Celebrities Who Served In The Millitary
Adam Driver the star of Girls, and Star Wars Episode VIII A New Hope served in the Marines after 911. He told “Entertainment Tonight,” “When you get out of the Marine Corps, you feel like you can do anything. That was part of why I went to re-audition for Juilliard. I thought, Worse comes to worst, I know how to live. I’ll live in Central Park or something. I’ll survive.”
Country singer/songwriter Willie Nelson was medically discharged for back problems, after serving nine months in the Air Force.
Veteran actor Morgan Freeman, star of such hits at ‘Seven’ and ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ worked as radar technician in the Air Force from 1955-1959.
Music legend Jimi Hendrix joined the U.S. Army 101st Airborne to avoid jail time for car theft as a teen. However Hendrix would be often caught playing his guitar, instead of working. This behavior was deemed “untreatable by hospitalization or counseling”, and Hendrix was honorably discharged after an ankle injury.
Prior to founding Playboy, Hugh Hefner was in the Army, where his primary job was drawing cartoon for military publications.
Before becoming A-Team’s powerhouse B.A. Baracus, Mr.T served in the US Army as a military policeman in the 1970’s.
At age 16 actor Gene Hackman ran away from home, lying about his age to join the U.S. Marines. Hackman served as a radio operator in China, Japan and Hawaii.
“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak hosted ‘Good Morning Vietnam’, a U.S. army radio show for troops stationed in Vietnam. “the signature of that show is that you would yell, ‘Good morning Vietnam’ every morning.”
Before his breakout role in the ‘Cosby Show’ Bill Cosby was a hospital corpsman in the US Navy. Cosby served aboard ships, and at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he worked with wounded from the Korean War.
Actor/Comedian Drew Carey served 6 years in the United States Marine Corps Reseve. When Time Magazine asked him what events in life made him who he is, Carey replied “the Marine Corps.”
The acclaimed actor/director Mel Brooks served as a combat engineer, defusing land mines in World War II for the US Army.
NYPD Blue actor Dennis Franz served in Vietnam for the US Army Army’s 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions. Franz told Cigar Aficionado in 1995, “It was the loneliest, most depressing, frustrating time. It was life-altering. I came back a much different person than when I left, much more serious. I left my youth over there.”
Talk show host Montel William joined the Marines after high school, earning a scholarship to the US Naval Academy after his superiors praised his leadership skills. After graduating from the academy Williams served in the Navy for 20 years.
Veteran actor Harvey Keitel left home at 16 to join the Marines. Explaining his actions in a 2003 interview, Keitel stated “For me the Marine Corps was a spiritual journey. It’s not about war. Our duty is to protect those who do not have the means to protect themselves.”
Singing legend Tony Bennett was a Nazi Hunter in World War II. Bennett was drafted into the U.S. Army in November 1944, serving as an infantryman in France and Germany.
Hollywood icon Clark Gable joined the US Army Air Force after the passing of his third wife, Carole Lombard. Gable served for three years, flying combat missions in Europe. Adolf Hitler offered a big reward for Clark Gable’s capture.
Paul Newman enlisted in the Navy in 1943 after graduating high school. Newman wanted to be a pilot, but was ineligible due to colorblindness.
Newman earned a distinguished Combat Action Ribbon and Combat Aircrew Wings as a rear-seat gunner and aerial radioman for U.S. Navy torpedo bombers in the Pacific during WWII.
Rapper Ice T joined the Army after high school, serving a four-year tour with the 25th Infantry Division in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Hollywood icon Humphery Bogart left school to join the US Navy during World War I, Bogart was honorably discharged in 1919. He tried to re-enlist in World War II but was rejected due to his age.
Clint Eastwood was a swimming instructor for the US Army during the Korean war, stationed at Fort Ord in California. Eastwood rescued a bomber pilot after a crash in 1951, swimming three miles to shore.
Action superstar Chuck Norris, then known as Carlos Ray Norris, was an Air Force policeman at Osan Air Force Base in South Korea in 1958, where his first began studying martial arts.