really the result of studio propaganda in the vein of Singing in the Rain? Was The Duke simply an inadequate lineman? 

It's probably not shocking that a young John Wayne was taunted and physically assaulted over his name given he was born Marion Robert Morrison (not Marion Michael Morrison, as is popularly thought) in 1907. 

When he began to develop into the huge man he would eventually become, clearing 6 feet tall in his early teens, that kind of behavior ended. When football began, he supposedly rose to fame on the Glendale High squad.  

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