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View Full Version : Current actors who served in the military?


Ash Ketchum
05-26-12, 01:28 PM
In honor of Memorial Day, I need some help with this topic.

I know of lots of Hollywood actors/movie stars who either served in the military during WWII after they were already well known (Clark Gable, James Stewart, Robert Taylor, Robert Montgomery, Mickey Rooney, Tyrone Power, Eddie Albert, etc.) or became actors/stars after serving in the war (Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, George Kennedy, Ernest Borgnine, George C. Scott, Charles Durning, Audie Murphy, etc.).

I just did a search for current actors who are Vietnam vets and I only got Dennis Franz. And, of course, director Oliver Stone. I know of Dale Dye and R. Lee Ermey, but they got their Hollywood careers based on their military expertise. Anyone here know of other Vietnam Vets who became name actors?

Are there any current name actors who served in the military in the last 20 years, in, say, the Gulf War, or Iraq and Afghanistan or just happen to have completed military service?

Thanks.

Deftones
05-26-12, 01:40 PM
I know Rob Riggle has.

Maxflier
05-26-12, 01:43 PM
It wasn't in the last 20 years obviously, but I know Kris Kristofferson served.

Rockmjd23
05-26-12, 01:49 PM
Jesse Ventura? lol

arminius
05-26-12, 01:49 PM
I believe Jane Fonda served in the Air Defense Artillery for the NVA.

Rockmjd23
05-26-12, 02:16 PM
Kind of a weird one, but James Avery aka Uncle Phil aka voice of Shredder served in the US Navy in Vietnam.

DonnachaOne
05-26-12, 02:31 PM
Drew Carey was a Marine, as was the aforementioned Riggle, along with Harvey Keitel, Scott Glenn, David Eigenberg of Sex and the City, and Jim Beaver of Deadwood. Morgan Freeman was in the USAF, and Jeff Bridges was in the Coast Guard.

It's different now. Actors are starting younger and younger to establish themselves sooner, with many of them starting out as teenagers or earlier - there are less performers turning to acting only after completing college or military service.

Mondo Kane
05-26-12, 02:37 PM
Anyone here know of other Vietnam Vets who became name actors?


Well, he seems to be more of an actor now than a makeup artist
http://img2.bdbphotos.com/images/orig/u/3/u3l3z7suqkwppwu.jpg

Don't mean to derail the thread a bit, but does anyone know of any actors who were killed while enlisted? I know one of the Bowery Boys/Dead End Kids did.

TimeandTide
05-26-12, 04:08 PM
Not a "name actor", or even an actor really, but worth mentioning is Gregory Gadson who appears in Battleship. Still active duty Army and he's said in interviews that he may not act again, but his story is worth checking out. (West Point football star who lost both legs in an explosion in Iraq in '07, now a colonel and motivational speaker.)

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a365/Time_and_Tide/Greg-Gadson2.jpg

Rockmjd23
05-26-12, 04:33 PM
Don't mean to derail the thread a bit, but does anyone know of any actors who were killed while enlisted? I know one of the Bowery Boys/Dead End Kids did.
Donald Haines of Our Gang was KIA in WWII. That may be who you were thinking of.

Rockmjd23
05-26-12, 04:44 PM
Bea Arthur was in the Marine Corps during WWII. Yes, really.

dugan
05-26-12, 06:16 PM
Ice T. Again: yes, really.

Dr Mabuse
05-26-12, 06:44 PM
Sterling Hayden was a certified bad ass. He was OSS. Like real, in the theatre, parachuting in deep behind enemy lines OSS.

Jason Robards, again a real hero, I forget how many of the major Pacific naval battles he was in but it was a lot, and he took home the Navy Cross for one of them.

James Arness was a real war hero, decorated for valour(forget which medal).

A guy some of you might recognize for being a bad guy a lot, Neville Brand, was as hero as heros come. He won so many medals and awards it's incredible.

As far as young actors, I don't know any recognizable names that haven't already been mentioned, but I've read several articles that said most of the actors playing soldiers in 'Green Zone'(I did not like it) were Iraq war vets.

