John Wayne Cut Wife Out of $6.8M Will after She Left Him Ill — Daughter Was the One Who Held His Hand on Deathbed

In the face of a devastating diagnosis, John Wayne made family his priority, yet his widow received no share of his $6.8 million estate. This unexpected decision left many questioning the fate of the iconic actor’s wealth.

John Wayne’s legacy as an American folk hero and Hollywood legend is immortalized in film history. Renowned for his roles in westerns, Wayne dedicated himself tirelessly to his craft until the end. His unwavering commitment was matched by his gratitude towards his fans, as he personally responded to each letter he received.

Even as his health declined, Wayne delivered a remarkable performance in “The Shootist” (1976), mirroring his character’s struggle with illness. His diagnosis of stomach cancer in 1979 marked a tragic parallel to his role, yet Wayne remained resolute in his passion for acting.

The April 1979 Oscars celebrated Wayne’s illustrious career, with the industry paying homage to his contributions. Despite his health challenges, Wayne continued to inspire with films like “El Dorado” and “True Grit.”

Following his passing, Wayne’s $6.8 million estate omitted his widow, Pilar, surprising many. Instead, $30,000 was left to his secretary and confidante, Pat Stacy, reflecting their bond during Wayne’s final years and her unwavering support during his battle with cancer.

During the early 1970s, when faced with illness, John Wayne’s third wife, Pilar, chose to part ways, leaving him to confront his challenges alone. Surprisingly, despite their separation, Pilar remained legally married to John Wayne until his passing.

She continued to proudly wear the 15-carat diamond engagement ring he had given her. Despite not inheriting from him, Pilar, now 94 years old, remembered him fondly for his strength, generosity, kindness, and sense of humor.

Unlike his wife, John Wayne made specific provisions for his seven children in his will. Each child received $5,000, multiplied by the difference between their age and 21 at the time of his death.

John Wayne’s relationship with his seven children was marked by warmth and love, extending beyond the confines of the silver screen. Despite his demanding career, he prioritized being a present and nurturing father. He raised three sons, Patrick, Ethan, and Michael, and four daughters, Aissa, Marisa, Melinda, and Mary.

A heartfelt moment arose as five of John Wayne’s children gathered for a Q&A session, reminiscing about their father. They recalled cherished family adventures aboard the Wild Goose, a vessel that held special memories for them.

Patrick, Marisa, and Ethan pursued acting, with Patrick particularly finding success in the industry. Melinda remembered her father’s strong work ethic and the life lessons he imparted.

Ethan cherished memories of his father’s affection and love, recalling moments of hugs, kisses, and expressions of love. According to his children, John Wayne had a love for people and was merciful even in discipline.

In the face of illness, John Wayne prioritized time with his family, taking Ethan with him to film sets to maximize their time together. Ethan, now Chairman of John Wayne Enterprises and the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, views his father as an enduring example of resilience and success in adversity.

“He appears so self-assured and vibrant. You wouldn’t guess he had only one lung and a troublesome knee, and had been enduring horse falls for six decades. He never ceased to embody John Wayne, even in sickness — and the labor wasn’t easy for him,” remarked Ethan, John Wayne’s youngest son, who was merely 17 years old when his father succumbed to cancer.

Melinda recalled that despite living with their mother during their father’s illness, they remained connected with him. She recounted, “As he was nearing the end, he turned to my late brother, Michael, and advised, ‘Whatever you do, use my name for the good of the public. Without the public, I wouldn’t be here, and neither would you. We wouldn’t have had the life we had.'”

In John Wayne’s final moments, his children stood steadfastly by his side, offering unwavering support and solace. As the toll of his battle with cancer became evident, the once formidable presence of the iconic actor began to fade.

On June 11, 1979, surrounded by loved ones, John Wayne took his last breath. “Goodbye, Dad,” bid his son Patrick.

Aissa, Wayne’s daughter, clasped her father’s hand. Before he passed, she inquired if he recognized her. In response, Wayne uttered his final words: “Of course, I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”

Following John Wayne’s demise, his children resolved to honor his memory and continue his philanthropic legacy. In 1985, they united to establish the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, a heartfelt tribute to the man who had bravely fought his own battle against the disease.

It stood as a fitting testament to their beloved father’s unwavering spirit and enduring commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of others.