Popular for his good looks and depth in the showbiz industry, Tony Curtis was one celebrity who thought highly of serving in the military. From 1943 to 1945, Curtis served in the submarine force during the Second World War. He was ranked 3rd class signalman, and served in the Pacific Theatre.
He was inspired by the movie Destination Tokyo, which led him to his navy service, surviving the great war, witnessing the Japanese surrender in Tokyo from the signal bridge of his vessel. Upon his death, Curtis received honors from the flag, and firing detail of the Local US Air force.
It must have been hard to level with George Carlin. He was, after all, a genius whose increasingly black comedy reflected on politics, psychology, the English language, religion, and various taboo subjects. Before he became so famously jaded, a then unknown Carlin was undertaking service with the USAF.
Carlin received a total of three court martials during his service as a radar technician in Barksdale, which resulted in his general discharge. He was also working as a disc jockey while in the force, and this jump-started his career in the entertainment industry after he proved too much for the military.
Jesse “The Body” Ventura is a name we readily link with wrestling and films like Predator. But before all that came to fruition, when he was just about to make a name for himself in wrestling and in Hollywood, Ventura earned a distinguished career as a member of the US Navy Underwater Demolition Team during the Vietnam War.
Although this professional wrestler’s life was all about action in the ring, he did not get to experience any actual combat while he was serving his time in the navy. Often referred to as a Navy Seal, Ventura never actually got to finish his training with the unit.
When American filmmaker Oliver Stone started working on the movie Platoon, all the ingredients necessary to make the war action drama a critical success had already been cooked up in his mind years ago, from a time when he himself had been shot at, his life at risk, all in the name of freedom and democracy.
In 1967, Stone joined the US Army. He didn’t want to be there simply as a witness to the atrocities of war. He wanted to participate in combat himself, made a special request for it, and was wounded in action twice during the Vietnam War. He was awarded a Bronze Star with a “V” device, and a Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster. Most of all, his experiences in battle elevated Platoon to cinematic heights.
We absolutely love Mickey Rooney for his cute and funny facial expressions on and off the screen. Being the last surviving actor of the silent film era, Rooney made a name for himself as a radio personality, comedian, producer, and vaudevillian. He appeared in more than 300 films, making his one epic career.
He was also one of the highest paid actors in showbiz during his time. In 1944, he was drafted by the army, assigned mostly to entertain the troops on stage and on radio during WWII. He earned himself a Bronze Star for his performances as well as a World War II Victory Medal, and a medal for good conduct in appreciation of his military service.