Actors who served in the U.S. military

by FilmzToGo | created - 04 Sep 2011 | updated - 01 Jan 2017 | Public

Actors whose military service didn't mirror their Hollywood careers such as Ronald Reagan, Red Buttons, Mickey Rooney, etc. I have only found four female veterans for this list. If anyone knows any others, please comment.

1. Chuck Norris

Actor | Walker, Texas Ranger

Chuck Norris is familiar to fans worldwide as the star of action films such as The Hitman (1991), The Delta Force (1986) and Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990). He also starred in Missing in Action (1984) and its sequels, Firewalker (1986) and Sidekicks (1992). He was an executive ...

Air Force, '58-'62

2. James Earl Jones

Actor | Rogue One

James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA. At an early age, he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. It appeared to work as he has since starred in many films over a 40-year period, beginning with the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove or: ...

Army, '52, First Lieut

3. Charles Durning

Actor | Dog Day Afternoon

WWII veteran, dance instructor and diversely talented stage & screen actor were all inclusions on the resume of this perpetually busy US actor who didn't get in front of the cameras until around the time of his fortieth birthday. The stockily built Charles Durning was one of Hollywood's most ...

Army, WWII, '44-'46

4. William Sanderson

Actor | Blade Runner

Prolific and versatile character actor William Sanderson was born on January 10, 1944, in Memphis, Tennessee. His mother was an elementary school teacher and his father was a landscape designer. William served two years in the US Army. Following his military service he attended Southern Methodist ...

Army

5. Jamie Farr

Actor | M*A*S*H

Jamie Farr was born on July 1, 1934 in Toledo, Ohio, USA as Jameel Joseph Farah. He is an actor, known for M*A*S*H (1972), The Cannonball Run (1981) and Scrooged (1988). He has been married to Joy Ann Richards since February 16, 1963. They have two children.

Army - Only cast member of M*A*S*H* to serve during the Korean War.

6. Dennis Franz

Actor | NYPD Blue

Dennis Franz was born Dennis Franz Schlacta in Maywood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and is the son of Eleanor (Mueller) and Franz Ferdinand Schlachta. His father was a German immigrant, and both he and Franz's mother, a German-American, were postal workers. He has two sisters, Marlene (born 1938...

Army, Vietnam

7. Mel Brooks

Actor | Spaceballs

Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to ...

Army, WWII

8. Clint Eastwood

Actor | Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Clint took interest in music...

Army - '50-'51

9. Bill Cosby

Actor | The Cosby Show

Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high...

Navy, Hospital Corpsman for four years

10. Robert Duvall

Actor | The Apostle

Veteran actor and director Robert Selden Duvall was born on January 5, 1931, in San Diego, CA, to Mildred Virginia (Hart), an amateur actress, and William Howard Duvall, a career military officer who later became an admiral. Duvall majored in drama at Principia College (Elsah, IL), then served a ...

Army - '53-'54

11. James Garner

Actor | The Notebook

Amiable and handsome James Garner had obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s.

James Garner was born James Scott ...

Army - Korean War

12. Moses Gunn

Actor | Shaft

Moses Gunn was born on October 2, 1929 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He was an actor, known for Shaft (1971), Ragtime (1981) and Heartbreak Ridge (1986). He was married to Gwendolyn Mumma Landes. He died on December 16, 1993 in Guilford, Connecticut, USA.

Army - '54-'57

13. Ice-T

Actor | New Jack City

The legendary gangsta hip-hop emcee Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his paternal aunt after the death of his father while he was in the sixth grade; his mother had died earlier when he was in the third grade....

Army - '79-'83

14. Don Knotts

Actor | The Andy Griffith Show

Don Knotts, the legendary television character actor, was born Jesse Donald Knotts on July 21, 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia, to William Jesse Knotts and the former Elsie L. Moore. He was the youngest of four sons in a family that had been in America since the 17th century.

His first stint as an...

Army

15. Steve Kanaly

Actor | Dallas

Steve Kanaly was born on March 14, 1946 in Burbank, California, USA as Steven Francis Kanaly. He is an actor and director, known for Dallas (1978), Dillinger (1973) and Sliding Home (1997). He has been married to Brent Power since March 27, 1975. They have two children.

Army - served in the Vietnam War as a radio operator with the First Air Cavalry Division.

