Who is Pilar Pallete?

Pilar was born in Paita, Peru, on 3 September 1928 – her zodiac sign’s Virgo, and she holds Peruvian nationality. She’s a former actress with two acting credits to her name, while she’s perhaps known best for having been the wife of the late American actor Marion Robert Morrison, known worldwide by his professional name John Wayne.

Happy Birthday to Pilar Pallete! She was the 3rd wife of John Wayne & mother to his 3 youngest children 🎉

Posted by JOHN WAYNE on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Early life and education

Pilar was raised in Paita alongside her brother Jesse L. Upchurch, by their father Miguel Arturo Pallete who was a Peruvian senator, and their mother Carmela De Pallete who was a housewife; not a lot else is known about Pilar’s family, as she respects their privacy.

She grew up being interested in acting, and appeared in numerous plays performed at her high school; Pilar was a member of the school’s drama club, and also appeared in a couple of plays performed at a community theatre.

She matriculated in 1946, and although she hasn’t spoken of her further education, it’s believed that she attended college, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1950.

Career as an actress

Pilar launched her acting career in 1953, when cast to play the lead character in the adventure movie “Sabotear en la Selva”, directed by George Stone, and which also starred Leonardo Arrieta and James Flynn. It follows a group of soldiers searching for sensitive government documents which were carried on a plane that crashed in the Peruvian jungle.

Pilar appeared in only one other movie prior to retiring from acting: she played Alamo Woman in the 1960 historical adventure drama “The Alamo”, directed by her late husband, who also starred in it alongside Richard Widmark and Laurence Harvey. Set in 1836, the movie follows a small group of soldiers as they’re battling a huge Mexican army, trying to stop President/General Santa Ana from taking over the Republic of Texas; it won eight awards, including an Oscar for Best Sound, while it was nominated for eight other awards.

Other credits

Pilar received special thanks for the 1998 episode “John Wayne: American Legend” of the documentary series “Biography”; she’s been featured in a couple of other documentaries, such as the 1984 series “Hollywood Greats”, and the 2011 short documentary videos “The Duke at Fox” and “The Personal Property of John Wayne”.

Becoming a restaurant owner

Pilar and her late husband moved to Newport Beach, California in 1965, and she rented a small studio which served as a café at which she sold coffee and sandwiches; it took only a year for the small café to turn into a restaurant, while it remains unknown for how long Pilar ran it.

Love life and husband

Although Pilar prefers to keep her love life away from the media’s attention, it’s still widely known that she’s been married four times. She exchanged vows with her first husband, non-celebrity Peruvian man Richard Weldy in 1948, at the age of 19; it was while still married to Richard that she met John Wayne, in 1952, when he came to Tingo Maria, Peru to search for places to shoot his movie “The Alamo”. Pilar met John once again in 1953, when she came to Los Angeles, California to shoot for “Sabotear en la Selva”, and they married on 1 November 1954, on the same day when her and Richard’s divorce was finalized.

Following her role in “The Alamo”, she retired from acting to raise her and John’s three children: Ethan, Marisa and Aissa; Ethan’s a retired actor and stuntman, with more than 20 acting credits to his name, probably still known best for having performed stunts in the 1980 action adventure comedy movie “The Blues Brothers”.

Pilar and Jon separated in 1973, but remained legally married up until his death on 11 June 1979.

She married her third husband, American municipal court judge Stephen Stewart in 1984, but they divorced in 1997. Pilar exchanged vows with her fourth husband, American travel company executive Jesse L. Upchurch in 1998 – their divorce was finalized in 2010.

She hasn’t mentioned any other men whom she’s perhaps been with, and as of August 2022, Pilar seems to be unattached, has been married four times, and has three children with her second husband John Wayne.

Hobbies and other interests

Pilar wasn’t interested in writing until she was invited to co-author her late husband John’s biography; the book “John Wayne: My Life with the Duke” was published through McGraw-Hill on 1 October 1987.

She was once an avid dancer, and began taking lessons when she was seven years old; she can be seen dancing in various scenes of the two movies in which she appeared.

Pilar was once passionate about travelling, and she and John travelled all around the world together, mostly going to places at which he was shooting for his movies and TV series; her dream travel destination remains Paris, France.

