We’ve come to know our favorite celebrities from the screen, both big and small. They could be action stars to game show hosts, but what most of us are unaware of is that a considerable number of them served our country.
The list below gathers some big names in Hollywood who are war veterans.
Arthur is well known for her role as the smart-mouthed Dorothy Zbornak in the 1980s sitcom Golden Girls, but before she landed the iconic role, she drove trucks for the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve. It was there that she met her first husband, fellow marine Private Robert Alan Aurthur.
Another television star, Mr. T rose to fame for his role as B. A. Baracus in the TV show The A-Team, and his portrayal as Clubber Lang in Rocky III further solidified his stardom. Before he became one of the most well-known actors of today, he enlisted in the United States Army and even got promoted as squad leader. But don’t let his tough demeanor scare you as Mr. T is known to be one of most devout Christians out there.
Long-time television host Bob Barker enlisted himself in the US Navy and even became a fighter pilot. Way before he began his career with The Price Is Right, he had to give up his education to join the troops as soon as WWII broke out. But the story ended well for him because before he ever got a dose of the battlefield, the war ended, and Barker got the chance to go back to school and graduate as summa cum laude.
Elvis Presley is one of the most iconic figures of American music, but little do we know is that he once donned an army suit in 1958. Presley’s experience in the army made us see the charitable side of him when he bought TV sets for the base and even donated the money he earned when he was still in service to a charity.
He may have played one of the most resourceful private investigators onscreen in the long-running series Magnum P.I., but Tom Selleck did have a chance to put those skills to use in real life. He served as a soldier from 1967 to 1973 for the 160th Infantry Regiment of the California National Guard.
Award-winning actor and director Clint Eastwood enrolled himself at Seattle University but had to drop out when he was drafted during the Korean War. On his way home aboard a Douglas A-1 Skyraider, the single-seat attack aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed-landed in an ocean, but Eastwood managed to save himself together with the pilot by swimming 3 miles.
Pat Sajak spent 30 years hosting Wheel of Fortune, but before he began giving people a chance to win money, he fought for peace by serving as a soldier stationed in Vietnam. But his hosting skills were not as polished as today for he once served as a disc jockey for the Armed Forces Radio and during a Christmas address by President Nixon to the troops, Sajak accidentally cut the feed before it finished.
Morgan Freeman is one of the biggest celebrities of all time. Known for his unique voice and excellent acting skills, Freeman captured the hearts of the general audience in movies like The Shawshank Redemption, Street Smart, and Million Dollar Baby. But unknown to everyone including his fans, Freeman once turned down a drama scholarship to render his service to the country by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force.
If you thought that we couldn’t respect Chuck Norris even more, then think again. The man who seems invincible was once a member of the U.S. Air Force. When stationed at the Osan Air Base, he not only developed an interest in martial arts but also garnered the nickname Chuck, derived from his real name Carlos.
James (Jimmy) Stewart
Stewart came from a family that has deep military roots, so it was no wonder that he soon followed in his family’s footsteps. At first, he was rejected to join the U.S. Army after being deemed underweight, so he had to gain 10 pounds to be accepted. Stewart continued his double life as an actor and soldier and eventually rose to become the first American movie star to serve during WWII. He was also hailed as one of the most proficient pilots and even received numerous military honors.
Jimmy Hendrix displayed patriotism when he made a memorable rendition of the national anthem in Woodstock, but it was when he enlisted in the U.S. Army that he first showed his love for the country. Now known as one of the most influential figures of modern music, Hendrix trained as a paratrooper but was given an honorable discharge when his desire to play the guitar overcame his duties.