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John Wayne Autograph-Rarest Ever Seen

Autographs remain one of the most valuable collector’s items worldwide. Ardent fans may queue in hordes for a brief moment where they can ask for their favorite celebrity’s or sportsman’s autograph. Alternatively, if they are opulent and willing, they can participate in online auctions as well. If their bid is accepted, they will be the proud owners of rare memorabilia.  Bid on this one now.

John Wayne

The autograph shown above belongs to the late John Wayne, an Academy Award winning actor who cemented his legend status with over three decades of work. Born Marion Mitchell Morrison, he adopted the stage moniker John Wayne. A veteran of over hundred movies, Wayne became synonymous with westerns, since he starred in over three dozen of those.

Rio Bravo

One of these was called Rio Bravo. Released in 1959, it featured John Wayne alongside other famous actors. The product we will focus on is a rare photograph featuring the signatures of the cast and crew of Rio Bravo.

The synopsis of the movie involved the sheriff of Rio Bravo, Texas (portrayed by John Wayne) who arrests a gun toting felon (depicted by Claude Akins) with the aid of the town’s resident drunkard (played by Dean Martin). As luck would have it, the antagonist is the brother of a potent local rancher (characterized by John Russell). As the plot thickens, the sheriff and his associates aim to hold off the rancher, who is hell bent on a prison break.

Nearly six decades after the film was produced, a signed photograph, and negative from the film are available for purchase in an auction. The photograph is a standard 8 x 10. The signatures are done in blue ball point ink. Besides John Wayne, others who have marked the photograph include fellow cast members Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson.

Furthermore, the photograph is also signed by the director of Rio Bravo, Howard Hawks. The signatures of director of photography Russell Harlan and camera man Lou Jennings. The other two signatures on the photograph belong to Al Boalas and Dick Doran, who were also part of the film’s cinematography team. All the aforementioned personalities have signed next to their image.

Given the age of the photograph, slight wear and tear is expected. The signed copy has negligible evidence of pinholes in all four corners and the edges are slightly worn. However, the photograph itself is in excellent condition.


In terms of value, the current bid stands at 1,500 dollars.   If you include the premium, the photograph will cost 1,800 dollars in total.  But remeber, that is just the opening bid.  We suspect this original photo with negative will sell upwards toward $5,000.  The photograph was found in Dick Doran’s collection. He was a renowned camera man who worked on Rio Bravo and most notably, Old Man and the Sea.

Given the variety of scams involved in the memorabilia market, authentication is a must. Fortunately, this memento from Rio Bravo is authenticated by JSA (James Spence Authentication) and 100% Authentic Team. Both are recognized as credible memorabilia experts who assess and validate rare souvenirs and paraphernalia.


The Library of Congress called Rio Bravo a cultural, historic and aesthetically significant work and the film was included in the National Film Registry as well. That underlines Rio Bravo’s importance as a landmark film, which makes the signed photograph all the more valuable.

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