Inside John Wayne’s Newport Beach Home He ‘Sure as Hell Couldn’t Afford’ Later

John Wayne is an American legend who remains one of the few timeless faces of the Western film genre. He finally won the only Oscar of his career for 1969’s True Grit, but he has over 180 acting credits to his name. The actor was always unapologetically himself. Wayne expressed this attitude regarding his Newport Beach home, which he said he “sure as hell couldn’t afford” if he tried to purchase it later.

John Wayne once lived on a 5-acre ranch in Encino

John Wayne holding a hand up waving wearing a suit and hat
John Wayne | Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Wayne once entertained his Hollywood friends in his Encino home, which was a 5-acre ranch. He lived in the Encino home at 4750 Louise Ave. along with his wife, Pilar, and their three children. It was a corner lot offering stunning views.

However, Wayne ultimately fell in love with the Newport Beach area and decided to move there. He sold the Encino home to the oldest daughter of Walt Disney in 1966. And it went under construction in 2006 to build a huge multi-story residence in its place.

This Encino location will always be an iconic piece of history in Wayne’s history, but he moved into a home he truly loved.

Inside John Wayne’s Newport Beach home

Architectural Digest reported on Wayne’s Newport Beach home in 1977. Location is everything, and Wayne’s home was at the water’s edge facing Balboa Island. It had a large, older station wagon parked near the front entrance. Architectural Digest described the home itself as “simple and unpretentious. There is nothing to suggest that this is the private world of a superstar, the home of an American legend.”

At the time of Wayne’s home tour, he had already lived in Newport Beach for 14 years. Ever since then, real estate prices skyrocketed. “I’m glad I came down here to live 14 years ago,” Wayne said. “I sure as hell couldn’t afford it now.”

The largest room in Wayne’s Newport Beach home was the study. It had paneling, a fireplace, a collection of guns, Western American art, and Native American artifacts. He had memorabilia covering the room, including photographs and plaques marking the most notable moments from his film career.

Wayne’s home also included a wall he called the “Fifty Years of Hard Work Wall,” where he kept awards, including his lead actor Oscar for True Grit. This is also where he kept photographs of his great friendships, including with John Ford, Henry Fonda, and Ward Bond.

Wayne collected his furniture and art from the various places he filmed his movies over the course of 30 years. This includes furniture from Madrid, porcelain jardinieres from Honolulu, and antiques from Colorado Springs. Venturing into such shops is how he spent his downtime on movie sets.

“There is a porcelain table with a ped­estal base, now on the terrace at New­port Beach, that he found in one of the poorest sections of Puerto Vallarta,” AD wrote. “While making a film in Fort Benning, Georgia, he came across a favorite Empire table.”

The actor didn’t care what people thought about his sense of style

Wayne especially appreciated his home because of the huge amount of time he spent on movie sets. “You often have to stay for a couple of months in some horrible motel room,” Wayne said. “Well, I like to put a few familiar things on the wall. I try to dress the place up a little, make it seem more like home.”

Not everybody appreciated Wayne’s sense of style. However, Wayne explained that their opinions didn’t matter much to him.

“Look, I find things that appeal to me, and I try to blend them in here,” Wayne said. “I don’t give a damn whether anyone else likes them or not. But I think I’ve done a pretty fair job.”

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