Pilar Pallete was born into an influential family in Peru. She also acted in a few projects but it was her marriage to Hollywood actor John Wayne that brought her fame.
Interestingly, Wayne was not the only man she has called her husband as she has been married four times with the actor being her second husband. They met at a time when the two of them were married to other people but this did nothing to stop them from falling for each other. Below are all the facts you need to know about Pilar Pallete, the Peruvian beauty who won the heart of John Wayne.
Pilar Pallete’s Biography, Age
Pilar Pallete was born in north-western Peru, precisely in the city of Paita, on September 3rd, 1928. She was born into a rich family, complete with a silver spoon – her father was Miguel Arturo Pallete, a Peruvian Senator. Her mother was named Carmela de Pallete and there is nothing known about any sibling she may have grown up with. However, while there is no detailed information about her childhood and education, there’s no doubt that she had everything she needed at the time.
It is not known how or even when Pilar started nursing the idea of a career in acting but it was in 1953 that she had her debut starring role in a Peruvian film titled Sabotear en la Selva. As a matter of fact, that was her only role as an actress, although she went on to appear in several television productions after her marriage to John Wayne.
She played an uncredited role in The Alamo in 1960, it was through this project that she met Wayne. Subsequently, she appeared as herself in John Wayne’s episode of Hollywood Greats in 1984. Other TV projects she has appeared in include John Wayne Standing Tall – TV movie/documentary as herself (1989), Biography in the episode titled “John Wayne: The Unquiet Man” as herself (1998), Biography in the episode “John Wayne: American Legend” as herself (1998). More recently, she has continued to make appearances in documentaries about the legendary screen star, some of her recent television appearances were made in The Duke at Fox – documentary short as herself (2011) and The Personal Property of John Wayne as herself (2011).
After refraining from writing John Wayne’s biography herself, Pilar Pallete later had a change of heart when she realized that the ones written by others did the man no justice as they hardly knew him as much as she did. Subsequently, she collaborated with author Alex Thorleifson to co-write ‘John Wayne: My Life with the Duke’. The piece was published on October 1, 1987, by McGraw-Hill publications.
Family – Spouse, Children
From her affluent background, Pilar Pallete first got married to Richard Weldy, a professional big-game hunter. Their marriage lasted from 1948 to 1953. Her meeting with Hollywood star John Wayne may have contributed to the crash of her first marriage. She met Wayne when she was on set of the only movie she played a lead role in. Wayne, on the other hand, was looking for a good location for his project – The Alamo. Though the attraction was there, they didn’t start a relationship immediately as Wayne was actress Esperanza Baur’s husband, while Pallete was Weldy’s wife.
Notwithstanding, the next time they met in Los Angeles, California, in 1953, they became romantically entangled. One year later and a few hours after his divorce from his second wife, Pilar exchanged marriage vows with Wayne in Kona, Hawaii. The event took place on November 1, 1954. A few years after their wedding, Pilar played her uncredited role in The Alamo which Wayne directed and also starred in.
Pilar pallet and John Wayne’s marriage produced three children – Aissa (in 1956), Ethan (1962), and Marisa (1966). The family lived happily for years until the early 1970s when the couple began to drift apart due to Wayne’s long hours away from home. In 1973, they went their separate ways but never ended things legally until the actor passed on June 11, 1979, killed by stomach cancer.
Pilar Pallete remained single for eleven years and in 1984, she married Stephen Stewart. Sadly, her marriage to the municipal court judge was a “two-week mistake”, according to her and it ended officially in 1997. She is now married to Jesse Upchurch, a travel company executive, they have been together since 1998.