Friday, January 04, 2008

And the Horse You Rode In On

Pornographer Larry Flynt, who has always been unhappy about having a 21-foot six-ton bronze statue of John Wayne on horseback in front of his office building, may finally see the fabled cowboy star ride off into the sunset.

Plans are afoot to move the American icon from Los Angeles down to Newport Beach in Orange County, where Wayne lived until his death in 1979 and a nearby airport is named for him.

Talk about odd couples. Wayne turned down a part in Mel Brooks' Western spoof "Blazing Saddles" because it was "too dirty" and refused to play "Dirty Harry" as unsuitable to his image. Flynt, the publisher of Hustler and exposer of the D.C. Madam's client list, inherited the statue in 1994 when he bought the building previously owned by a bank for whom Wayne had done TV commercials.

Now Flynt is musing over replacing Wayne with a work of art more suitable to his "adult entertainment" empire, perhaps a 50-foot phallus, but the Beverly Hills Fine Arts Commission might have something to say about that.

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