Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 June 11, 1979), known professionally as John Wayne and nicknamed Duke, was an American actor and filmmaker. An Academy Award-winner for True Grit (1969), Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades. Born in Winterset, Iowa, Wayne grew up in Southern California. He was president of Glendale High class of 1925. He found work at local film studios when he lost his football scholarship to the University of Southern California as a result of a bodysurfing accident. Initially working for the Fox Film Corporation, he appeared mostly in small bit parts. His first leading role came in Raoul Walsh's The Big Trail (1930), which led to leading roles in numerous B movies throughout the 1930s, many of them in the Western genre.