16. Robert Loggia

Actor | Big

Born and raised in New York City, Robert Loggia studied journalism at the University of Missouri before moving back to New York to pursue acting. He trained at the Actors Studio while doing stage work. From the late 1950s he was a familiar face on TV, usually as authoritative figures. Loggia also ...

Army

17. Bob Newhart

Actor | Newhart

Bob Newhart was born on September 5, 1929 in Oak Park, Illinois, USA as George Robert Newhart. He is an actor and writer, known for Newhart (1982), The Rescuers (1977) and Elf (2003). He has been married to Ginny Newhart since January 12, 1963. They have four children.

Army

18. Elvis Presley

Soundtrack | Girls! Girls! Girls!

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Presley (née Gladys Love Smith) and Vernon Presley (Vernon Elvis Presley). He had a twin brother who was stillborn. In 1948, Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he attended Humes High School. ...

Army

19. Tom Selleck

Actor | Blue Bloods

Thomas William Selleck is an American actor and film producer, known for his starring role as Hawaii-based private investigator "Thomas Magnum" on the 1980s television series, Magnum, P.I. (1980).

Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Martha S. (Jagger), a homemaker, and Robert Dean Selleck, a ...

Army National Guard

20. Telly Savalas

Actor | Kojak

Son of Greek immigrants. Soldier during World War II. Studied psychology. Worked as journalist for ABC News. The bald-headed actor played character roles, often as sadistic or psychotic types. He became a TV favorite in the 1970s when his role as Det. Theo Kojak in the TV movie The Marcus-Nelson ...

Army, '43-'46

21. Mr. T

Actor | Rocky III

Mr. T was born Laurence Tureaud on 21 May 1952, in the rough south side ghetto of Chicago. He is the second to youngest of twelve children (he has four sisters and seven brothers) and grew up in the housing projects. His father, Nathaniel Tureaud, left when Laurence was 5, and his mother raised the...

Army - Joined in '75. Served in the Military Police Corps.

22. Gene Wilder

Actor | Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, who manufactured miniature whiskey and beer bottles. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his Illinois-born mother was of Russian Jewish descent.

Wilder caught his first big break ...

Army, '56-'58

23. Ernest Borgnine

Actor | Marty

Ernest Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. His parents were Anna (Boselli), who had emigrated from Carpi (MO), Italy, and Camillo Borgnino, who had emigrated from Ottiglio (AL), Italy. As an only child, Ernest enjoyed most sports, especially boxing, ...

Navy, WWII - '35-'45

24. Mike Farrell

Actor | M*A*S*H

Mike is one of four children. His father, Joe, who died in 1956, was a carpenter at Hollywood studios. Mike attended grammar school with Natalie Wood and Ricky Nelson. He entered the Marines in the 1950s for two years. Later, he attended the University of California at Los Angeles and studied ...

He entered the marines in the 1950's for two years

25. Jonathan Winters

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Jonathan Harshman Winters III was born on November 11, 1925 in Dayton, Ohio. His father, Jonathan Harshman Winters II, was a banker who became an alcoholic after being crushed in the Great Depression. His parents divorced in 1932. Jonathan and his mother then moved to Springfield to live with his ...

Marines - served two and a half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II

26. Steve McQueen

Actor | The Great Escape

He was the ultra-cool male film star of the 1960s, and rose from a troubled youth spent in reform schools to being the world's most popular actor. Over 25 years after his untimely death from mesothelioma in 1980, Steve McQueen is still considered hip and cool, and he endures as an icon of popular ...

Marines joined in 1947, honorably discharged in 1950.

27. Paul Newman

Actor | The Hustler

Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second son of Theresa (Fetsko) and Arthur Sigmund Newman. Paul's father was Jewish, the son of emigrants from Poland and Hungary; he owned...

Navy - Served in World War II in the Pacific theater. rear-seat radioman and gunner in torpedo bombers. Served aboard USS Bunker Hill during the Battle of Okinawa

28. Audie Murphy

Actor | Ride a Crooked Trail

Audie Murphy became a national hero during World War II as the most decorated combat soldier of the war. Among his 33 awards was the Medal of Honor, the highest award for bravery that a soldier can receive. In addition, he was also decorated for bravery by the governments of France and Belgium, and...

