Skip to comments.Actors Who Served: Hollywood Stars Who Are Military Veterans
Posted on 04/14/2011 6:11:08 PM PDT by WOBBLY BOB
In honor of Military Families Week, AOL salutes the many movie stars who've served our country, many of whom -- like George C. Scott and Henry Fonda -- also starred in the most famous war movies of all time.
Clark Gable enlisted at age 43 after losing wife Carole Lombard to the war effort, but some stars, including Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Stewart, were already in the service when the U.S. entered World War II. Others, like Gene Hackman and Harvey Keitel, did their service before becoming famous. (And both left home early to join up.)
Please join us in paying tribute to these famous veterans, who weren't just acting when they portrayed men in uniform.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.moviefone.com ...
Kris Kristofferson....did some acting...son of an Army Major General...became a US Army helo pilot, rank of Captain....not to forget...also a Rhodes scholar..
Ernest Borgnine really was in the Navy.
I’m trying to think of some younger actors that have served in the military, but am drawing a blank.
It looks like the Corps is well represented in this group.
Johnny Carson - USN (USS Pennsylvania)
Ed McMahon - USMC
Eddie Albert - Drove amtraks at Tarawa
The true list goes on and on. Today's armed forces couldn't even use most of the skinny pretty-boys in Hollywood.
“And let’s not forget those that served in other ways...”
Amen to that!
This is a really great tribute to some of those folks.
North Platte Canteen.
Warning: even you Jar Heads out there may need a hankie... this one did.
Ed Mcmahon, I read somewhere was buried with full Marine honors and his son is a Marine.
I don’t know that Cary Grant was ever in the military (British?)or saw combat. But in Operation Petticoat he played a WWII submarine skipper. Every morning without fail he presented himself for inspection to the technical director, a retired admiral and a WWII sub skipper. Every minute detail of his uniform had to be exact. He accepted nothing short of perfection, and I take that to be his tribute to the military.
Charles Durning, US Army- WWII
Lee Marvin, USMC- WWII
Dennis Franz, US Army- Vietnam
Donald Pleasance, RAF Fighter Pilot- WWII
Glenn Ford and Captain Kangaroo.
Lee Marvin! Enlisted in the Marine corps, was wounded on Saipan.
...that's the old County Courthouse behind him. I grew up about two blocks from where that photo was taken :-)
Drew Carey is a former Marine.
I recently picked up the 80’s miniseries “Amerika”. Kirstofferson is very good in it.
George C. Scott: My son began his service as a guard at the 8th and I Marine Barracks, after completing School of Infantry and Security School, and before going to the White House Communication Agency as a member of Marine Presidential Security Forces. (He served under George Bush #2) It is as a terrible place today as it was then to send any young man. They seldom exercise or fire a weapon, and are continually picked on for minuscule issues about uniforms and behavior. Whatever leadership skills the officers and NCO’s acquired elsewhere are abandoned for their duration there.
Henry Fonda: The article did not mention his staring roll in Mr. Roberts. For the roll he wore the same Navy officers hat he wore on active duty.
Don Imus served in the Marines
Drew Carey served in the Marines and the reserves
Granted this article is about American actors, but LTC David Niven and James Doohan both had distinguished records in WWII. Michael Caine later served with the Royal Fusiliers in the ‘50s.
Harvey Keitel and Gene Hackman are Marines.
James Arness(Gunsmoke) Battle of Anzio
I never would have guessed.
that depends on what the meaning of "acting" is.
Jack Palance was trained as a B-24 pilot but did not deploy due to injuries sustained in a training crash.
Charles Bronson, "...enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces and served as an aerial gunner in the 760th Flexible Gunnery Training Squadron, and in 1945 as a B-29 Superfortress crewman with the 39th Bombardment Group based on Guam. He was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received during his service."
Johnny Cash was a Morse Code Intercept Operator with the USAF.
IIRC, Jimmy Stewart insisted that his agent take 10% of his military pay during the war.
“The true list goes on and on. Today’s armed forces couldn’t even use most of the skinny pretty-boys in Hollywood.”
I don’t know but maybe it could turn some of them into men?
Jack Klugman - US Army, WWII
George Carlin — U.S. Air Force
Jimi Hendrix — U.S. Army
There was also a radioman in Jimmy Stewart’s Bomber Group named Walter Matthau ;-)
In January 1954, at the age of 16, Fender quit school and started a three-year hitch in the United States Marine Corps. However, he was court-martialed in August 1956 and was discharged with rank of Private (E-1).
He was beset by legal troubles in May 1960 after he and a band member were arrested for possession of marijuana in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After serving nearly three years in the Angola prison farm, he was released through the intercession of then Governor Jimmie Davis, also a songwriter and musician.
In 1988, Fender played the mayor of a small New Mexico town in the Robert Redford-directed film, The Milagro Beanfield War.
Steve McQueen — U.S. Marines
James Earl Jones — U.S. Army Rangers
Shaggy (Reggae/Pop star)— U.S. Marines
Chuck Norris — U.S. Air Force
Bill Cosby — U.S. Navy (medic)
Jimi Hendrix U.S. Army
101st AB, BTW
Lee Ermey, USMC!
John Russell - USMC WW2 (2nd Lt., 6th Marine Regiment, Guadalcanal)
Hugh O'Brian - USMC WW2. At the time (and perhaps still), the youngest drill instructor in Marine Corp History, at age 17.
Alvy Moore - USMC, WW2, Iwo Jima. (County Agent "Hank Kimball" on "Green Acres")
Steve McQueen - USMC.
Robert Stack - USN WW2 (gunnery instructor).
Charleton Heston - U.S. Army Air Force WW2 (B-25, Eleventh Air Force, Aleutian Islands).
Christopher George - USMC Korea ("Rat Patrol" star, co-starred with John Wayne in "El Dorado", "Chisum" and "The Train Robbers")
Mark Valley, the star of Human Target, is a West Point grad.
I heard a story that Hendrix was very reluctant to become an anti-war activist, even though those around him BEGGED him.
I notice a lot of black and white photos and not a whole lot of recent Hollywood stars in this mix. That’s telling, and also a shame.
Carroll O'Conner - Merchant Seaman during WWII
(He quit college to join the Navy, but the Navy turned him down)
James Earl Jones: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army
During college, he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps and became a cadet in the Pershing Rifles Drill Team. Although the Korean War was underway, Jones wasn’t activated until 1953. He says he was “washed out” of Ranger training and was instead sent to establish a cold weather training unit in Colorado.
(And Jimmy Hendrix was drummed out of my old outfit: 101st ABN, 3rd Brigade)
James Garner served in Korea, was captured by the ChiComs and escaped, suffering an injury along the way that he has had to live with ever since.
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