Maybe Stalin wasn't that bad

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Jul 31 17:32:24 MDT 2003

Stalin plotted to kill John Wayne

Book says dictator angered by Duke’s anti-communist stance

According to a new biography of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator plotted 
to have actor, and fervent anti-Communist, John Wayne, left, killed.

LONDON, July 31   Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was so outraged at the 
anti-communism of film star John Wayne that he plotted to have him 
murdered, according to a new biography of the American icon.

“JOHN WAYNE  THE man behind the myth” by British writer and actor Michael 
Munn says there were several attempts in the late 1940s and early 1950s to 
kill the man known to audiences around the world as “Duke.”

In the first attempt, two Russian assassins posing as FBI agents tried to 
kill Wayne  born Marion Morrison on May 26, 1907  in his office at Warner 
Brothers studios in Hollywood.

But the plot was uncovered and the would-be killers captured, the book 
says, citing several sources including director Orson Welles.

The book says the Soviet plots were cancelled after Stalin’s death in 1953, 
by his successor Nikita Krushchev, who was a fan of the larger-than-life 
star of more than 100 films.

“That was a decision of Stalin during his last five mad years. When Stalin 
died I rescinded that order,” the book quotes Krushchev as telling Wayne 
during a private meeting in 1958.

But it says American communist groups took up the cudgels against Wayne who 
was a supporter of the anti-communist witch-hunt led by Senator Joseph 
McCarthy, citing an attempt in Mexico on the set of the film “Hondo.”

Wayne survived these attempts and another by a sniper during a trip to 
visit American troops in Vietnam in 1966. He eventually died of cancer in 1979.

© 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or 
redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior 
written consent of Reuters.

Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list:

More information about the Marxism mailing list