Ash Ketchum
05-26-12, 07:25 PM
Don't mean to derail the thread a bit, but does anyone know of any actors who were killed while enlisted? I know one of the Bowery Boys/Dead End Kids did.

Lee Powell, the first actor to play the Lone Ranger and co-star of the Marine-themed serial, FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS, died as a Marine in the Pacific after battling the Japanese on Tinian in the Marianas Islands. He survived the battle but got sick after drinking a home-made brew concocted by other marines to celebrate their victory.

PopcornTreeCt
05-26-12, 07:32 PM
Gene Hackman was in the Marines.

Mr. Salty
05-26-12, 07:36 PM
Lee Ermey (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000388/)

Dale Dye (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0245653/)

JumpCutz
05-26-12, 08:30 PM
I believe Jim Parsons is a Navy Seal.

William Fuld
05-26-12, 09:21 PM
J.R. Martinez

theladyalbert
05-26-12, 09:28 PM
Jon Huertas (Detective Esposito on Castle)

GuessWho
05-26-12, 09:38 PM
Don't mean to derail the thread a bit, but does anyone know of any actors who were killed while enlisted? It's not derailing the thread when the OP derails itself. This thread is sparked by Memorial Day (which honors the dead) while asking for current actors.

Solid Snake
05-26-12, 09:50 PM
You leave him the fuck alone. He's old and semile but means well.

Charlie Goose
05-27-12, 12:08 AM
Donald Haines of Our Gang was KIA in WWII. That may be who you were thinking of.

Wheezer Hutchins of Our Gang was also killed in a plane crash while serving.

resinrats
05-27-12, 12:44 AM
The guys in Act of Valor

Mondo Kane
05-27-12, 03:03 AM
You leave him the fuck alone. He's old and semile but means well.

I'm only 35, but since old guys seem to always have some wisdom, I appreciate the compliment....Not sure where I rank in the semile department though...

Donald Haines of Our Gang was KIA in WWII. That may be who you were thinking of.

Yeah, I wiki'd him earlier and didn't know that he started out with "Our Gang". I'm actually quite a big Bowery Boy/Dead-East End Kids viewer. And since Spooks Run Wild was one of the worst films I've ever seen, I always wanted to know what those actors went on to. Only then did I notice that one of those lead actors was later killed pertaining to WWII.

Lee Powell, the first actor to play the Lone Ranger and co-star of the Marine-themed serial, FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS, died as a Marine in the Pacific after battling the Japanese on Tinian in the Marianas Islands. He survived the battle but got sick after drinking a home-made brew concocted by other marines to celebrate their victory.

Thanks. This is a side of cinema history that I'd like to learn more about.

Sterling Hayden was a certified bad ass. He was OSS. Like real, in the theatre, parachuting in deep behind enemy lines OSS.

While we're on the Kubrick connection, might as well bring up Wayne Morris (via Paths of Glory) Who, along with Jimmy Stewart, was one of the most deadliest pilots in all of WWII.
I'm actually surprised at how so few people know of Stewart's military record.

And kudos to Dr. Mabuse for bringing up Neville Brand!

Drexl
05-27-12, 03:34 AM
Warren Beatty was in the Air National Guard.

Charlie Murphy was in the Navy.

Michael Conner Humphreys, who played the young Forrest Gump, went on to serve in the Army.

Ash Ketchum
05-27-12, 07:34 AM
It's not derailing the thread when the OP derails itself. This thread is sparked by Memorial Day (which honors the dead) while asking for current actors.

Good point--this would have been more appropriate on Veterans' Day. But then, being "semile," I probably would have forgotten by then. :D

Unclejosh
05-28-12, 10:14 AM
I think Mark Valley served in the first Gulf War.

Cherieanne
06-26-14, 03:47 PM
Great site, Kids Thank a Vet, that has a list of dozens of stars who were in the military. It's under "Famous Veterans"

rw2516
06-26-14, 04:18 PM
A guy some of you might recognize for being a bad guy a lot, Neville Brand, was as hero as heros come. He won so many medals and awards it's incredible.


