John Wayne's family sues Duke University for right to sell Duke alcohol 

John Wayne may have had "True Grit," but he doesn't quite have his own brand of bourbon.

That may change. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news Tuesday that the late star's family is suing Duke University in hopes of marketing a line of booze named after Hollywood's "The Duke," including bourbon.

The North Carolina university has fought the family's attempts to license the moniker for years, most recently complaining to the federal trademark office that it "does not permit use of confusingly similar marks associated with unapproved goods or services."

The family's lawsuit, filed last week, deems "Duke University's apparent belief that the [John Wayne Enterprises] Marks cause confusion and dilution as ludicrous."

So where did Wayne, born Marion Morrison, get the name?

As a kid, "Wayne had a dog named Duke," the suit says. "The local firefighters soon starting calling Wayne Duke too. He preferred Duke to Marion, and the name stuck for the rest of his life."


Wheeze ... gasp ... whew.

That was Bobby Brown in footage leaked by TMZ on Tuesday, where "every little step" seemed to bring the singer closer to keeling over on a Mississippi stage last week.

The clip of Brown singing the hit "If It Isn't Love" on New Edition's reunion tour shows him keeping pace with the dance moves of Johnny Gill, Ronnie DeVoe and the rest of the group. At first.

Soon, however, his kicks lose their kick and the group executes a smooth spin without the ex-heartthrob as he stops to catch his breath. Or several breaths, as he doubles over, flails a bit and finally shuffles off the stage.

It seems Brown answered the song's eternal question -- "Why does it feel so bad?" -- with one word: time.


The blog Mission Local reports that Carlos Alberto "Gullit" Pena and Jose Juan Vazquez Gomez of Mexico's World Cup team were in town Monday, dining at Papalote Mexican Grill on 24th Street. Luckily, Dutch crunch bread isn't on the menu. ... TMZ says Rosie O'Donnell is rejoining "The View." Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd got their pink slips last week. ... Robin Thicke's latest album, a paean to estranged wife Paula Patton, has reportedly sold just 25,000 copies. It fell far short of the platinum and gold designations, but is presumably on target for the cardboard certificate.


Actor Fred Savage ("Wonder Years") is 38. ... Singer Courtney Love is 50. ... Actress Kelly McGillis ("Top Gun") is 57. ... Actor Tom Hanks ("Captain Phillips") is 58. ... Actor Jimmy Smits ("Sons of Anarchy") is 59. ... Actor Richard Roundtree ("Shaft") is 72. ... Actor Brian Dennehy ("The Good Wife") is 76.

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email

About The Author

Giselle Velazquez

Giselle Velazquez was born and raised in the shadow of San Francisco's Diamond Heights and now lives in the shadow of South San Francisco's Sign Hill. She has written for publications such as The S.F. Examiner, Ventura County Star, and the S.F. Bay Guardian.
Pin It

Speaking of...

More by Giselle Velazquez

Latest in Gossip

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation