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Thread: Actors who Served in WW2

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Of interest, the great Michael Caine was an infantryman in the Royal Fusiliers during the Korean War. I know this because I used to listen to the Howard Stern show, and one of the cohorts on the show recalled talking to Caine after one of their gags, sending out a stuttering reporter to ask celebrities silly and embarrassing questions. He said that Caine related having a flashback to Korea, as he could smell his fear in the form of the stench of the Chinese hoards of infantry they could smell coming during an attack...

    Caine on his service in Korea:

    Whenever I killed someone there was no guilt, no remorse ? it didn't feel real. It was during the Korean War and I was just trying to stay alive. It was self-defence. It was always done at night and we never had any idea who we had killed. I didn't even think about it ? we had machine guns and we just did it. I never did anything close up or hand-to-hand. It didn't give me nightmares, because the Army brutalises you. It was like the World War I trenches ? half a mile apart ? and we were just firing backwards and forwards, so we never knew who any of our victims were as individuals. You never saw the whites of a man's eyes when you killed him.

    I know how it feels to think you're going to die. In Korea there were four of us on patrol in a valley, in the middle of some rice paddies. We were surrounded by Chinese and we knew we were going to die so we agreed to take as many with us as possible. As they closed in, the officer said, "Let's run towards their line ? they won't expect it." So we did and ended up going right round them. They couldn't find us because they were looking in the wrong place. If we'd gone the other way we would all have died. That night we went back to our bunkers and celebrated with a beer. I faced a moment when I knew I was going to die and I didn't run, I wasn't a coward and it affected me deeply. I was at peace with myself for my whole life.
    From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/moslive/a...ael-Caine.html

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Of interest, the great Michael Caine was an infantryman in the Royal Fusiliers during the Korean War. I know this because I used to listen to the Howard Stern show, and one of the cohorts on the show recalled talking to Caine after one of their gags, sending out a stuttering reporter to ask celebrities silly and embarrassing questions. He said that Caine related having a flashback to Korea, as he could smell his fear in the form of the stench of the Chinese hoards of infantry they could smell coming during an attack...

    Caine on his service in Korea:
    Whenever I killed someone there was no guilt, no remorse ? it didn't feel real. It was during the Korean War and I was just trying to stay alive. It was self-defence. It was always done at night and we never had any idea who we had killed. I didn't even think about it ? we had machine guns and we just did it. I never did anything close up or hand-to-hand. It didn't give me nightmares, because the Army brutalises you. It was like the World War I trenches ? half a mile apart ? and we were just firing backwards and forwards, so we never knew who any of our victims were as individuals. You never saw the whites of a man's eyes when you killed him.

    I know how it feels to think you're going to die. In Korea there were four of us on patrol in a valley, in the middle of some rice paddies. We were surrounded by Chinese and we knew we were going to die so we agreed to take as many with us as possible. As they closed in, the officer said, "Let's run towards their line ? they won't expect it." So we did and ended up going right round them. They couldn't find us because they were looking in the wrong place. If we'd gone the other way we would all have died. That night we went back to our bunkers and celebrated with a beer. I faced a moment when I knew I was going to die and I didn't run, I wasn't a coward and it affected me deeply. I was at peace with myself for my whole life.
    From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/moslive/a...ael-Caine.html
    Michael Caine
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Caine

    Early life

    Michael Caine was born in Rotherhithe, South East London, the son of Ellen Frances Marie (ne Burchell), a cook and charlady, and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, Sr., a fish market porter. Michael Caine's father was Catholic, though Michael Caine was raised in his Protestant mother's religion. He grew up in Camberwell, attending Wilson's School (at that time Wilson's Grammar School) and during World War II was evacuated to North Runcton in Norfolk. In 1944 he passed his eleven-plus exam. He left school at sixteen after gaining four O-Levels and did his National Service from April 1952 to 1954 in the Royal Fusiliers, serving in Germany and in combat in the Korean War.
    Michael Caine's Biography
    The man and the movies
    This Biography was compiled from Michael Caine's autobiography "What's it all about?".
    http://www.michaelcaine.com/Biography.htm

    After the war, the British Government started a scheme in which every 18 yr old boy learned to defend his country for 2 years, they called it National Service and in 1951 Michael was to join the Queens Royal Regiment and the Royal Fusiliers and serve in Germany and Korea.



    In 1953 after completing National Service Michael worked at Westminster repertory in Horsham Sussex and then at Lowestoft Repertory where Michael met his first wife Patricia Haines.

    HELL IN KOREA / A HILL IN KOREA - movie 1956
    http://www.personenencyclopedie.info/C/Cae/CaineMichael


    Michael Caine, among others Michael Medwin, George Baker and Harry Andrews.

