Framework

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July 6, 1984: John Wayne statue creator Harry Jackson waves to passers-by as his work is put in place.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Harry Fisher / Los Angeles Times

July 6, 1984: Crane lowers John Wayne sculpture by Henry Jackson into place as Matthew Jackson, son of the sculptor, and Italian Studio manager Franco Bertoni put finishing touches on the base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Harry Fisher / Los Angeles Times

July 6, 1984: Statue of John Wayne being installed in front of Great Western Savings on Wilshire Boulevard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Harry Fisher / Los Angeles Times

July 6, 1984: The pedestal for a statue of John Wayne is lowered into place outside Great Western Savings' Beverly Hills branch.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Harry Fisher / Los Angeles Times

July 22, 1984: Members of the John Wayne family gather in front of "The Horseman" statue at the Beverly Hills bank plaza. This photo appeared in the the July 23, 1984, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 3, 2008: Detail of the John Wayne statue in front of the former Great Western Bank offices on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 3, 2008: John Wayne statue in front of the former Great Western Bank on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 3, 2008: The John Wayne statue in front of the former Great Western Bank in Beverly Hills.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

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John Wayne statue installed at Great Western Savings

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John Wayne statue installed at Great Western Savings

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John Wayne statue installed at Great Western Savings

In 1977, actor John Wayne filmed the first of several television commercials for Great Western Savings. After Wayne’s death in 1979, sculptor Harry Jackson created a life-size statue for the banks’ Beverly Hills office. The statue was installed in July, 1984.

In a July 23, 1984, Los Angeles Times story, staff writer Stephen Braun reported:

… After a signal from actor James Stewart, who starred in several films with Wayne, a crane pulled upwards, lifting a red, white and blue cloth that had draped the statue. The six-ton, 21-foot-high statue called “The Horseman” was created by Harry Jackson, a Wyoming sculptor who was a favorite of Wayne.

Jackson has criticized the Beverly Hills Architectural  Commission for shortening the sculpture’s marble base, but on Sunday, he was a happy man, swearing and roaring at cowboy cronies and anyone who came within shouting distance.

“How the hell are you?” he greeted anyone who approached him.

For a few hours, the Great Western Savings Plaza at Wilshire and La Cienega boulevards summoned up images of the Old West–or at least Hollywood’s version–as tall, leathery men in buckskin and denim stood in groups and squinted into what little sun there was, just like the man they had learned to imitate. …

In 1994, the Beverly Hills branch location was sold to Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt. Three years later  Great Western Savings was acquired by Washington Mutual.

In a Jan. 4, 2008, story, headlined “The Duke may high-tail it to O.C.,” The Times’ Bob Pool reported on plans to move the statue to Newport Beach. Those plans are currently on hold.

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