6 February 2015

I am as goofy as a fan from Nebraska

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



Dear John--

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)


  1. What a lovely letter.

    1. Yes, and it also makes me want to see the film. Thanks for reading!

  2. I'll watch "Rooster Cogburn" anytime, anywhere just to see Miss Hepburn and Mr. Wayne onscreen together. Pure magic. I've always loved that they hit it off so well and respected each other so much, especially since their political/social views were so very far apart.