The man we know as "the Duke" was born in Winterset, Iowa on May 26, 1907. His given name was Marion Michael Morrison. His parents were Clyde & Mary Morrison & he had one brother, Robert.
His family moved to California for health reasons & Duke Morrison attended Glendale High School. He was an excellent student & received an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California. He served as a relief player with future co-star & friend Ward Bond.
In order to earn money for school, Duke began working for Fox Studios as a prop man. He appeared in his first movie, Browns of Harvard, in 1926. In 1928, while working (as a goose herder) on the set of the film, Mother Machree, Duke was noticed by the director John Ford.
After leaving school, in 1929, Morrison appeared in several minor films throughout the 1930's & continued to work as a prop man, as well. His big break came in 1939, when he appeared as the Ringo Kid in John Ford's Stagecoach.
His star would continue to rise throughout the 1940's & by the 1950's, he was America's favorite star, an honor he would continue to hold well after he was gone. His career spanned 50 years & he made over 150 motion pictures, 170 television appearances, & several public service ads, documentaries, & radio programs.
He was married 3 times. First to Josephine Saenz in 1933. They had...