I believe Neville Brand was the fifth most decorated hero of WWII, including Congressional Medal of Honor. Audie Murphy was top decorated hero of WWII, maybe of all time

Drexl
06-26-14, 04:29 PM
Adam Driver (of impending Star Wars fame) was a Marine.

hanshotfirst1138
06-26-14, 04:38 PM
Wasn't Scott Glenn a USMC member for several years?

MScottM
06-26-14, 04:38 PM
Don Knotts was a Marine. Look him up, you may be suprised.

Jimmy Stewart served for years and became a BGeneral.

Clint Eastwood, Army, Korea.

Morgan Freeman, Air Force

Chuck Norris, Air Force

James Earl Jones, Army

Shannon Nutt
06-26-14, 05:22 PM
Bill Cosby - Navy
Morgan Freeman - Air Force (although I heard a recent interview where he said he HATED it!)
Leonard Nimoy - Army

will travel
07-03-14, 02:10 AM
James Garner.

http://www.nndb.com/people/266/000023197/


Happy 4th of July to my Fellow Americans.

GatorDeb
07-03-14, 05:11 AM
Jason Robards, again a real hero, I forget how many of the major Pacific naval battles he was in but it was a lot, and he took home the Navy Cross for one of them.


From IMDb:

he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, where he saw combat as a radioman (though he is not listed in official rolls of Navy Cross winners, despite the claims some -- not he -- have made. Neither was he at Pearl Harbor during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack, his ship being at sea at the time.)

Nick Danger
07-03-14, 07:22 AM
I believe Neville Brand was the fifth most decorated hero of WWII, including Congressional Medal of Honor. Audie Murphy was top decorated hero of WWII, maybe of all time

The Wikipedia article on Neville Brand only lists a silver star.

majorjoe23
07-03-14, 07:55 AM
I'm really surprised that no one has mentioned Morgan Freeman serving in the air force.

No one.

No one.

covenant
07-03-14, 08:47 AM
I'm trying to figure out how dead people are considered current actors.

EddieMoney
07-03-14, 08:48 AM
I'm really surprised that no one has mentioned Morgan Freeman serving in the air force.

No one.

No one.

Morgan Freeman served in the Air Farce.

Jaymole
07-03-14, 10:01 AM
One of the biggest surprises for me as a youth was finding out that John Wayne never served in the military.

Oh, and Morgan Freeman served in the Air Force.

GatorDeb
07-03-14, 10:26 AM
Alfonso Freeman's dad served in the Air Force.

EddieMoney
07-03-14, 10:43 AM
Is that the dude from Fresh Prince?

GatorDeb
07-03-14, 11:28 AM
Yes. Yes it is.

(I hope you were kidding).

EddieMoney
07-03-14, 11:54 AM
http://31.media.tumblr.com/6ae1ecff3fbdcac8d372ee2c928c26d2/tumblr_mlzugr2G7G1son1wyo1_500.gif

Jaymole
07-03-14, 12:07 PM
http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/500x/52067839.jpg

EddieMoney
07-03-14, 12:10 PM
Laurence Fishburne was not in the Air Force.

Jaymole
07-03-14, 12:12 PM
Laurence Fishburne was not in the Air Force.

I think you mean Danny Glover:

http://static.tvgcdn.net/MediaBin/Galleries/Imported/BioPix/Ro/Bio_Batch1/samuel-l-jackson1.jpg

EddieMoney
07-03-14, 12:13 PM
Should've won Best Actor for 12 Years a Slave.

majorjoe23
07-03-14, 12:42 PM
I think you mean Danny Glover:

http://static.tvgcdn.net/MediaBin/Galleries/Imported/BioPix/Ro/Bio_Batch1/samuel-l-jackson1.jpg

I hope he comes back for the sixth season of Community.

devilshalo
07-03-14, 12:47 PM
James Garner.

http://www.nndb.com/people/266/000023197/


Happy 4th of July to my Fellow Americans.


And he was in that movie!

http://i62.tinypic.com/2wp2sld.jpg