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1979: Oscars honor Wayne

From the Army Archerd Archive

From the Army Archerd Archive

April 10, 1979

GOOD MORNING and congrats Oscar winners: The biggest party of last night’s Academy Awards lingered on stage long after the show finally went off the air as all of John Wayne’s friends continued to wish him well. As scheduled, the presenters and winners were summoned out by Johnny Carson to welcome Wayne back from his recent operation but no one really knew how emotional the reunion would be … (Note: Wayne died two months later, June 11, 1979) … Jane Fonda’s win (“Coming Home”) electrified the audience and Jon Voight’s (“Coming Home”) follow-up continued the crescendo, capped by Wayne’s arrival … (Note: I reached Voight, by phone, Thursday in Krakow, Poland, where he was appearing with “Pope John Paul II” which aired on CBS. Voight recalled the 1979 Oscar ceremony saying, “I was the first to greet Wayne when he came offstage,” and reminding, “there was a lot of political stuff going on that night.” Anti-Vietnam War groups picketed outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Voight brought the Vietnam war vet who was his adviser on “Coming Home” to the Oscars. “The Deer Hunter” was the winner. Of this week’s appearances with “Pope John Paul II” in Poland, Voight reports the reception there is “wonderfully warm, the people gracious, the theater magnificent.” He was continuing on to Warsaw today. Never busier, Voight has also completed “The Legacy of Simon Conjurer” and “September Dawn” and will next start “The Coded Angel” and “National Treasure II”).

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