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Marisa Wayne: Everything about John Wayne’s Youngest Daughter

Bettina Dizon
Jul 10, 2022
06:00 P.M.
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Marisa Wayne is one of John Wayne's children who eventually chose a career away from acting. Here's a look at what happened to the award-winning actor's youngest daughter.

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Marisa Wayne is John Wayne's youngest daughter from his third marriage. Of seven children, Marisa is among those not involved in acting.

However, she works to keep her father's legacy alive through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, in which she is heavily involved.

Marisa Wayne during the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary's 32nd annual Odyssey Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on March 25, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Marisa Wayne during the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary's 32nd annual Odyssey Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on March 25, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Wayne had a prolific Hollywood career and starred in several films, including "Stagecoach," "The Alamo," "The Green Berets," "True Grit," and "Sands of Iwo Jima," which got him a Best Actor nomination. Some of his kids have followed in his footsteps as an actor.

WHO IS MARISA WAYNE?

Born Marisa Carmela Wayne on February 22, 1966, in Burbank, California, Marisa grew up in Newport Beach, surrounded by a community that respected her family. She had a relatively normal childhood, riding her bike around the neighborhood, playing tennis, and going on boat rides.

However, there was no denying that people wanted to get close to her father. Marisa would go on set with her father and even tagged along at the Oscar Awards before he passed away.

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"I was sitting backstage in a dressing room. His dressing roommates were Laurence Olivier and Cary Grant," she said. "I didn't realize what megastars they were. I'm such a huge Cary Grant fan now."

Marisa's siblings followed in John's footsteps as an actor, and while Marisa tried her luck in show business, she dropped acting after a few years.

She appeared in the 1977 film "Hollywood Greats," followed by "A Woman's Guide to Firearms" in 1987. In 2007, she appeared in "100 Years of John Wayne."

Marisa Wayne during the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary's 32nd annual Odyssey Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on March 25, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Marisa Wayne during the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary's 32nd annual Odyssey Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on March 25, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

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On May 4, 2005, Marisa tied the knot with Tony Ditteaux. They welcomed their first child, Carmela Louise, on June 18, 2004, and Duke Morrison on September 13, 2007.

Of her siblings, Patrick was the one who had a prolific career, starring in "Mister Roberts," "The Searchers," "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger," and "The People That Time Forgot."

In 2013, Marisa co-founded her own company, GritCycle, in Costa Mesa. The business has since expanded to different locations in Orange County and East Long Beach. GritCycle sometimes has fundraisers to support the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

When Marisa is not busy with work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is also into fitness, being active in tennis and other sports.

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WHO IS MARISA WAYNE'S MOTHER, PILAR PALETTE?

Marisa is John's daughter with Pilar Palette, born on September 3, 1928. She is also an actress known for her roles in "Hollywood Greats," "The Duke at Fox," and "Sabotear en la selva."

She married John in November 1954 despite their vast age gap. Sadly, John had an alleged affair during his marriage until they eventually separated.

When John passed away, he left a $6.85 million estate, of which none went to Pilar. However, she was compensated in their separation agreement. The actor left each of his kids $5,000 multiplied by the difference between their age and 21.

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The remainder of the actor's estate was placed in trust accounts, of which one was used to fund his first wife, Josephine.

WHO ARE MARISA WAYNE'S BROTHERS AND SISTERS?

Several of Marisa's siblings joined the entertainment industry, including her eldest brother, Michael, who started his career as a production assistant. He later became a producer for his father's films.

Her sisters, Mary Antonia, Aissa, and Melissa, also became actresses at one point but did not prioritize their careers in show business.

The actor was buried at Pacific View Memorial Park Cemetary, although his tombstone's location remained a mystery as it was unmarked for two decades.

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Of her siblings, Patrick was the one who had a prolific career, starring in "Mister Roberts," "The Searchers," "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger," and "The People That Time Forgot." Ethan also grew his Hollywood career and appeared in both film and television.

MARISA WAYNE WAS SCARED OF SEEING JOHN WAYNE DIE IN MOVIES

Marisa was around seven or eight when she saw her father die in a film and did not take it well. The same happened when she was on set with her father, and the cast and crew had to comfort her behind the scenes. She was assured that her dad was alright.

One particular film that still makes Marissa "choke up" is John's "The Quiet Man." She claimed it was "emotional" watching her father in the movie. She said:

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"It was one of his favorite films to work on, and it's my favorite because I know how much he enjoyed it. I've seen the movie hundreds of times, but every time I hear and watch it – it chokes me up. I love his voice."

John Wayne as Cole Thorton on the set of "El Dorado," circa 1966. | Source: Getty Images

John Wayne as Cole Thorton on the set of "El Dorado," circa 1966. | Source: Getty Images

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Marisa was only 13 when her father passed away. Sadly, he could never fulfill his promise of bringing her to Ireland. John Wayne died of stomach cancer and left a legacy in Hollywood through his over 200 Western films.

The actor was buried at Pacific View Memorial Park Cemetary, although his tombstone's location remained a mystery as it was unmarked for two decades. The cemetery also never disclosed the site of John in respect of the deceased and his family. Nevertheless, many tried to look for his location.

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