Was reading thru some of my news feeds and blogs and ran across this interesting fact about John Wayne, who died of lung cancer:
Turns out, much of the filming for “The Conqueror” was done in Utah’s Snow Canyon, about 150 miles downwind from a U.S. nuclear testing facility.
Wayne, along with director Dick Powell, costars Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendáriz, and Agnes Moorehead, and additional cast and crew members, lived in the shadow of this fallout for three months. The first signs of trouble cropped up in 1963 when Powell died of lymphoma and Armendáriz killed himself after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. More cancer deaths followed: Moorehead in 1974, Hayward in 1975, and John Wayne in 1979. Although the Duke’s passing was popularly attributed to his years of smoking, People magazine later muckraked records showing that no fewer than 91 of the 220 people who worked on “The Conqueror” had contracted cancer—and more than half of those had died.
WOW. That’s about 40% of the cast and crew to have cancer. I know that a number of those folk were heavy smokers but that seems a bit large too be coincidence.
Also, John Wayne as Ghengis Khan? Really?