Patrick made his first appearance on the screen at the tender age of 11. His first roles were in movies directed by his father’s close friend, John Ford, who was also his Godfather. His debut was in a movie called ‘Rio Grande’ in the year 1950. It was followed by roles in five movies by John Ford- ‘The Quiet Man’ (1950), “The Sun Shines Bright’ (1953), ‘Mister Roberts’ (1955), ‘The Long Gray Line’ (1955) and ‘The Searchers’ (1956). His father was a co-star in two of these movies- ‘The Quiet Man’ and ‘Rio Grande’.
His success on the big screen meant that he was soon roped in by television show producers to appear on their shows. Patrick made his TV debut in 1955, again in a project helmed by John Ford and co-starring John Wayne, called ‘Rookie of the Year’. In 1957, he made an appearance in the hit television sitcom, ‘Mr. Adams and Eve’, co-starred by Howard Duff anf Ida Lupino.
He was also a part of the classic, ‘The Searchers’, directed again by John Ford. The movie came out in 1956 and instantly attained cult status. It also starred John Wayne, Vera Miles and Ward Bond.
Patrick went to attend the Loyola Marymount University, where he became friends with Dennis Hopper. It was with him that Patrick landed a lead in a movie called ‘The Young Land’. The movie came out in 1959. It was well received in the industry and effectively marked his coming out of his father’s shadow.
Post his graduation in 1961, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. During that time he did some cameos, mostly in John Ford’s movies- ‘The Alamo’ in 1960, ‘The Comancheros’ in 1961, ‘Donovan’s Reef’ in 1963 and ‘McLintock’ in 1963. His roles in the last two cannot be classified as cameos as they were bigger and more important roles. ‘McLintock’ was produced by his elder brother, Michael Wayne, as was the 1968 movie, ‘The Green Berets’, in which Patrick played important roles. Both these movies were directed by their father, John Wayne.
Other movies that Patrick was a part of during this period were ‘Cheyenne Autumn’ (1964), ‘Shenandoah’ (1965), and ‘An Eye for an Eye’ (1966). In ‘Shennandoah’, Patrick shared screen with James Stewart, who played the role of his father.
The following year, he appeared in a television comedy series called ‘The Rounders’. It also starred Ron Haye and Chill Wills in pivotal roles.
In 1971, ‘Big Jake’ was released, which would become the final movie in which Patrick appears alongside his father. The movie was produced by Michael Wayne and also starred Ethan Wayne, John’s youngest son, along with Robert Mitchum’s son, Christopher Mitchum. In all, Patrick has appeared in 11 movies alongside his father.
Patrick’s career peaked in the middle and late 1970s as he played some very interesting roles in hit movies. In 1977, he played the eponymous role in ‘Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger’. The popular fantasy drama saw Wayne overpowering monsters and saving his lady love. His popularity in science fiction movies was so high at the time that he was cast in another high profile sci-fi movie, ‘The People That Time Forgot’ the same year. Special effects were just beginning to peak during that time and this movie saw Patrick battling even stranger creatures, made possible by special effects.
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Post ‘The People That Time Forgot’, Wayne’s career was mostly focused on television series and game shows. In ‘Shirley’ (1979), he was cast opposite Shirley Jones as her love interest. The following year, he went on to host ‘The Monte Carlo Show’, a reality show that featured talents from around the globe. Other series that Patrick was a part of includes ‘Fantasy Island’ (1978), ‘Murder, She Wrote’ (1984), ‘Charlie's Angels’ (1976), and ‘Sledge Hammer!’(1986). Interestingly, he was offered to play the role of ‘Superman’, which he had to decline because of his father’s ailing health. He was also involved in the revival of the game show, ‘Tic-Tac-Dough’. He hosted 13 episodes of the series before it was taken off air.
He also appeared in a few movies during this period, foremost among which are ‘Rustler’s Rhapsody’ in 1985 and ‘Young Guns’ in 1988. His last appearance in a movie came in 1997 in ‘Deep Cover’.
Apart from movies and television, he has also featured in seven documentaries such as ‘Hollywood Greats’, ‘American Masters’ and ‘The Quiet Man: The Joy of Ireland’.
Patrick has married twice in his life. His first marriage was supposed to take place in the fall of 1964 with his fiancée Peggy Hunt but the wedding was cancelled at the last hour. They did marry a year later on December 11, 1965, in Hollywood. The couple had three children - two sons and a daughter- before they divorced in 1978.
His second marriage came as a bit of surprise as he married Misha Anderson, who is about thirty years younger than him. They met at a wedding at the Sherwood Country Club. He married her in May, 1999 and they have been together ever since.
In the early years of the 1980s, Patrick, along with his siblings, found the John Wayne Cancer Institute after losing their father to the same disease a few years ago. In 2003, he was appointed the Chairman of the Institute.
Patrick currently resides in Arizona with his wife, Misha.