|Above - in the bottom row seated, John Wayne is in the center. Two faces to the right is Bill Bradbury, twin brother of Bob Steele (Robert Adrian Bradbury) and son of B-western director/script writer Robert North Bradbury.|
As youngsters, Bob Steele and Bill Bradbury were in a batch of 'Adventures of Bill and Bob' silent shorts. Steele did not graduate from high school and instead, opted for a film career. William Curtis Bradbury (1907-1971) went to the University of Southern Cal on a football scholarship, became a leading surgeon (gynecology and obstetrics), and even had some Hollywood celebs as patients (such as Shirley Temple Black). Bill even represented the Los Angeles Athletic Club in a 1928 Olympic tryout event at the LA Coliseum.
Jim Mace writes about acquiring this image and John Wayne's autograph:
"I actually got the signature from the Duke himself. In October of 1975, I was on the set of Wayne's ROOSTER COGBURN (Hall Wallis Productions/Universal, 1975). My aunt (my mother's eldest sister) went to high school with him. Wayne graduated in 1925, and my aunt graduated in 1927 (later from a private girl's school). She gave me the 1925 Glendale High School yearbook before she died in 1980. I had worked at Universal up until about a week before Wayne showed up at Universal to film some interiors, so even though I was disappointed to lose the job at Universal, it gave me the freedom to meet Wayne on the set. I finally got up the nerve to walk over to Wayne, introduce myself, and ask him for his signature. He was gracious enough not to chew me out or anything, for disturbing his private time to read his lines from the script. Not knowing how long it had been since he'd seen a Glendale High 1925 yearbook, he pointed to his image in the football picture and proudly said, 'That's me ... Marion Morrison'."
Special thanks to Jim Mace for this image and remembrances from his John Wayne autograph quest. Jim's grandfather was Jess Willard, Heavyweight Boxing Champion from 1915-1919. Willard appeared in three films - THE HEART PUNCH (1915), THE CHALLENGE OF CHANCE (1919), and THE PRIZEFIGHTER AND THE LADY (1933).
On the right are crops/blowups of the faces of John Wayne and Bill Bradbury from the football team image at the top of this page.