Actors who fought during wartime

Discussions on WW2 and pre-WW2 related movies, games, military art and other fiction.
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Fallschirmjäger
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Thanks

Post by Fallschirmjäger » 28 Dec 2006 09:18

edward_n_kelly wrote:NO - immediate post WW2 and was out of the Army post National Service before Korea started IIRC. Transferred to entertainment at first opportunity.

Michael Caine was an infantryman in Korea - 1st Bn The Royal Fusiliers.

Edward
Thanks edward_n_kelly for that info,and i had herd of michael caine being in korea,but not as an infantryman though i think,so he must have seen some bloody combat maybe with the nth koreans and chinese.Has he ever talked about it though in any bio books of his?,thanks.

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edward_n_kelly
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Post by edward_n_kelly » 29 Dec 2006 01:26

Not that I am aware of and I don't know his trade while in the Fusiliers (though I suspect he was a rifleman).

Wonder if there is a decent biography out there for him ? Found these 70 Not Out: The Biography of Sir Michael Caine by William Hall and What's It All About by Micahel Caine (wonder if there was a ghost writer ?). Have not read any of them to know....

Remember his service would have been as Maurice Micklewhite.

Edward

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Fallschirmjäger
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Post by Fallschirmjäger » 29 Dec 2006 05:20

Ok thanks for the info edward_n_kelly.

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Brian Ross
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Post by Brian Ross » 29 Dec 2006 13:33

I believe I've seen him mention it during one of his interviews on Parkinson. He said it was one of his genuine experiences which he drew upon for his acting. He described being on patrol in "no man's land" as being particularly frightening.

Potsdamerplatz
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Post by Potsdamerplatz » 01 Jan 2007 10:48

RALPH RICHARDSON
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0724732

During World War II he served as a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy.

lwhite
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Post by lwhite » 06 Jan 2007 02:08

Harry Carey Jr. was in the U.S. Navy in WW2 http://www.harrycareyjr.com/

Potsdamerplatz
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Post by Potsdamerplatz » 08 Jan 2007 03:47

DAVID LANGTON
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0486732

Enlisted in the British army in 1939 the war broke out. He first served in the Royal Artillery ending up a Sergeant and was later commissioned in the Northumberland Hussars and ended up a Major. Langton served in France, Germany and Belgium.

Riflechair
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Post by Riflechair » 08 Jan 2007 21:38

James Doohan (Star Trek's 'Scotty')
Royal Canadian Artillery
Fought a Normany

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Pax Melmacia
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Post by Pax Melmacia » 10 Jan 2007 06:18

Christopher Lee served with the RAF in the Mediterranean as a cipher officer after being grounded as a pilot for vision problems. Before that he had volunteered for Finland's Winter War but saw no action. Like Quayle, Lee was apparently connected with Special Operations Executive later in WW2, although it might have been in a support role.
If Lee was stuck in a support role in the SAS, then it was a waste of talent IMHO. I heard the man is so fluent in German that he has appeared in some German language films speaking the language. (You may remember him from such films as '1941' where he played Kriegsmarine Kapitän Kleinschmidt in '1941'. Yes, I know that's a Troy Maclure line. :) )

Camp Upshur
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Post by Camp Upshur » 10 Jan 2007 19:07

Impresario Ed McMahon is a retired reserve Colonel. A WWII F4U aviator, he saw his most combat a a FAC(A) in Korea.

Potsdamerplatz
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Post by Potsdamerplatz » 29 Jan 2007 16:46

A few more actors who served during World War II -

Allan Cuthbertson
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0193862

Served as a Flight Lieutenant in the RAAF from December 1941 to July 1947, based with 111 Squadron Air Sea Rescue Flight.


Laurence Naismith
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0619802

During World War II he served with the Royal Artillery with the final rank of Acting Battery Commander.


Michael Bates
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0060988

During World War II he served as an officer in the Gurkhas.


Best regards.

Potsdamerplatz
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Post by Potsdamerplatz » 06 Feb 2007 20:47

I watched the movie "Green for Danger" this afternoon (excellent murder-mystery) and afterwards I looked up the cast on the Internet Movie Database. I was amazed to find that 2 of the cast members had extraordinary service during the world wars:

LEO GENN
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0312890

As well as being a professional actor who starred in 70 movies, he was also a real-life barrister, graduating to the bar in 1928 (at the young age of only 23).

