Was John Wayne Gay? His Relationships Explored

John Wayne was not gay. This reality is backed by the fact that he was involved in several heterosexual relationships, including three heterosexual marriages. The subject of John Wayne’s sexuality has long been a topic of speculation and debate.

As one of Hollywood’s most iconic and influential actors, known for his embodiment of rugged masculinity, it has been suggested that Wayne’s on-screen persona may have masked his true sexual orientation. While some have claimed that Wayne was gay or bisexual, there is limited concrete evidence to support these claims.

Was John Wayne Gay?

John Wayne was not gay. While there have been speculations and rumors about his sexuality, there is no concrete evidence to support the claim that John Wayne is gay. Wayne was known for his iconic roles in Western movies, where he portrayed rugged masculinity and strength. He had a successful career in Hollywood and was considered one of the greatest actors of his time.

It is important to note that Wayne’s association with masculinity was largely a product of moviemaking and his ability to immerse himself in the characters he played. He had a versatile range as an actor and was not naturally ultra-masculine. In fact, he was known to be a dancer and chess player, showcasing his diverse talents beyond the screen.

While Wayne worked closely with directors who were part of the LGBTQ+ community, such as John Ford, it does not imply his own sexual orientation. It is essential to separate an actor’s portrayal of a character from their personal life. Wayne’s on-screen personas often embodied traditional gender roles and represented the epitome of rugged masculinity, contributing to his enduring image as a symbol of American manhood.

His Heterosexual Marriages Reaffirms That John Wayne Was Not Gay

While some have suggested that he may have been gay, Wayne’s multiple heterosexual marriages throughout his life are another concrete evidence to suggest otherwise. They reaffirm that he was attracted to women and had romantic relationships with them.

While it is important to note that one’s sexual orientation cannot be determined solely by one’s marital history, Wayne’s three marriages to women provide further insight into his sexual preferences. These marriages lasted for considerable periods of time and produced children, indicating that Wayne had genuine emotional and physical connections with women.

John Wayne’s sexual orientation remains a matter of speculation, but there is no substantial evidence to suggest that he was gay. He had a successful career in Hollywood, portraying iconic masculine characters and leaving a lasting impact on the film industry.

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Was John Wayne Married When He Died?

John Wayne, the legendary American actor, was indeed married at the time of his death. He was married to his third and final wife, Pilar Pallete. They got married in 1954 and remained together until his death in 1979. Pilar, a Peruvian actress, was Wayne’s longest-lasting and most successful marriage. They had three children together and remained devoted to each other until the end.

John Wayne’s marriage to Pilar Pallete was a significant part of his life. She was by his side during his battle with lung cancer and provided him with support and companionship. Their marriage lasted for twenty-five years, making it the most enduring relationship of his life.

Wayne’s marriages and personal life were not without controversy. His reputation as a Hollywood icon often overshadowed his personal struggles, including his divorces and alleged affairs. However, at the time of his death, the legendary actor was indeed married to Pallete, who remained his wife and partner until the end.

Who was John Wayne’s Last Wife?

Pilar Pallete is John Wayne’s third and last wife. She was an actress and former stewardess born María del Pilar Pallete Alvarado on September 3, 1928, in Paita, Peru. As of 2024, she is 95 years old. Other than the fact that her father was a Peruvian senator, there is no information available about her parents, siblings, or her formal educational background.

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Pilar Pallete had a career as an actress and appeared in an uncredited role in The Alamo (1960), as well as several documentaries about her late ex-husband, John Wayne. However, she is not particularly well known for her acting career and did not win any major awards.

Pilar Pallete met John Wayne, who was 21 years older than her, in Tingo Maria, Peru, where she was working as a stewardess, and he was scouting locations for the film The Alamo in 1952 or 1953. They started dating soon after and got married on November 1, 1954.

During their marriage, Wayne and Pallete traveled extensively and settled in California in 1965. Even though she moved out of his house in 1973, they were never legally separated or divorced, and she has always maintained that their marriage lasted until John Wayne’s death in 1979.

Before her marriage to the actor, Pallete was married to Richard Weldy. Their marriage lasted for only five years, from 1948 until they divorced in 1953. After John Wayne’s death, she married Stephen Stewart in 1984 but divorced him in 1997 after thirteen years of marriage.

In 1998, she married her fourth husband, Jesse L. Upchurch, but their marriage ended twelve years later, in 2010, in yet another divorce. Ultimately, Pilar Pallete’s quarter of a century-long marriage to John Wayne was her longest; they had three children together.

John Wayne’s Relationships

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John Wayne had been married and divorced twice before his marriage to his last wife, Pilar Pallete. The late actor’s first marriage was to Josephine Saenz. They met in 1933 after he went on a blind date with Josephine’s older sister, Carmen.

They attended a Thanksgiving dance together, where Wayne realized he was more attracted to Josephine than her sister Carmen. They started dating shortly after and got married in the same year. Unfortunately, their marriage ended in divorce in 1945 after 12 years of being together.

Josephine Saenz was born Josephine “Josie” Alicia Saenz on May 13, 1908, to José Saenz and Alicia Acosta. Other than her sister Carmen, there are scarce details about any other family member, childhood, and formal educational background. She died on June 24, 2003, aged 95 years old, after a protracted battle with cancer.

John Wayne’s Second Marriage was to Mexican Actress Esperanza Baur

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John Wayne’s second marriage was to Mexican actress Esperanza Baur Diaz. They met in 1941 when he was vacationing there. At the time, he was still married to his first wife. When that marriage ended four years later in 1945, Wayne and Baur started dating not long after, eventually getting married on January 17, 1946, just about a year after his divorce from Josephine.

However, their marriage was tumultuous, mainly because she was jealous of his dedication to his work and his four children from his previous marriage. It is also worth noting that they did not have children together and divorced in 1954, less than a decade later.

Esperanza Baur Diaz was born Esperanza Baur Ceballos on July 17, 1920, in Mexico City, Mexico. Details of her family and formal educational background are not readily available. She was a Mexican actress best known for movies such as  Guadalajara (1943), The Count of Monte Cristo (1942), Una luz en mi camino (1939), and La Valentina (1938). She died of a heart attack in 1961.

How Many Children Did John Wayne Have?

John Wayne had seven children from two of his three marriages. His first marriage to Josephine Saenz produced four children: Michael Wayne (born 1934, died 2003), Mary Antonia “Toni” Wayne LaCava (born 1936, died 2000), Patrick Wayne (born 1939), and Melinda Wayne Munoz (born 1940, died 2022).

He had three more children with his last wife, Pilar Pallete: Aissa Wayne (born 1956), John Ethan Wayne (born 1962), and Marisa Wayne (born 1966).


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