Army - WWII. European theater. Awarded the Medal of Honor.

29. Kirk Douglas

Actor | Spartacus

Cleft-chinned, steely-eyed and virile star of international cinema who rose from being "the ragman's son" (the name of his best-selling 1988 autobiography) to become a bona fide superstar, Kirk Douglas, also known as Issur Danielovitch Demsky, was born on December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, New York. ...

Navy - WWII. Pacific Theater.

30. Henry Fonda

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Henry Jaynes Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Elma Herberta (Jaynes) and William Brace Fonda, who worked in advertising and printing. His recent ancestry included Dutch, English, and Scottish.

Fonda started his acting debut with the Omaha Community Playhouse, a local amateur theater ...

Navy - WWII. Pacific Theater

31. Lee Marvin

Actor | The Dirty Dozen

Prematurely white-haired character star who began as a supporting player of generally vicious demeanor, then metamorphosed into a star of both action and drama projects, Lee Marvin was born in New York City, the son of Courtenay Washington (Davidge), a fashion writer, and Lamont Waltman Marvin, an ...

Marines - Wounded in action on Saipan.

32. Art Carney

Actor | Firestarter

Art Carney was born on November 4, 1918 in Mount Vernon, New York, USA as Arthur William Matthew Carney. He was an actor, known for Firestarter (1984), Harry and Tonto (1974) and Last Action Hero (1993). He was married to Jean Wilson Myers (remarried), Barbara Carney and Jean Wilson Myers. He died ...

Army - Served as an infantryman during World War II. During the Battle of Normandy, he was wounded in the leg by shrapnel and walked with a limp for the rest of his life.

33. Wayne Morris

Actor | Paths of Glory

American actor who had early success as a sunny juvenile, but whose career declined following World War II, in which he was a highly-decorated hero. A native of Los Angeles, Morris played football at Los Angeles Junior College, then worked as a forest ranger. Returning to school, he studied acting ...

Navy - WWII. Fighter ace who downed seven Japanese aircraft while flying from the U.S.S. Essex.

34. Rod Steiger

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

Rodney Stephen Steiger was born in Westhampton, New York, to Augusta Amelia (Driver) and Frederick Jacob Steiger, both vaudevillians. He was of German and Austrian ancestry. After his parents' divorce, Steiger was raised by his mother in Newark, New Jersey. He dropped out of Westside High school at...

Navy - WWII. Participated on board ship in the mission that launched the Doolittle Raid.

35. James Stewart

Actor | Vertigo

James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English, descent. Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he ...

Army Air Corps - WWII. Flew 24 missions piloting B-24 bombers over Europe. Stayed in the Air Force Reserve retiring as a Brigadier General. Flew at least one mission over North Vietnam in a B-52 bomber.

36. Tony Curtis

Actor | Some Like It Hot

Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz, the eldest of three children of Helen (Klein) and Emanuel Schwartz, Jewish immigrants from Hungary. Curtis himself admits that while he had almost no formal education, he was a student of the "school of hard knocks" and learned from a young age that the only ...

Navy - WWII

37. Robert Montgomery

Actor | Night Must Fall

As a child, Robert Montgomery enjoyed a privileged life, as his father was the president of the New York Rubber Co. When he died, the fortune was gone and Robert worked at a number of jobs. He later went to New York to be a writer, and on the advice of a friend tried acting. He worked with George ...

Navy - WWII. Saw extensive action in the Pacific theater.

38. Sterling Hayden

Actor | Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Born to George & Frances Simonson Walter, and named Sterling Relyea Walter. Father died in 1925. Adopted by stepfather 'James Hayden' renamed Sterling Walter Hayden. Grew up in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Maine. Though very poor, attended prep school at ...

Marines - Worked with O.S.S. in numerous European actions. Awarded the Silver Star for Valor.

39. Brian Dennehy

Actor | First Blood

Imposing, barrel-chested and now silver-haired Brian Dennehy is a prolific US actor, well respected on both screen and stage for the best part of 25 years. He was born in July 1938 in Bridgeport, CT, and attended Columbia University in New York City on a football scholarship. He majored in history,...

Marines - '59-'63. Once claimed to have been wounded in Vietnam but later apologized for lying.

