Glen Campbell’s ‘Good Deed’ Helped John Wayne Win His Only Oscar

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John Wayne is considered to be one of the most iconic actors to ever grace the silver screen. With more than 170 films to his credit over the course of his 50-year film career, it may be surprising to some that the Duke only won one Academy Award.

Numerous John Wayne films were considered Oscar-worthy, including Red River (1948), Sands of Imo Jima (1949), The Quiet Man (1952), and The Alamo (1960). While Sands of Imo Jima and The Alamo earned Wayne Oscar nomination, it was his 1969 movie True Grit that finally won him a coveted Oscar statue.

Made 40 years after his big screen debut in the 1929 musical comedy Words and MusicTrue Grit featured Wayne as one-eyed U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. Country crooner Glen Campbell was at the height of his musical career when he made his film debut alongside John Wayne in True Grit. In a 2011 interview Campbell recalled working with John Wayne saying, “He was so much like my dad. He was a very nice guy.”

Campbell admitted that he was a better singer and guitar player than actor and took the role in True Grit because he was a long-time fan of John Wayne. But, he was quick to jokingly point out that he did a “good deed” in True Grit.

“I made John Wayne look so good in a movie,” Campbell said, “that he won his only Oscar.”

During the 42nd Annual Academy Awards, actress and singer Barbra Streisand presented an emotional John Wayne with his Best Actor Oscar.

“Wow, if I’d have known that, I’d have put that patch on thirty-five years earlier,” Wayne told the crowd during his acceptance speech.

The film’s title song, sung by Glen Campbell, also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song. Hear Glen Campbell sing “True Grit” in the video below.