When Seattle PD co-starred with John Wayne

South Bureau Chief Drew Mikkelsen reports.

If you want to see what Seattle looked like in 1973, check out the John Wayne movie “McQ.”

You’ll see a skyline without skyscrapers, freeways without traffic, and Seattle police officer Mike Gregg with a full head of hair.

“A lot’s changed,” said Gregg, one of the dozens of Seattle police officers who played themselves in the film.

Wayne, one of the biggest movie stars of that time, played a veteran detective going after cop-killers.

Gregg played an officer who had to interrupt a meeting between Wayne and his boss. He even had a line he still remembers today."

“Sir. Captain Wendott’s here.”

Unfortunately, he had trouble with the sentence 44 years ago.

“I don’t know how many takes,” said Gregg, “I got tongue-tied.”

His old partner, Jerry Hicklin, didn’t have a line but got to be in a scene with Wayne. While Hicklin’s scene is only two seconds long, he said it took more than half an hour to film it.

“I kept looking at John Wayne, and they didn’t want me to do that,” said Hicklin, “He’s a big guy! ‘The Duke’… it’s hard not to look.”

Both officers retired after more than 30 years of service with Seattle Police Department.

They now live near each other in Thurston County.

While they have lots of good memories as their days as officers, the time they got to play movie stars was a highlight.

"The thing about police work," said Gregg. "When you go to work, you don't know what your day's going to turn out to be."

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© 2017 KING-TV


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