Actors Who Served in the Military

Actors Who Served in the Military
Filmmaking

Actors Who Served in the MilitaryMany Hollywood stars have served in the military before pursuing their careers in acting, singing, and comedy. Some of them have even used the skills they learned in training or combat to enhance their performances on screen. Chuck Norris, for example, was able to perform his own stunts in films because of his time in the military and even helped prepare other actors for action on film.

Adam Driver, who became a Marine just after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has drawn parallels between acting and military careers. He said joining the service is similar to joining a theater company, where everyone has a role to play and a mission to accomplish. Mr. T, a famed actor and professional wrestler, served in the military for several years and used his experience as a soldier when he was cast in the TV series “The A-Team”3.

Other Hollywood stars who served in the military include Elvis Presley, Bea Arthur, James Earl Jones, Lee Marvin, Steve McQueen, Tyrone Power, George C. Scott, and Clint Eastwood. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of these Hollywood stars who have served in the military and how their military experience has influenced their careers in the entertainment industry.

Actors Who Served in the Military

Here are 50 different actors who served in the military and their ranks in the military:

ActorMilitary BranchRank
Elvis PresleyU.S. ArmySergeant
Bea ArthurU.S. Marine CorpsStaff Sergeant
James Earl JonesU.S. ArmyFirst Lieutenant
Adam DriverU.S. Marine CorpsLance Corporal
Chuck NorrisU.S. Air ForceAirman First Class
Mr. TU.S. ArmyMilitary Policeman
Lee MarvinU.S. Marine CorpsPrivate First Class
Steve McQueenU.S. Marine CorpsPrivate
Tyrone PowerU.S. Marine CorpsSecond Lieutenant
George C. ScottU.S. Marine CorpsCaptain
Clint EastwoodU.S. ArmyNone (attended acting classes using the GI Bill)
Gene HackmanU.S. Marine CorpsCorporal
Morgan FreemanU.S. Air ForceAirman 1st Class
Harvey KeitelU.S. Marine CorpsNone (enlisted but was discharged before completing basic training)
Hugh O’BrianU.S. Marine CorpsNone (enlisted but was discharged before completing basic training)
Mel BrooksU.S. ArmyCorporal
Bill CosbyU.S. NavyHospital Corpsman
Ernest BorgnineU.S. NavyGunner’s Mate 1st Class
Charles DurningU.S. ArmyPrivate First Class
Henry FondaU.S. NavyQuartermaster 3rd Class
Clark GableU.S. Army Air ForcesMajor
Charlton HestonU.S. Army Air ForcesStaff Sergeant
Jackie RobinsonU.S. ArmySecond Lieutenant
Ronald ReaganU.S. Army Air ForcesCaptain
Jimmy StewartU.S. Army Air ForcesBrigadier General
Tom SelleckU.S. Army National GuardSergeant
Rob RiggleU.S. Marine CorpsLieutenant Colonel
Drew CareyU.S. Marine CorpsNone (enlisted but was discharged before completing basic training)
Ice-TU.S. ArmyNone (enlisted but was discharged after a few months)
Montel WilliamsU.S. Marine CorpsNone (enlisted but was discharged before completing basic training)
Chuck WooleryU.S. NavyBoatswain’s Mate
Willie NelsonU.S. Air ForceAirman
Johnny CarsonU.S. NavyEnsign
Pat SajakU.S. ArmyNone (enlisted but was discharged before completing basic training)
Bob RossU.S. Air ForceMaster Sergeant
Jim LehrerU.S. Marine CorpsNone (enlisted but was discharged before completing basic training)
Don KnottsU.S. ArmyNone (enlisted but was discharged before completing basic training)
Ernest HemingwayU.S. ArmyNone (volunteered as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross)
Kurt VonnegutU.S. ArmyPrivate
J.D. SalingerU.S. ArmyStaff Sergeant
Joseph HellerU.S. Army Air ForcesCaptain
Norman MailerU.S. ArmyPrivate
Gore VidalU.S. ArmyNone (enlisted but was discharged before completing basic training)
David NivenBritish ArmyLieutenant Colonel
Alec GuinnessBritish Royal NavyLieutenant
Peter SellersBritish ArmyLance Corporal
Michael CaineBritish ArmyNone (enlisted but was discharged after a few weeks)
Sean ConneryBritish Royal NavyAble Seaman
Christopher LeeBritish Royal Air ForceFlight Lieutenant
Ian FlemingBritish Naval IntelligenceCommander

Note: The ranks listed are the highest ranks achieved by the actors during their military service.

What famous actors served in the military?

Numerous famous actors have served in the military, showcasing their commitment to both their country and their craft. Some notable examples include:

  1. Audie Murphy: A highly decorated World War II veteran, Audie Murphy later became a renowned Hollywood actor, starring in films like “To Hell and Back,” which was based on his autobiography.
  2. Clint Eastwood: Before becoming an iconic actor and director, Clint Eastwood served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
  3. Morgan Freeman: This Academy Award-winning actor served in the United States Air Force as a radar technician.
  4. Chuck Norris: Known for his martial arts prowess and action movie career, Chuck Norris served in the U.S. Air Force as an Air Policeman.
  5. James Earl Jones: The voice behind Darth Vader served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
  6. Elvis Presley: The “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” joined the U.S. Army and served in Germany in the late 1950s.
  7. Steve McQueen: This iconic actor served in the U.S. Marine Corps and later became known for his roles in films like “The Great Escape.”
  8. Paul Newman: Before his successful acting career, Paul Newman served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

These actors not only left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry but also contributed significantly to their country’s military efforts.

