Growing Up in O.C.: Marisa Wayne Recalls Hugs and Discipline From Dad John Wayne

Photo courtesy of Marisa Wayne

Marisa Wayne
b. 1966, raised in Newport Harbor
Businesswoman, daughter 
of Oscar-winner John Wayne

My father loved candy, and he would go out and buy cases of candy and stash 
it all over the place and 
say it was for Halloween.

He loved Halloween and handing out the full-size ones, not the bite-size candy. He got a kick out of all the costumes.

There used to be a back gate [to the Balboa Bay Club] and we spent a lot of time there, using the beach and the pool. I think everyone thinks of their childhood as magical and with idyllic days, and mine really was.

He was fun and playful, and always demanded that we were respectful and behaved ourselves. All he had to do was give you a look [to get you to behave] and then he said, “Now get over here and give me a hug.” He would say, “That was unacceptable,” and “Now give me a hug.” He wouldn’t put up with poor behavior, being disrespectful.

I remember one time we were on the boat [the Wild Goose], and he asked me to clean my room. He kept saying, “Clean your room. Clean your room.” One day he went downstairs and picked up all my things and started throwing them into the water. Then he felt badly. I dove into the water and got my clothes and we hugged. There was discipline, but we just had a lot of love and a lot of affection. I just always remember being in his arms as a young kid.

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