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Don't confuse an actor with the role they play.


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Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering. Awarded a Fulbright scholarship to MIT for a PhD program but decided to go into acting instead.


Masters of Arts from Yale. Fluent in five languages, including Russian. Served as a US Army counter-intelligence officer during the Korean War.


Pulled every string he could to keep from serving in WWII.



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  • Snargfargle changed the title to Don't confuse an actor with the role they play.

OP, you might need to update the thread title.  🙂

Hedy Lamarr, once described by German actor-director Max Reinhardt as "the most beautiful woman in Europe," shared a U.S. patent for a frequency-hopping device designed to guide radio-controlled torpedoes while making them more difficult to detect in the water.


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Eddie Albert, from Green Acres.


Before World War II, and before his film career, Albert had toured Mexico as a clown and high-wire artist with the Escalante Brothers Circus, but secretly worked for U.S. Army intelligence, photographing German U-boats in Mexican harbors.

On September 9, 1942, Albert enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and was discharged in 1943 to accept an appointment as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for his actions during the invasion of Tarawa in November 1943, when, as the coxswain of a US Navy landing craft, he rescued 47 Marines who were stranded offshore (and supervised the rescue of 30 others), while under heavy enemy machine-gun fire.


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Can't believe I forgot about Jimmy Stewart.


James “Jimmy” Stewart was already an Academy Award-winning actor and civilian pilot with 400 logged flight hours when he first enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941. Known for his roles in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and many other classic films, Stewart became the first major Hollywood actor to enlist in the military at the onset of the United States’ entry into World War II.

Stewart initially served as a flight instructor. However, concerned that his celebrity status would hold him back from truly serving, the actor appealed directly to his superiors and was eventually deployed to England, where he served as the commanding officer of the 703d Bomb Squadron. He would later transfer to the 453rd Bombardment Group and flew a total of 20 dangerous combat missions in the B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft; for his actions, he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Cross medals and the French honor of the Croix de Guerre.

After WWII, even as he resumed his acting career, Stewart continued to serve in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, even deploying to Vietnam, and would retire at the rank of brigadier general, making him the highest-ranking actor in American military history.

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I don't think that people are getting the gist of this thread. It's about actors who play characters that are not congruent with the people they are in real life. Jimmy Stewart was a hero both on and off screen, a family hero onscreen and a war hero off screen. His ability to command was amazing. Many historians say that if the war in Europe had lasted three more months that he would have been promoted to major general and put in command of the entire 8th Air Force. While "John Wayne," actually Marion Morrison, pulled strings to be excluded from having to serve, Jimmy Stewart pulled strings to allow him to not only serve, but to serve in combat, where the "brass" really didn't want him because of the PR it would give the Germans if they shot down an American Academy Award winner.

Here's what I mean. Bumbling "Sergeant Shultz" actually served in the US Army Air Force during WWII.



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Julia Child, one of the very early TV chefs. Her wartime trole was with the OSS (precursor to the CIA), she was involved in the organizational side of the OSS but also had some involvement in the development of a shark repellant used to dissuade sharks from munching on underwater explosives designed to sink Japanese submarines. The repellant is apparently still in use today.

Child in her Billet while on deployment with the OSS in Ceylon


And in her more familiar role



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Mel Brooks WW2 veteran

The 1104th ECB became the first unit to throw a bridge across the Roer River, and later on, it built bridges across the Rhine. Brooks’ tasks included clearing minefields and defusing land mines. It was a hairy job, that was made even hairier when he had to do it while exposed to enemy fire. As Brooks described it to Conan O’Brien on his show: “You take a bayonet, and you look for mines – planted mines. And they could blow a tank, I mean they’re big. … You find them, unearth them … if it could blow up a tank, it could certainly take away a Jew in no time“. On at least five occasions, Brooks’ unit had to down their tools and pick up rifles to fight as infantrymen, and took casualties while doing so. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge during the winter of 1944-1945.




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