    -

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Aleksei Smirnov
    1920 - 1979
    filmography on IMDB.COM

    LINK to 49 of his private photos taken during WW2.



    Leutenenat of the recon platoon of the 162nd mortar regiment.
    Full Cavalier of the "Order of Glory" (3 degrees. Only 2500 people attained it.)
    Order of "Red Star".

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Not counting ww2 i guess you could say Elvis Presely




    LIFE'S A GARDEN....DIG IT!

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Richard Todd, Para

  6. #21
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  7. #22
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Regarding David Niven, in one volume of his autobiography, (not sure which one), he related an amusing account of his original regimental assignment. Asked (on a form) to indicate his preferences (and notwithstanding the fact that he may have indicated particular preferences) he included the comment "any Scottish regiment except the Highland Light Infantry". Guess where he ended up ?

    As for Richard Todd - he served in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry before transfer to the Paras. Interestingly, he took part in the capture and defence of Pegasus Bridge at the outset of "Overlord", under command of Major John Howard. As an actor, he subsequently played the part of Howard in the movie, "The Longest Day", and did so pretty well. In fact, Todd was to make something of a speciality of playing military parts after the war.

    Comments from Michael Caine, regarding the Korea War, are interesting, and have the ring of truth. Mind you, my main military memory of him is from "Zulu"... Best regards, JR.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    The Goons

    Spike Miligan - served with the RA through North Africa and Italy
    Peter Sellers - served with the RAF
    Harry Secombe - served with the RA through North Africa and Italy
    Michael Bentine - served with the RAF
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Milligan and Secombe's first meeting is recounted in one of his books (Adolf Hitler: my part in his downfall?) - Milligan's unit dropped a heavy gun down a cliff through Secombe's unit, closely followed by Milligan sticking his head into Secombe's wireless truck to ask if anyone had seen a gun. Secombe's reply is recorded as "what colour?"...
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Don't know whether anybody mentioned Christopher "Count Dracula" Lee, who served as an Intelligence Officer through North Africa and Italy. Also Irish-American movie director John Ford, USN, who managed and supervised much of US official film coverage of the war. Best regards, JR.

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Returning thread to active duty...

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Actors who Served in WW2

    Some notable examples found at IMDb, link http://www.imdb.com/list/ls003539523/

    Audie Murphy
    US Army Europe WW2 Medal of Honor.

    Paul Newman
    Actor
    US Navy WW2 Pacific:

    Tony Curtis
    Actor
    US Navy - WWII

    Don Knotts
    Actor, Andy Griffith Show
    WW2 US Army

    I apologize if the above actors have already been mentioned .

    IMDb link that has some info on actors with military experience, not all WW2:

    http://www.imdb.com/list/ls003539523/

    Morgan Freeman
    Actor, The Shawshank Redemption
    US Air Force 1955

    Leonard Nimoy
    Actor, Star Trek
    US Army 1953-1955

    Jamie Farr:
    Actor MASH
    US Army, Korea Veteran

    Clint Eastwood
    Actor
    US Army 1951 to 1953

    A few non actors:

    Dwight D Eisenhower
    US President
    WW2 US Army Supreme Allied Commander of Allied Forces in Europe

    John F Kennedy
    US President
    WW2 US Navy PT109

    George HW Bush
    US President
    WW2 US Army Air Corps

    Babe Ruth
    Baseball player
    Army New York National Guard 1924

    Jackie Robinson
    Baseball Player
    WW2 US Army

    Glenn Miller
    Musician
    WW2 US Army (MIA)

    Ted Williams
    Baseball Player
    WW2 US Marine Corps

    Joe DiMaggio
    Baseball Player
    WW2 US Army Air Forces

    Ty Cobb
    Baseball Player
    US Army WW1

    Elvis Presley
    Musician
    US Army 3rd Armored Division 1958

    Johnny Cash
    Musician
    US Air Force 1950

    Joe Louis
    Boxing Heavy Weight Champion
    US Army WW2 Special Services Division

    Jimi Hendrix
    Musician
    US Army 1961 101st Airborne Division

    Tom Landry
    Dallas Cowboys Football coach
    WW2 US Army Air Corps Bomber

    Hugh Hefner
    Playboy
    WW2 US Army 1944 writer

    Rocky Marciano
    Boxing Heavy Weight Champion (Only one to retire undefeated 49-0)
    US Army WW2 Normandy Veteran 150th combat engineers

    Jack Dempsey
    Boxing Heavy Weight Champion
    WW2 US Coast Guard reserve
    Last edited by Wittmann; 07-05-2014 at 03:24 AM. Reason: Lost internet connection

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