Actors Who Served in Specific Wars

What actors served in World War II?

World War II saw the enlistment of several prominent actors, including:

  1. Clark Gable: Known for his role as Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind,” Gable served as a gunner in the U.S. Army Air Forces.
  2. Jimmy Stewart: The beloved actor and director flew missions as a bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces.
  3. Henry Fonda: Fonda, famous for films like “12 Angry Men,” served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
  4. Don Rickles: The comedian and actor served in the U.S. Navy, entertaining troops in the Pacific.

What actors served in the Vietnam War?

During the tumultuous Vietnam War era, some actors volunteered for service, such as:

  1. Oliver Stone: Before becoming an acclaimed filmmaker, Stone served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army and drew from his experiences in Vietnam for his film “Platoon.”
  2. Dale Dye: A Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, Dale Dye later became a military consultant for numerous war films and even appeared in some, like “Saving Private Ryan.”

What actors served in the Korean War?

Several actors served during the Korean War, including:

  1. Alan Alda: Known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce on “MAS*H,” Alda served a six-month tour in Korea as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.
  2. James Arness: The star of “Gunsmoke” served as a rifleman in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Actors in Recent Conflicts

What actors served in the Iraq War?

While the Iraq War featured many brave military personnel, few actors have come forward as veterans of this conflict. One exception is:

  1. Adam Driver: Known for his roles in “Star Wars” and “Blackkklansman,” Driver served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was deployed to Iraq.

What actors served in the Afghanistan War?

The conflict in Afghanistan also saw some actors in military roles, including:

  1. Rob Riggle: Riggle, known for his comedy and acting, served in the U.S. Marine Corps and later became a successful actor and comedian.

Actors in Different Military Branches

What actors served in the Navy?

Several actors have Navy backgrounds, such as Paul Newman, as mentioned earlier.

What actors served in the Army?

Numerous actors, including Clint Eastwood and Jimmy Stewart, have served in the U.S. Army.

What actors served in the Air Force?

Celebrities like Morgan Freeman and Chuck Norris have backgrounds in the U.S. Air Force.

What actors served in the Marines?

Steve McQueen and Rob Riggle both served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

What actors served in the Coast Guard?

While Coast Guard service among actors is less common, there may be lesser-known individuals with such backgrounds.

Military Service Details

What actors were drafted into the military?

Some actors, like Elvis Presley, were drafted into the military during times of conscription.

What actors volunteered for the military?

Others, such as Audie Murphy, voluntarily enlisted to serve their country.

What actors saw combat?

Many of these actors experienced combat firsthand during their military service, contributing to their later portrayals of soldiers in films.

Recognitions and Contributions

What actors were awarded medals for their service?

Several actors received medals and commendations for their exemplary service, with Audie Murphy being one of the most highly decorated veterans.

What actors have spoken out about their military service?

Many actors have openly discussed their military experiences, often expressing their pride in their service and the impact it had on their lives.

What actors have made movies about their military service?

Some actors, like Oliver Stone, used their experiences as inspiration for movies that shed light on the realities of war.

What actors have written books about their military service?

Certain veterans, including James Arness, have penned memoirs detailing their military journeys.

What actors have founded organizations to support veterans?

Several actors, like Gary Sinise, have established charities and organizations dedicated to assisting veterans and their families.

Ongoing Military Involvement

What actors are still active in the military?

While most actors transitioned to entertainment careers, some continue to serve in reserve or honorary military roles.

Camaraderie and Collaboration

What actors are veterans of the same war?

Occasionally, actors who served in the same war may form strong connections and friendships due to their shared experiences.

What actors are veterans of the same branch of the military?

Military branches often foster a sense of brotherhood, and actors from the same branch may share a unique bond.

What actors are veterans of the same unit?

While less common, some actors may have served in the same unit, forging particularly close relationships.

What actors are veterans who have worked together on movies or TV shows?

Some veteran-turned-actors have appeared together on screen, adding authenticity to military-themed productions.

What actors are veterans who are friends or family members?

In some cases, veterans may have familial connections or friendships with fellow actors who also served.

Advocacy and Political Involvement

What actors are veterans who have spoken out against war?

A few actors have used their platforms to advocate for peace and criticize military conflicts.

What actors are veterans who have spoken out in support of veterans’ rights?

Many veterans in the entertainment industry are vocal advocates for improved benefits and support for their fellow service members.

What actors are veterans who have run for political office?

Some veterans, like former Senator Bob Dole, have pursued political careers after their military service.

Impact on the Military Community

What actors are veterans who have made a significant impact on the military or veterans’ community?

Several actors, such as Gary Sinise and Tom Hanks, have dedicated themselves to supporting and uplifting the military and veterans’ community through their philanthropic efforts and advocacy.

Actors Who Served in the Military

These actors’ diverse military backgrounds and contributions reflect the rich tapestry of individuals who have served in the armed forces while pursuing careers in entertainment. Their stories inspire and remind us of the sacrifices made by those who have worn the uniform. You need to read other articles we wrote about >>>>> Who Are the Actors in Yellowstone? to learn more.

Tags:

Comments are closed

Latest Comments

Author – Dennis

am a highly experienced film and media person who has a great deal to offer to like-minded individuals. Currently working on several exciting projects,

I am a film and media practitioner for over a decade. I have achieved a great deal of success in my professional career.