American comedy actor, Harvey Korman, worked for many years in the American television industry. He originally signed up to be a United States navy reserve seaman first class during the very end of World War II, hoping to still be able to contribute valuable efforts to the war’s cause.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for Korman, he was only able to serve between 1945 and 1946. Dream thwarted (in the best way possible), he decided to study drama in Chicago instead, which started his career in the entertainment industry. In 2002, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, having won several awards.
Harry Dean Stanton
When World War II broke out, Harry Dean Stanton immediately took the chance to sign up for the navy. Like many young men of his day, Stanton was livid, eager to participate in the war effort against evil regimes. This was after he’d already dropped out of college to study acting, but he knew it was a once in a lifetime chance. It was embarrassing to be an able lad left back home in wartime.
He served in the battle of Okinawa, aboard a landing ship, as a galley cook. After the war, he went on to pursue other opportunities in journalism, then went on to radio, before he finally made the decision to stick to acting.
One of Hollywood’s elite, Harvey Keitel, who has appeared in many box office hits, like The Last Temptation of Christ, Pulp Fiction, and Taxi Driver, is one of the band of brave souls in the entertainment industry that enlisted in the army.
This Golden Globe Award nominee has an amazing mind,and was once quoted as saying, “for me the Marine Corps was a spiritual journey, it’s not about war.” In 1956, he dropped everything to join the Marines. When we say dropped, we mean he left University. He then served in Lebanon where he was awarded a medal for being a fire team leader. After the war, he flew back to the US and eventually went in as an actor at the New York Actors Studio.
Roberto Clemente was a famous American baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates whose career spanned from 1955 to 1972. During those times as an athlete, he had secretly thought about finding ways to serve in the military, doing so while the rest of his teammates were training in Puerto Rico during the winter. He joined the United States Marine Corps reserves as an infantryman back in the 50’s without their knowledge.
He realized that his Marine training had prepared his body physically and he benefited greatly from it. However, in 1964, he left the military to prepare for the World Series.
Audie Murphy’s military career was not a mere reroute, or an afterthought from his glamorous life as an actor. He was as popular a soldier as he was a movie star, and for very good reasons. By the time he was 20 years old, he’d raked in all the combat awards for valor the army could give at the time. He’d served nine campaigns in WW2.
The US Army had to hold him back during the Korean War, using his image as a marketing tool instead, to boost their recruitment service. Audie Murphy retired from service with the rank of major.