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Author: Stalin wanted to kill John Wayne

Aug. 1, 2003 at 11:16 AM

LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A new John Wayne biography published in Britain says Joseph Stalin ordered the KGB to assassinate Wayne because of his anti-communist rhetoric.

Michael Munn, a film historian and author of "John Wayne -- The Man Behind The Myth," said Stalin viewed Wayne as a threat to the Soviet Union.

Munn told the London Guardian he learned of the plot during interviews with Wayne's close associates and the late movie legend Orson Welles.

The book claims Stalin's order was canceled by his successor, Nikita Krushchev, after the dictator's death in 1953. The book says Krushchev told Wayne during a 1958 private meeting: "That was a decision of Stalin during his last five mad years. When Stalin died, I rescinded that order."

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