Legendary Western actor John Wayne was a notorious womanizer who had three spouses over the course of his lifetime and cheated on all of them. John certainly didn’t have the best luck with women, though there was one woman who was always there for him. This woman was Maureen O’Hara, who the Duke first starred alongside in the 1952 John Ford-directed masterpiece The Quiet Man. Their time filming the picture together would be the start of a decades-spanning friendship that some say also became a romance. Join Facts Verse as Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne’s romantic chemistry finally makes sense.
Was John Wayne in Love with Maureen O’Hara?
It shouldn’t surprise many audience members to learn that legendary Western actor John Wayne was a bit of a womanizer. Even when the actor married, he had a hard time keeping his thoughts focused on the woman that he supposed to be with. There are numerous Hollywood figures that the Duke alleged to have had affairs with over the course of his lifetime. And one of the more notable names on this list is Marlene Dietrich. However, while John Wayne had a three-year-long affair with Marlene, he had an even longer affair with actress Maureen O’Hara.
John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara starred in several films together. It is with the first one being John Ford’s 1952 masterpiece The Quiet Man. John and Maureen became great friends on the set of the picture. Though it has since become apparent that they may have started up a romantic relationship around the time, as well. In fact, many assert that John and Maureen romantically involved in an on-and-off-again capacity for the remainder of John Wayne’s life following The Quiet Man’s filming.
Though it was initially thought that the two were just friends. People that were close to the pair have come out. It is in the days since with allegations that John was actually cheating on Maureen for a significant period of time while married to his third wife. These stories suggest that Maureen could often found at John Wayne’s Arizona ranch. Though the two kept their romance a secret.
John Was Never a Faithful Husband to His Wives
John Wayne married three times over the course of his lifetime. And each time he had an incredibly hard time staying faithful to his respective spouse. John’s first wife was a woman by the name of Josephine Saenz. It is whom he married to for well over two decades starting in 1954. During this long marriage, John known to have engaged in at least two extramarital affairs. It is with one of those affairs being with the aforementioned Marlene Dietrich. The other extramarital affair that John said to have engaged in during his first marriage with the daughter of a Mexican brothel owner. And this daughter’s name was Esperanza Baur. Those who are already familiar with John’s life will recognize the name. It is as Esperanza went on to become John’s second wife following his first divorce in 1945.
John Wayne’s first wife was no fool. And she became aware of her husband’s infidelity over the course of their decades-spanning marriage. When Josephine became aware of the fact that her husband was being rampantly unfaithful to her with multiple women. She called on the talents of an Irish-Catholic priest. Josephine brought this priest into her home to talk some sense into her husband, but John wasn’t having any of it. Many years later, John would convert to Catholicism while going through a crisis of faith on his deathbed. However, during his first marriage, John not interested in hearing the opinions of a holy man.
Despite the fact that his first wife had born him four children, John Wayne couldn’t find it in himself to be faithful to her. As a result, the two ended up divorcing in the aforementioned year of 1945. In 1946, John tied the knot with Esperanza. Though this marriage would turn out to be even more ill-fated than the actor’s first one. With Esperanza, John found a wife who was capable of holding her own against him, but not in a good way. Esperanza drank John under the table and was said to have had quite the temper. On top of this, she could also match John tit for tat in terms of infidelity.
John’s Second Wife Was as Unfaithful as He Was
During her marriage to John Wayne, Esperanza started up an extramarital affair with Nicky Hilton. For those that don’t know, Nicky was a notable hotel heir who had previously been the husband of Golden Age starlet Elizabeth Taylor. When John Wayne caught wind of the fact that his second wife wasn’t being unfaithful to him. He pulled the plug on their marriage. However, it stands to reason that John likely was just as unfaithful to her, if not even more so! John and Esperanza’s tumultuous marriage ended up coming to an end less than a decade after it started, with the two divorcing in 1954.