40. Randy Couture

Actor | The Expendables 3

Randy Couture is a collegiate wrestler and fighter turned actor from Everett, Washington. He served as a four time US Olympic wrestling team alternate as a soldier in the U.S. Army, and is also a 6 time world heavyweight and light heavyweight UFC champion and Hall of Famer. He is a graduate of ...

Army - '82-'88. Sergeant in the 101st Airborne.

41. Neville Brand

Actor | Stalag 17

Neville Brand joined the US Army in 1939, bent on a career in the military. It was while he was in the army that he made his acting debut, in Army training films, and this experience apparently changed the direction of his life. Once a civilian again, he used his GI Bill education assistance to ...

Army - Saw action in the European theater. Awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart.

42. Tyrone Power

Actor | Witness for the Prosecution

Tyrone Power was one of the great romantic swashbuckling stars of the mid-twentieth century, and the third Tyrone Power of four in a famed acting dynasty reaching back to the eighteenth century. His great-grandfather was the first Tyrone Power (1795-1841), a famed Irish comedian. His father, known ...

Marines - WWII. Saw brief action in the Pacific Theater as a transport pilot

43. Charlton Heston

Actor | Ben-Hur

With features chiseled in stone, and renowned for playing a long list of historical figures, particularly in Biblical epics, the tall, well built and ruggedly handsome Charlton Heston was one of Hollywood's greatest leading men and remained active in front of movie cameras for over sixty years. As ...

Army Air Corps - WWII. Served for two years as a radio operator and aerial gunner aboard a B-25 Mitchell stationed in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands.

44. Danny Aiello

Actor | Do the Right Thing

Danny Aiello was born on June 20, 1933 in New York City, New York, USA as Daniel Louis Aiello Jr. He is an actor and producer, known for Do the Right Thing (1989), Léon: The Professional (1994) and Moonstruck (1987). He has been married to Sandy Cohen since January 8, 1955. They have four ...

Army - At the age of 16, Aiello lied about his age in order to enlist. Served for three years

45. Dabney Coleman

Actor | WarGames

For decades, Dabney Coleman has often appeared as a smarmy, selfish, nervous person, often with money, who is mostly out for himself. He did such a good job in this type of part that he's made a career of it in film.

Dabney Wharton Coleman was born in Austin, Texas, to Mary Wharton (Johns) and ...

Army - Drafted in 1953 and served in Europe.

46. John Amos

Actor | Coming to America

A native of New Jersey and son of a mechanic, African-American John Amos has relied on his imposing build, eruptive nature and strong, forceful looks to obtain acting jobs, and a serious desire for better roles to earn a satisfying place in the annals of film and TV. He has found it a constant ...

Army National Guard

47. James Arness

Actor | Gunsmoke

American leading man famed as the star of one of the longest-running shows in U.S. television history, Gunsmoke (1955). Born of Norwegian heritage (the family name, Aurness, had formerly been Aursness) in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Rolf and Ruth Duesler Aurness. His father was a traveling salesman ...

Army - WWII. Served as a rifleman with the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, and was severely wounded during Operation Shingle, at Anzio, Italy.

48. Dan Blocker

Actor | Bonanza

Dan Blocker is one of the true television immortals, having played Hoss Cartwright -- the heart and soul of Bonanza (1959) -- for 13 seasons, before his untimely death in 1972 at the age of 43. "Bonanza" was the most popular TV series of the 1960s, ranked #1 for three straight seasons (1964-65 ...

Army - Drafted into the United States Army and served in the Korean War.

49. Walter Brennan

Actor | To Have and Have Not

In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and ...

Army - Served in France during WWI.

50. Charlie Callas

Actor | Switch

Born Charles Callias in Brooklyn, NY on December 20, 1927, he served in the US Army in Germany during World War 2.

Originally a drummer, he played with Tommy Dorsey, Claude Thornhill and Buddy Rich. He was always clowning around and would drive the band members crazy on the bus as they traveled. So ...

Army - Served during WWII.

51. Jack Klugman

Actor | The Odd Couple

As a film character actor, Klugman was the epitome of the everyman. He was one of the pioneers of television acting in the 1950s, and is best remembered for his 1970s TV work as Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple (1970) and as the medical examiner on Quincy M.E. (1976).

Army - Served during WWII.

