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Josephine Wayne

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Josephine Wayne
File:Josephine saenz.jpg Josephine saenz.jpg
BornJosephine Alicia Saenz
(1908-05-13)May 13, 1908
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
💀DiedJune 24, 2003(2003-06-24) (aged 95)
California, U.S.June 24, 2003(2003-06-24) (aged 95)
🏳️ NationalityAmerican, Spanish
💼 Occupation
👩 Spouse(s)John Wayne (1933–1945; divorced)
Cyril Nigg (1996–1999; his death)
👶 Children4, including Michael Wayne and Patrick Wayne

Josephine S. Wayne (born Josephine Alicia Saenz; May 13, 1908 – June 24, 2003) was the first wife of American film actor John Wayne. She had four children including film producer Michael Wayne and actor Patrick Wayne.


Josephine Alicia "Josie" Saenz was born May 13, 1908 to the Consul General of Panama in the United States,[1] José Saenz, a wealthy businessman who lived in Los Angeles, California.[2] Her parents were born in Madrid, Spain. She was aged 15 or 16 when she met John Wayne, an actor in college still named Marion Morrison, while at a beach party in Balboa, California. Their relationship met with considerable resistance from her Catholic family because he was a Presbyterian.[3][4]


After courting for seven years, Wayne's financial status improved considerably due to his success at the box office, and he was able to convince her family to allow the marriage. The couple married on June 24, 1933, in a garden ceremony at actress Loretta Young's home.[5]

The couple had four children: Michael Wayne (film producer, November 23, 1934 – April 2, 2003), Mary Antonia "Toni" Morrison-LaCava (February 25, 1936 – December 6, 2000), Patrick Wayne (born July 15, 1939) and Melinda Morrison-Muñoz (born December 3, 1940).

After a few years, the marriage was in trouble. Wayne worked long hours at his career and was always surrounded by associates from the film world. The couple also had differences of opinion about how their children should be raised.[6] In 1943 they separated and eventually divorced in 1945.[7] She remarried in 1996 to Cyril Nigg, a Los Angeles businessman, who died in 1999.[8]


Josephine Saenz died in 2003, at age 95, from cancer, having been predeceased by two of her children, Mary Antonia "Toni" Morrison (died 2000 from lung cancer) and Michael Morrison (who died of heart failure in April 2003, two months before Saenz Nigg's own death).[9]


  1. "Cinema: New Picture, Oct. 12, 1942". Time.com. 12 October 1942. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  2. Biography for Michael Wayne on IMDb
  3. John Wayne religious affiliation, adherents.com; accessed September 15, 2017.
  4. "Patrick Wayne: 'Si me ofrecen trabajo en Almería vuelvo como una bala'". Elmundo.es. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  5. "Arabella Spotlight". Arabella-and-co.com. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  6. Interview – John Wayne on Women, Marriage, and Family Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. Profile, NNDB.com; accessed September 15, 2017.
  8. OLIVER, MYRNA (29 March 1999). "Cyril Nigg; UCLA Regent, Ex-Chief of Bell Brand Foods". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  9. "John Wayne Cancer Institute Perspectives, Vol. 8, Fall-Winter 2003" (PDF). Archived from the original on January 15, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-22.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

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