Public image is probably the greatest asset of public figures. Whether kings, politicians, movie stars or moral crusaders, projecting and maintaining a certain perception for the public is often the deciding factor between success and failure. Needless to say, there is often some variance between the public image and the actual public figure. Following are forty fascinating things about famous people, and some of the jarring contrasts being their public images and by their actual personas.
40. John Wayne’s Public Image vs Reality
John Wayne (1907 – 1979) made a killing off his public image of rugged toughness, and on-screen portrayals of virile and gung ho tough guys. “Duke”, as he was known to millions of admirers, cornered the market for a while on depictions of the quintessential American fighting man. Such roles got him two Oscar nominations for Best Actor, including one for playing a tough US Marine sergeant in The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949).
Less known is the fact that, just a few years earlier during WWII, Duke had been booed off stage by actual US Marines, who reacted negatively to his fake machismo. They also resented the fact that he had gone out of his way to duck the draft and avoid service during the war. Wayne spent the rest of his life berating himself – and overcompensating – for having avoided the fight during WWII.