52. Richard Kline

Actor | Three's Company

Richard Kline was born on April 29, 1944 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard Klein. He is an actor and director, known for Three's Company (1976), Jack and Jill (2011) and Beverly Hills Ninja (1997). He has been married to Beverley Osgoode since 2002. He was previously married to Sandy Molloy...

Army - Served in Vietnam.

53. Wayne Rogers

Actor | M*A*S*H

Tough around the edges and with a handsome durability, Alabama-born Wayne Rogers had graduated from Princeton with a history degree in 1954 and joined the Navy before giving acting a thought. During his military service, however, he became associated with theater by happenstance and decided to give...

Navy - Mid 1950s.

54. Drew Carey

Producer | The Drew Carey Show

Drew Carey was born on May 23, 1958 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as Drew Allison Carey. He is a producer and actor, known for The Drew Carey Show (1995), Robots (2005) and Jack and Jill (2011).

U.S.M.C. Reserves.

55. Sinbad

Actor | Jingle All the Way

Sinbad was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan to two parents, Louise and the Baptist Rev. Dr. Donald Beckley Adkins and was then known as David Adkins. He is primarily known as an actor and somewhat a writer and proved his comedic acting style in House Guest (1994), Jingle All the Way (1996), First ...

Air Force - served as a boom operator aboard KC-135 Stratotankers

56. Blake Clark

Actor | 50 First Dates

For the last 20 or so years, Clark has been doing stand-up comedy on the club circuit, on "The Tonight Show", on HBO comedy specials, on Late Night with David Letterman (1982) and Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993). In addition, he has been in over 50 feature motion pictures and hundreds of ...

Army - Served as a Platoon Leader in Vietnam with the 5th Infantry division.

57. Morgan Freeman

Actor | Se7en

With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman...

Air Force - Joined in 1955 and served as a radar technician.

58. Jerry Mathers

Actor | The Trouble with Harry

Jerry Mathers was born on June 2, 1948 in Sioux City, Iowa, USA as Gerald P. Mathers. He is an actor and director, known for The Trouble with Harry (1955), Leave It to Beaver (1957) and The Love Boat (1977). He has been married to Teresa Modnick since January 30, 2011. He was previously married to ...

Air Force Reserve

59. Gavin MacLeod

Actor | Mary Tyler Moore

Gavin MacLeod was raised in Pleasantville, New York, the son of a gas station owner who was part Chippewa Indian (Ojibwa). He followed his 1952 graduation from Ithaca College with military service, then moved to New York City and worked for a while as an usher and elevator operator at Radio City ...

Air Force

60. John Hillerman

Actor | Magnum, P.I.

The impeccably urbane Englishman Jonathan Quayle Higgins III (VC !) -- Tom Selleck's sophisticated majordomo in Magnum, P.I. (1980) -- was of French, German and Austrian descent, raised in a small Texas town and educated at a Catholic high school. He majored in journalism from the University of ...

Air Force - Joined in 1953 and served four years.

61. Sherman Hemsley

Actor | The Jeffersons

Sherman Hemsley played characters known to be wise-cracking, "Weezy" loving, boisterous fools which America and the entire world laughed with kindheartedly. Sherman Alexander Hemsley, Air Force veteran and actor, was born on Feb. 1, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father, William Hemsley, ...

Air Force - dropped out of school and served four years.

62. Roy Scheider

Actor | Jaws

Lean, angular-faced and authoritatively spoken lead / supporting actor Roy Scheider obviously never heard the old actor's axiom about "never appearing with kids or animals" lest they overshadow your performance. Breaking that rule did him no harm, though, as he achieved pop cult status by finding, ...

Air Force - served three years.

63. Fred Ward

Actor | Short Cuts

A marvelous character actor with intense eyes, a sly grin and somewhat grizzled appearance, Golden Globe-winner Fred Ward has nearly 90 appearances under his belt in many tremendous films. He first became interested in acting after serving three years in the US Air Force and studied at New York's ...

Air Force - served three years.

64. Hal Linden

Actor | Barney Miller

Born in 1931, Bronx-born Hal Linden was the son of Charles Lipshitz and Frances Rosen and had an older brother who would become a future professor of music at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. Similarly musical, Hal took up classical clarinet in his late teens and played regularly with symphony...

Army - enlisted in 1952.

