Who loves candies and chocolate? We do! Gene Wilder, who is known for his nostalgic candy man role as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, was a famous screenwriter, director, producer, singer-songwriter, author, and actor who certainly made a name for himself during his heyday in the 1960s.
But all these achievements started with a small step when Wilder was drafted to serve in the US Army as a paramedic in a psychiatric hospital in Pennsylvania during the late 50s. That small step was his decision to lighten his spirits by simultaneously taking acting classes. One of his major breaks in acting came as he later partnered with Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles.
British actor, Michael Caine, ironically got his first real taste of the preciousness of life when he was drafted as a British army soldier during the Korean War. It was in the arms of utter danger, having fought on the front lines, face to face with the enemy, that the meaning of being alive dawned on him; right as he was certain his own life was about to be snuffed out. He believes that every man should serve in the military for at least six months to ensure they get a taste of the profound lesson he learned.
Caine ended up contracting malaria and was medically discharged. He decided to head back home to London so that he could pursue his dream of acting... and the rest is history. His first big break came when he played a British army private in a war movie titled A Hill in Korea.
90s kids, will remember Shaggy, a massive star at the time, for hits like “Bombastic,” “Angel,” and the often parodied, “It Wasn’t Me.” Shaggy started in music early, and quickly showed signs of talent. However, it wasn’t enough to keep him afloat, or to call it a stable career, so he joined the USMC in 1989.
He served as part of the 10th marine Regiment right in time for the eruption of the Gulf War. He was deployed in Kuwait, where his experiences helped him sober up and clean up his act. In 1992, his debut album was released and it was a hit, gaining him a wave of success that carried through the early 2000s.
Laurence Olivier is one of those celebrities who had no qualms about cutting his careers short to render service in the military when circumstances called for it. When World War II broke out, the first thing Olivier had in mind was to become a combat pilot, opting to join the Royal air force, albeit restricted with other obligations.
The Academy Award winning actor had a lot going for himself during his time. As a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm, he served for two years but, much to his dismay, he never got to experience going into battle before the war ended.
Colin Powell once said that the greatest advocates for peace are those who know most about war. This is a phrase that comes to our minds when it comes to the name of Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse Five.
Vonnegut served in the army during World War II as an infantry battalion scout. He was reportedly taken in as a prisoner of war, and was lucky to survive the firebombing of Dresden, Germany in a blanket mission by the Allied Forces. If you haven’t yet ventured into the bizarre universe that is Slaughterhouse 5, we definitely recommend it.