John Wayne is one of the most recognized western TV and movie actors. Throughout the actor’s career, he had his fair share of women who were enamored with the rough and tough cowboy. One particular time he was put on the spot when a woman audience asked him on a date during a taping of The Phil Donahue Show in 1976.
Donahue was the first TV host to use audience participation as part of his format. With an audience consisting of mostly women, a microphone was passed around and members were given the opportunity to ask Wayne whatever question they desired.
One woman decided to shoot her shot and asked Wayne if he’d go home with her.
He grinned and replied, “Don’t say anymore. The short answer is yes.”
Wayne appeared on the show in order to promote his new movie, The Shootist – which turned out to be his final movie. In the movie, Wayne played the role of J.B. Books, a gunfighter who’s dying from terminal cancer. After learning of his fate he decides that he prefers being killed by someone rather than dying of the disease. He plans his death and invites three contenders to finish him off. The plot of the movie was to kill Wayne’s character quickly and with dignity to save himself from a long and painful death.
Watch the full clip from The Phil Donahue Show below.