John Wayne starred in the greatest Western epic of the pre-war period, The Big Trail of 1930. Wayne was just 23 years old. A combination of factors, mainly the onset of the great depression, result in the film losing millions of dollars. Fox filed for bankruptcy, and Wayne was released from his contract. To make ends meet, he did B westerns until his rediscovery by John Ford in 1939's Stagecoach.
It was John Wayne in 1968 who wanted Karen Carpenter to co-star with him in the 1969 film "True Grit." The legendary superstar was that taken with Karen, who was still unknown at the time. Unfortunately, Wayne could not convince producers to take a chance on the young superstar-to-be, and instead signed actress Kim Darby for the role. Rats! Seen here with Wayne and Carpenter is brother Richard Carpenter, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. WOW.