What would the world be like without Hollywood? More importantly, where would we be without our heroic Veterans? Hollywood and the branches of the military go hand in hand. Taking into consideration that Hollywood has produced many award winning movies centered on our military; we thought you may enjoy a partial listing of citizens of note who have proudly served their country and have earned the right to be honored as Veterans.
Jimmy Stewart (1908-1997) Actor In 1940, Jimmy Stewart was drafted into the United States Army, but ended up being rejected due to being five pounds under the required weight, given his height (at the time he weighed 143 pounds). Once he had gained a little weight, he enlisted with the Army Air Corps in March of 1941 and was eventually accepted, once he convinced the enlisting officer to re-run the tests. By July of 1944, Stewart was promoted chief of staff of the 2nd Combat Bombardment wing of the Eighth Air Force. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to the rank of colonel, becoming one of only a handful of American soldiers to ever rise from private to colonel within a four year span.
It should be noted that Jimmy Stewart rose to the rank of colonel in the Army Air Corps.
Clark Gable – (1901 – 1960) Actor After the death of his wife actress Carole Lombard, Clark Gable enlisted in the Army Air Force at age 41. Before his discharge in 1944 Gable served as a tail-gunner on five bombing missions over Germany and made a propaganda film for the Army.
Mickey Rooney (1920– 2014) Actor, Singer, Dancer Pint-size, precocious actor and all-around talent whose more than 80-year career spanned silent comedies, Shakespeare, Judy Garland musicals, Andy Hardy stardom, television and the Broadway theater.
Tony Bennett – Singer, Artist Served in the Army in 1944 during WWII. After basic training, Bennett was assigned to the 63rd Infantry Division (the “Blood and Fire” Division) where he served in France and Germany.
Telly Savalas (1922-1994) Actor, Talk Show Host In 1941, he joined the army and served in World War II, from which he was discharged with a Purple Heart disability. After his release, Savalas attended the Armed Forces Institute where he studied radio and television production.
Charles Schultz (1922-2000) Creator of Comic Strip “Peanuts” Served during WWII. Began his Army career at Camp Campbell, Kentucky in 1943 and was honorably discharged in 1945.
Charles Osgood – News Anchor, Radio Host, Journalist Charles Osgood served from 1955 to 1959 and served as a member of “Pershing’s Own” Army Band as well as the Army Chorus. Osgood has also served as master of ceremonies for the Army Concert Band.
Jack Palance (1919-2006) Actor Palance left college to pursue a professional boxing career, however, when an injury forced him to quit, he joined the Army Air Force as a bomber pilot. He attended Stanford University on the G.I Bill.
Tim Conway – Actor, Comedian Upon graduation from college in 1956 Conway did a tour of duty in the Army.
Joe Flynn – Actor Spent three years in the Army medical corps before moving to California to pursue his acting career.
Oliver Stone – Director, Screenwriter Stone enlisted in the Army in April of 1967 He took basic and advanced infantry training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Stone completed his tour of duty and was discharged in late November 1968. He was awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.
Sugar Ray Robinson (1921-1989) Boxer Sugar Ray Robinson was inducted under his legal name of Walker Smith, Jr. on February 27, 1943, where he served for 15 months.
Buster Keaton – Actor, Comedian Keaton served in France with the 40th Infantry Division during World War I. His unit remained intact and was not broken up to provide replacements, as happened to some other late-arriving divisions.
Jimi Hendrix – (1942-1970) Singer, Guitarist, Songwriter In 1961, he enlisted in the Army; he was granted an honorable discharge the following year.