65. Leonard Nimoy

Actor | Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Dora (Spinner) and Max Nimoy, who owned a barbershop. His parents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. Raised in a tenement and acting in community theaters since age eight, Nimoy did not make his Hollywood debut until he was 20, with a bit ...

Army - served as a sergeant from 1953 through 1955

66. Chuck Connors

Actor | Soylent Green

Chuck Connors was born Kevin Joseph Connors in Brooklyn, New York, to Marcella (Londrigan) and Alban Francis "Allan" Connors. His parents were immigrants from the Dominion of Newfoundland (now part of Canada), and were of Irish descent. Chuck and his two-years-younger sister, Gloria, grew up in a ...

Army - tank-warfare instructor during WW2.

67. Charles Napier

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Lively character actor who usually plays edgy military types and menacing bad guys, Charles Napier's roles have changed little since his debut in Russ Meyer's Cherry, Harry & Raquel! (1970). Napier went on appearing in other Meyer movies, including the homicidal Harry Sledge in Supervixens (...

Army - enlisted in 1954, serving with the 11th Airborne Division and rising to the rank of sergeant.

68. Richard Pryor

Actor | Superman III

Highly influential, and always controversial, African-American actor/comedian who was equally well known for his colorful language during his live comedy shows, as for his fast paced life, multiple marriages and battles with drug addiction. He has been acknowledged by many modern comic artist's as ...

Army - '58-'60

69. Humphrey Bogart

Actor | Casablanca

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium). Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy ...

Navy - enlisted in 1918.

70. James Avery

Actor | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Although known as the uncle/patriarch and judge "Philip Banks" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), James Avery was a classically trained actor and scholar. A native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, he joined the US Navy after graduating high school and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Upon...

Navy - served in Vietnam.

71. Harry Carey Jr.

Actor | Tombstone

Harry Carey, Jr., had been reliable character actor for decades, mostly in Westerns, before he retired. He is the son of the actor Harry Carey and the actress Olive Carey. He was born on his parents' 1000-acre ranch near Saugus, in the northwestern part of Los Angeles County, which is now next door...

Navy - WWII

72. Pat Hingle

Actor | Batman

Pat Hingle (real name: Martin Patterson Hingle) was born in Miami, Florida, the son of a building contractor. His parents divorced when Hingle was still in his infancy (he never knew his father) and his mother supported the family by teaching school in Denver. She then began to travel (with her son...

Navy - served on the destroyer USS Marshall during World War II.

73. Fred Gwynne

Actor | My Cousin Vinny

Fred Gwynne was an enormously talented character actor most famous for starring in the television situation comedies Car 54, Where Are You? (1961) (as Officer Francis Muldoon) and The Munsters (1964) (as the Frankenstein clone Herman Munster). He was very tall and had a resonant, baritone voice ...

Navy - WWII.

74. Earl Holliman

Actor | Forbidden Planet

Louisiana-born actor Earl Holliman, after a stint in the Navy, studied at UCLA and the Pasadena Playhouse before earning his break in the Martin/Lewis comedy Scared Stiff (1953). He gained clout after portraying a variety of young, manly characters in rugged westerns and war drama, ranging from dim...

Navy - lied about his age and enlisted during World War II. A year after he enlisted, the Navy discovered his real age and discharged him.

75. Rock Hudson

Actor | Giant

Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. in Winnetka, Illinois, to Katherine (Wood), a telephone operator, and Roy Harold Scherer, an auto mechanic. He was of German, Swiss-German, English, and Irish descent. His parents divorced when he was eight years old. He failed to obtain parts in school ...

Navy - served in the Philippines as an aircraft mechanic during World War II.

76. Dean Jones

Actor | The Love Bug

Dean Jones was born on Sunday, January 25th, 1931 in Decatur, Alabama, USA as Dean Carroll Jones. He is an actor, best known for Beethoven (1992) , The Love Bug (1968), Clear and Present Danger (1994), and especially St. John in Exile (1986). He has two daughters from his first marriage to Mae ...

Navy - Korean War.

77. Harvey Korman

Actor | Blazing Saddles

Harvey Korman was a lanky, popular TV comedy veteran with a flair for broad comic characterizations, who shone for a decade as leading man and second banana par excellence on The Carol Burnett Show (1967) but failed to find much success in his own projects.

