It wasn't until 1974 that John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn finally got a chance to work together. For years Hepburn had wanted to play in a western with Wayne and with "Rooster Cogburn" (1975) she got her wish. It was the only time the two stars --both well into their sixties-- played in a film together, and they both enjoyed it immensely. While on location in Oregon, Hepburn explained why she loved working with Wayne: "He has confidence in himself, which gives him enormous charisma. He's quick, he's sensitive. He knows all the techniques. I think he's an awfully good actor- and a terribly funny man. We laugh all day. What a goddamn fascinating personality!" And Wayne said about his co-star: "I have never in my life worked with a woman who had the smell of drama that this woman has. She is so feminine- she's a man's woman [...] Imagine, how she must have been at age 25 or 30... how lucky a man would have been to have found her." [source]
In May of 1979, Katharine Hepburn wrote John Wayne a lovely letter after he had sent her a belated Christmas present. Referring to their film "Rooster Cogburn" and signing the note with her character's name, this is what she said:
Image: heritage auctions/ reproduced with permission
If you send me a Christmas present in April then as far as I'm concerned it is indeed Christmas. And all the lovely fruit things which arrive from time to time are Halloween presents.
I am told also that you have said very nice things about me and that makes me happy too. I did have such a lot of fun doing that Rooster-Eula picture. You are an extraordinary actor-man-spirit-creature. And I picked up a lot of knowledge and enjoyment from you. And when they mention your name I am afraid that I am as goofy as a fan from Nebraska. Anyway, Eula doesn't change- she just loves you-- you know that.
(signed) Eula (Kate)