Pilar has her own favorite actors and actresses, some of whom are Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino and Meryl Streep, while a couple of her favorite movies include “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, the trilogy “The Godfather”, and “Bridges of Madison County”.

Age, height and net worth

Pilar’s age is 93. She has long black hair and brown eyes, her height is 5ft 3ins (1.6m) and she weighs around 110lbs (50kgs).

As of August 2022, her net worth’s been estimated at over $10 million, while John’s net worth at the time of his death, was estimated at more than $50 million.

Who was her second husband John?

John was born in Winterset, Iowa USA on 26 May 1907 – his zodiac sign was Gemini, and he held American nationality. He was an actor and film producer, with close to 200 credits to his name, while he’s perhaps still remembered best for his portrayal of the lead character Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 adventure western movie “True Grit”, directed by Charles Portis, and which also starred Kim Darby and Glen Campbell. It follows a Texas Ranger and a US Marshal as they’re helping a teenager catch her father’s killer; the movie won seven awards, including an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role (John), while it was nominated for seven other awards.

He was raised in Winterset by his father Clyde Leonard Morrison who was a pharmacist, and who died in 1937 aged 53, and his mother Mary ‘Molly’ Alberta Brown who passed away in 1970, aged 85. John studied at Glendale Union High School and was physically highly active during his four years there, as he was on his school’s football team, as well as on its debating team. John wouldn’t go anywhere without his big Airedale Terrier dog Duke, and was thus nicknamed ‘Little Duke’, which stuck with him for the rest of his life.

He matriculated in 1925 and applied for the US Naval Academy, but was rejected because of his poor grades; he then enrolled at the University of Southern California on an athletic scholarship, but was forced to quit after he broke his collarbone and was unable to continue playing football.

John launched his acting career in 1926, when cast to play Yale Football Player in the romantic action movie “Brown of Harvard”, and a couple of his notable film performances in the remainder of the 1920s were in the musical comedy “Words and Music”, and the romantic sports dramas “Salute” and “The Forward Pass”, all released in 1929.

What marked the 1930s for him was perhaps his portrayal of the lead character Tom Wayne in the 1933 action adventure movie “The Three Musketeers”, directed by Colbert Clark and Armand Schaefer, and which co-starred Jack Mulhall, Raymond Hatton and Francis X Bushman Jr. It follows Tom who’s just rescued Schmidt, Renard and Clancy in the Arabian Desert, while they’re now helping him catch the bad guy El Shaitan whom no one’s seen before.

John appeared in many movies in the ‘40s, with some of the most popular amongst these having been the 1942 western “In Old California”, the 1945 romantic musical western “Flame of Barbary Coast”, and the 1949 western “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”.

He portrayed Captain Tom Wilder in the 1955 action adventure “Blood Alley”, directed by William A. Wellman, and in which he starred alongside Lauren Bacall and Paul Fix. The movie follows American Merchant Captain Tom who’s been imprisoned by the Chinese Communists, while a group of Chinese villagers have freed him so that he could sail them to Hong Kong; the movie won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female (Anita Ekberg).

Some of John’s most notable performances in the ‘60s were perhaps in the 1965 western “The Sons of Katie Elder”, the 1966 romantic western drama “El Dorado”, and the 1969 romantic action adventure “The Undefeated”.

His final role was his portrayal of J. B. Books in the 1976 romantic western drama “The Shootist”, directed by Don Siegel, and in which he starred alongside Lauren Bacall and Ron Howard. It tells the story of a dying gunfighter who’s searching for a way to die with minimum pain, and the movie won one of the six awards for which it was nominated, including an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration.

John also had 33 producing and five directing credits, with some of the most popular movies amongst those which he produced include the 1966 historical adventure drama “Cast a Giant Shadow”, the historical family comedy “Swing Out, Sweet Land”, and the 1973 western drama “Cahill U.S. Marshall”.

He won 27 of the 45 awards for which he was nominated, including his Oscar win for “True Grit”.

John was married to his first wife Josephine Alicia Saenz from 1933 to 1945, and they had four children together. His second wife was Mexican actress Esperanza Baur, to whom he was married from 1946 to 1954.

John died at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center on 11 June 1979, having lost his battle against stomach cancer.

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