John Wayne Wanted to Be Remembered by 1 Meaningful Mexican Spanish Phrase

Movie star John Wayne had a phrase for any given situation. He strongly believed in sticking to one’s morals and ethics in all that one does. As a result, Wayne stuck to his guns and refused to compromise when it came to how his films depicted him. He also had a very strong understanding of how exactly he wanted the world to remember him. Wayne chose a Mexican Spanish phrase that captured how he felt about his legacy.

John Wayne developed his own tough cowboy image

John Wayne, who lived by each phrase. He's wearing a cowboy hat looking at the camera
John Wayne | Getty Images

Wayne initially entered the film industry as a prop man, but filmmakers such as Raoul Walsh and John Ford saw great potential in him as an actor. He certainly had the movie star look that they were after, but it took him some time to fully grasp the characters that he wanted to emulate on the silver screen. Wayne brought a signature walk and talk that became undeniably iconic, going on to define his career.

Moviegoers knew exactly what they were getting when seeing a motion picture starring Wayne. He always brought American heroics to the screen, whether he was playing a tough cowboy, a soldier, or stepping into a slightly more dramatic role. Nevertheless, the Western image is what he will always be most famous for.

John Wayne wanted a Mexican Spanish phrase to mark his legacy

The official Wayne Twitter account continues to make the legend proud and engage with his lifelong fans. In addition to a photograph of the Western movie star standing in front of a wooden home, they included a quote in his own words about how he wanted the world to remember him.

“I would like to be remembered, well … the Mexicans have a phrase, ‘Feo fuerte y formal,'” Wayne once said. “Which means he was ugly, strong, and had dignity.”

Wayne certainly held a great amount of pride when it came to his image. He refused to have his on-screen characters shoot others in the back, therefore he demanded reshoots for The Shootist. Wayne valued strength, but he also wanted to have a certain amount of class to come with it.

Fans on Twitter responded with how they best remember the movie star. One wrote, “quiet, but strong,” while others pointed to his cowboy aesthetic. Another user wrote, “The words say it best” when referring to how the actor carried himself.

His movie star persona lives on

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The Mexican Spanish phrase certainly captured Wayne’s legacy. It also extended to many of the characters that he played on the silver screen over the years. Wayne first considered himself a “real actor” with his performance in Red River, but he became known for so much more than that.

The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Quiet Man, Rio Bravo, and The Shootist are other notable films that he starred in. He played tough characters across different genres, but his strong and dignified characteristics made it through. They will continue to live on through these iconic movies with film audiences forever.