John would move on to his third and final wife the very same year. Though he would continue acting unfaithfully during their marriage. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
John Forced His Third Wife to Get an Abortion
One might have assumed that legendary Western actor John Wayne needed a break after suffering through two failed marriages, but this wasn’t the case. John ended up marrying his third wife the very same year that he divorced from his second. John’s third and final wife was a woman by the name of Pilar Pallette. And they ended up being married for well over two decades. In fact, the two remained married following their 1954 marriage ceremony all the way up until John’s 1979 death. This came in spite of the fact that John carried on his unfaithful behavior through the marriage.
John Wayne had met Pilar while scouting out Peruvian filming locations for his classic 1960 film The Alamo, which the star also directed. Pilar was living in Peru at the time, and she also happened to be married. When she met John, she became star struck. The actor swept her off her feet. And Pilar couldn’t resist when he made the offer to take her back to America with him and make her his bride. Pilar delivered the bad news to her husband, and the rest is history!
John had actually gotten Pilar pregnant while she was still with her Peruvian husband. And this resulted in an incident that would go on to cast a shadow over John and Pilar’s marriage. John feared the pregnancy would negatively effect his reputation since he and Pilar had yet to marry. And she was still technically married to someone else, so he forced his new romantic partner to get an abortion. This abortion seems to have put Pilar into quite a funk. By the time that Pilar made her way to America and officially became John Wayne’s third and final wife. She was said to have been fairly depressed as a result of both the forced abortion and the massive cultural shift that the move entailed.
John’s Third Wife Attempted Suicide
As a result of Pilar’s depression, the woman became addicted to sleeping pills shortly after entering into her marriage with John Wayne. On one occasion, Pilar was living with John in New Orleans because the actor was filming a picture there. During the picture’s filming, Pilar attempted suicide. John refused to halt filming of the picture. But he hired a few nurses to accompany Pilar back to California. And keep an eye on her until he could get back himself. Thankfully, Pilar never ended up attempting suicide a second time. However, her and John ended up separating.
John Still Loved Maureen Upon His 1979 Passing
19 years and three children into their marriage, John and Pilar separated. However, they were still technically married upon John’s 1979 passing. Following his and Pilar’s separation, John became romantically involved with a former secretary of his by the name of Pat Stacy. However, it appears that the woman who was truly on John’s mind during the later years of his life was Maureen O’Hara.
John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara maintained their close friendship up until the point of John Wayne’s death. And many still think that the pair’s friendship was something much, much more. Shortly before John’s passing, he and Maureen spent a period of three days together reminiscing about all of the great times that they had shared.
While John and Maureen starred in several pictures together. The most iconic film featuring the pair undeniably remains 1952’s The Quiet Man. Director John Ford called the film the most romantic movie that he ever made. And the on-screen romance between John and Maureen was a huge part of this. The chemistry between the stars was so palpable that audiences immediately began to wonder whether or not the chemistry was mirrored in real life. Of course, we now know that it very much was.
The Quiet Man Remains a Classic!
The Quiet Man starred John Wayne as a retired boxer named Sean Thornton that is returning to his home village in Ireland after accidentally killing an opponent during a fight. Sean never wants to fight again. And instead wants to attempt to find love and start a family in the village where he was born. Sean ends up falling in love with Maureen’s character, whose name is Mary Kate Danaher. However, in order to win Mary Kate’s hand in marriage, Sean first has to deal with her angry brother, whose name is Red. Real-life retired boxer Victor McLaglen played Red. And the climatic fight scene between him and John remains one of the most iconic fight scenes ever shown on the big screen!
The Quiet Man ends with Maureen’s character whispering something into John’s character’s ear that the audience can’t hear. And which prompts a memorable double take from him. Audiences are still unsure what exactly it was that director John Ford had instructed Maureen to say to get such an authentic reaction from the star, as she refused to spill the beans. The film stands today as one of John Wayne’s most classic. And the fact that it marked the point where he first worked with Maureen only gives it more meaning.
Although John Wayne was likely more in love with Maureen O’Hara than he was with any of the three wives that he married over the course of his lifetime. He and Maureen never tied the knot. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that John Wayne forced his third and final wife to get an abortion before they even got married. And that the actor was said to have been in love with costar Maureen O’Hara for the last few decades of his life? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!