They Were Collaborators #344

John Ford and George O'Brien

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clint said...

Long before Il Duko, George O'Brien was THE star synonymous with John Ford westerns. In him Pappy saw the ideal man, in a way he never saw Duke.

Brent McKee said...

They were exceptionally close friends for years until a Ford bender ended the relationship. Years later, after World War II, where Ford rose to the rank of Rear Admiral and O'Brien served in combat roles (and eventually rose to the rank of Captain in the Navy with for recommendations for promotion to Rear Admiral), they reconciled and Ford put him into "Fort Apache" and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and "Cheyenne Autumn." In his last years O'Brien seemed to remember the good times with Ford far more than the bad times.

Unlike Wayne, O'Brien really was a hero - service as an enlisted man in the Marines in World War I, was a recruit training officer before participating in several landings n the Pacific in World War II, and service in motion picture units in Korea and Vietnam.