Harvey Herschel Korman was born in Chicago...

Navy - WWII.

78. Vincent Pastore

Actor | The Sopranos

Vincent Pastore was born on July 14, 1946 in Bronx, New York, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for The Sopranos (1999), Revolver (2005) and Shark Tale (2004).

Navy.

79. Aldo Ray

Actor | The Secret of NIMH

Aldo DaRe was born in the borough of Pen Argyl, in Northampton County, Pennsylvania on 25 September 1926. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, served as a US Navy frogman during WWII and saw action on Iwo Jima.

While constable of Crockett, California, he drove his brother Guido to ...

Navy - In 1944, at age 18, he entered the Navy, serving as a frogman until 1946; he saw action at Okinawa with UDT-17.

80. Don Rickles

Actor | Kelly's Heroes

Don Rickles was born May 8, 1926 in New York. After the Golden Era of Hollywood ended, Don Rickles was, until early 2017, one man still living to tell his tales. One of the most respected talents in entertainment, Rickles got his start in the night clubs, toiling for over 20 years, until 1958, when...

Navy - served during World War II on the USS Cyrene.

81. Harry Dean Stanton

Actor | Alien

Prolific character actor Harry Dean Stanton's drooping, weather-beaten appearance and superb acting talent have been his ticket to appearing in over 100 films, and 50 TV episodes.

Stanton was born in West Irvine, Kentucky, to Ersel (Moberly), a cook, and Sheridan Harry Stanton, a barber and tobacco ...

Navy - WWII. Served as a cook aboard an LST during the Battle of Okinawa

82. Robert Stack

Actor | Airplane!

"Straight Shooting" - whether skeet shooting, or portraying Eliot Ness, Robert Stack always tells it like it is, and shoots straight. Robert was the second child of Elizabeth Modini Wood (who named him Charles after his grandfather) and James Langford Stack (who changed his name to Robert, after no...

Navy - WWII. Served as a gunnery instructor.

83. Soupy Sales

Actor | Black Scorpion

Soupy Sales was born on January 8, 1926 in Franklinton, North Carolina, USA as Milton Supman. He was an actor, known for Black Scorpion (2001), The Innocent and the Damned (2005) and A Dirty Shame (2004). He was married to Trudy Carson and Barbara Fox. He died on October 22, 2009 in The Bronx, New ...

Navy - served on the USS Randall (APA-224) in the South Pacific.

84. Larry Storch

Actor | The Great Race

As a kid in the 1930s growing up in a tough New York neighborhood, kinetic wiseguy Larry Storch took in the multi-ethnic flavor of his surroundings and started blurting out various accents as a juvenile to provoke laughs and earn attention. Little did he know that this early talent would take him ...

Navy - WWII. Served on the submarine tender USS Proteus with Tony Curtis.

85. Buck Taylor

Actor | Cowboys & Aliens

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum "Hall of Great Western Performers" Inductee, and Multi-Western Heritage Award Winner, most recently for roles in the critically acclaimed movie "Hell or High Water" (Outstanding Theatrical, 2017),"Road to Valhalla" (Outstanding Documentary, 2015) and "Truce...

Navy - served two years.

86. Spencer Tracy

Actor | Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Spencer Tracy was born four years after his brother Carroll to truck salesman John Edward and Caroline Brown Tracy. He attended Marquette Academy along with Pat O'Brien and the two left school to enlist in the Navy at the start of World War I. He was still at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia at the ...

Navy - served one year.

87. Lee Van Cleef

Actor | Escape from New York

One of the great movie villains, Clarence Leroy Van Cleef, Jr. was born in Somerville, New Jersey, to Marion Lavinia (Van Fleet) and Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef, Sr. His parents were both of Dutch ancestry. Van Cleef started out as an accountant. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard minesweepers and sub ...

Navy - WWII. Served aboard a submarine chaser in the Caribbean Sea, then in the Black and China seas on a mine sweeper

88. Jesse Ventura

Actor | Predator

Jesse Ventura was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Bernice Martha (Lenz), a nurse who was of German descent, and George William Janos, a steam fitter of Slovak ancestry. In November 1990, professional wrestler turned actor Jesse Ventura was elected to a four-year term as mayor of Brooklyn Park, ...

