During a visit to London in January 1974 to appear on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1969), John Wayne caught pneumonia. For a 66-year-old man with one lung this was very serious, and eventually he was coughing so hard that he damaged a valve in his heart. This problem went undetected until March 1978, when he underwent emergency open heart surgery in Boston. Bob Hope delivered a message from the The 50th Annual Academy Awards (1978), saying, "We want you to know Duke, we miss you tonight. We expect you to amble out here in person next year, because there is nobody who can fill John Wayne's boots." According to Loretta Young, that message from Hope made Wayne determined to live long enough to attend the Oscars in 1979. And he did.
In 1971 John Wayne displayed a sense of humor when he appeared on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1969) in his usual western screen costume, flashing the peace sign to the show's other guests that week, the then-hot rock band Three Dog Night.