Navy - served as an Underwater Demolition Team member during the Vietnam War

89. Bob Crane

Actor | Hogan's Heroes

Handsome Bob Crane had many careers including working as a disc jockey for a while. He started acting around the age of 33. One of his first acting jobs was in Return to Peyton Place (1961). After a guest appearance on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) and a supporting role on The Donna Reed Show (1958)...

Army National Guard - served two years.

90. Bob Gunton

Actor | The Shawshank Redemption

Bob Gunton was born on November 15, 1945 in Santa Monica, California, USA as Robert Patrick Gunton Jr. He is an actor, known for The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Daredevil (2015) and Mountain Top (2017). He has been married to Carey Pitts since August 26, 2006. He was previously married to Annie ...

Army - '69-'71. Vietnam. Awarded a Bronze Star for valor.

91. James Hampton

Actor | Sling Blade

Raised in Dallas, Texas, James Hampton attended John H. Reagan Elementary, N.R. Crozier Technical High School and the University of North Texas (Theatre Arts Major). He studied acting with Michael Howard in New York and Leonard Nimoy in Los Angeles. He worked with Baruch Lumet at Knox Street ...

Army - 6th cavalry regiment.

92. Clifton James

Actor | Live and Let Die

Blustery, stocky, loud although often genial character actor who has created a niche for himself playing often frustrated and fast talking Southern characters... most noticeably as Sheriff J.W. Pepper alongside Roger Moore in the James Bond adventures Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the ...

Army - WWII. served forty-two months in the South Pacific, from January 1942 until August 1945. His decorations include: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Infantry Badge.

93. Ted Knight

Actor | Mary Tyler Moore

Actor Ted Knight paid his dues with nearly two decades of relatively obscure dramatic, often villainous television work, before finding enduring fame in a scene-stealing supporting turn on a classic 1970s sitcom, hilariously overplaying a silver-haired, self-important imbecile. Although the ...

Army - WWII. Combat engineers. European theater.

94. Sidney Poitier

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with ...

Army.

95. Tucker Smallwood

Actor | Contact

Tucker Smallwood, the eldest son of an educator and diplomat, was a NBC television director before being drafted into the US Army in 1967. He was commissioned as an Infantry Officer and served as an OCS Tactical Officer at Fort Benning, before undergoing Vietnamese language training and jump school...

Army - '67-'70. Commanded a Mobile Advisory Team during the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action.

96. Wes Studi

Actor | The Last of the Mohicans

From small-town Oklahoma native to internationally acclaimed actor and musician, Wes Studi credits his passion and multi-faceted background for his powerful character portrayals that forever changed a Hollywood stereotype. Within a few years of his arrival in Hollywood, Studi caught the attention ...

Army - drafted in '67 and served in Vietnam.

97. Stuart Whitman

Actor | The Comancheros

Stuart Maxwell Whitman is an American leading man, known for his rugged roles. He was born in San Francisco, California, the elder of two sons of Cecilia (Gold) and Joseph Whitman, a realtor. His mother was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his paternal grandparents were Polish Jews. His family ...

Army - three years in the Army Corps of Engineers.

98. Fred Willard

Actor | Best in Show

Fred Willard radiates a unique charm that has established him as one of the industry's most gifted comic actors, first coming to prominence as ambitious but dimwitted sidekick Jerry Hubbard to Martin Mull's smarmy talk-show host Barth Gimble in the devastating satirical series Fernwood Tonight (...

Army.

99. Jack Warden

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Jack Warden was born John Warden Lebzelter, Jr. on September 18, 1920 in Newark, New Jersey, to Laura M. (Costello) and John Warden Lebzelter. His father was of German and Irish descent, and his mother was of Irish ancestry. Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, at the age of seventeen, young Jack ...

Navy - '38-'42 and Army '42-'45. WWII. served in the 101st airborne division.

100. Don Adams

Actor | Get Smart

Don Adams was born in New York, to a father of Hungarian Jewish descent, and a mother of German and Irish ancestry. He had a sister, Gloria, and a brother, Dick Yarmy. He served in the U.S. Marines in World War II and contracted malaria during the fighting on Guadalcanal island. After the war he ...

Marines - WWII. Wounded in action on Guadalcanal. Also served as a drill instructor.



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