During World War II he served in the British Army with the Royal Artillery, and in 1943 was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1945 he was awarded the Croix de Guerre and was part of the British unit that investigated war crimes at Belsen concentration camp. He was later an assistant prosecutor at the Belsen War Crimes trial in Lueneburg, Germany, in which Josef Kramer and Irma Grese were convicted and sentenced to death.

RONALD ADAM
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0010580

Ronald Adam was a man who combined an acting career with an extraordinary military career that encompassed being a victim of the Red Baron in World War One to taking his revenge as an RAF fighter controller in the Battle of Britain.

When still only 17 years of age he volunteered to join the British Army on the outbreak of World War One. On December 2nd 1914 he was commissioned as a temporary second Lieutenant in the 15th (reserve) battalion of the Middlesex regiment. He then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) as an observer and then undertook pilot training. Adams then served with 18 squadron and flew Sopwith Camel's with 44 squadron on home defence duties. He then joined 73 squadron, also flying Sopwith Camel's in France. On April 7th 1918 he was shot down near Villers-Brettoneux in northern France. Historians still debate who shot down Adams, some argue his victor was Ltn Hans Kirchstein, but many others think that he was the 78th victim of the legendary Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, known to history as the Red Baron. Adams was wounded and captured and on the evening of his ariel defeat was visited by a German orderly who gave him Von Richthofen's compliments. Ronald Adams spent eight months in hospitals and prison camps before he was re-repatriated on 17th December 1918.

On the outbreak of World War II Ronald Adam rejoined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and during the Battle of Britain which raged over England in the summer of 1940 he was the fighter controller for the Hornchurch sector. No matter how good the RAF's Spitfire and Hurricanes were, they could not be effective unless they could intercept the armada of incoming German planes. It was Wing Commander Ronald Adam's job to co-ordinate the RAF fighter command interceptions from data gathered by radar and ground observers and then dispatch fighters to intercept. It was a vital role in one of histories decisive battles in which the future of western civilization was at stake.


I hope you all find this information as fascinating as I did.

Best regards

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Post by phylo_roadking » 15 Jul 2007 01:55

Coming a little late to this, but have a few things to throw in....

SID JAMES - the ONLY things known about Sid's career in either military or civilian life BEFORE he arrived off a boat in England are what Sid himself said. I've seen him variously described, even on here, as a sergeant and a lieutenant! He was completely evasive about his former life, and talked himself into an acting job - before THAT he was for a short time a ladies' hairstylist in London! Anything he ever said publically or privately about his former acting career has never stood up....so unless anyone here hails from SA and can view his military record, I'd suggest taking it with an equally big pinch of salt! ;-)

JON PERTWEE - he was one of a group of three ratings who volunteered for an accelerated-promotion midshipman's course....and it was to put him and his messmates ashore that the Hood was famously delayed a short time leaving Scapa Flow on her last voyage as well as beaching some civilian workers...

DAVID NIVEN - I've always wondered under what auspices he was released to make The Way Ahead - the famous film where a PzIV turns into a Valentine turns into a PzIV withing five seconds LOL - and it was VERY interesting to note the comment in this thread about Peter Ustinov being his batman....as Ustinov makes his FIRST cinematic appearance in the film as the bar owner in North Africa! But strangely enough - Ustinov in his one-man stage show always alludes to a career in "intelligence" immediately after the war....?

ROD STEIGER - now this is a stange case - there's comment about about how interesting it is this people like Jon Pertwee and Charles Durning were so close to famous historical events....a few years ago a British-made documentary series, Hell In The Pacific, featured among others a suprise interviewee - Rod Steiger...who as a rating onboard a destroyer escorting the USS Hornet with Doolittle's Raiders aboard...was actually one of the machinegunners ordered to fire on the famous unarmed family fishing boats that the task force encountered and forced the Mitchells to loft early. He has carried some considerable personal guilt for this ever since.

Potsdamerplatz
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Post by Potsdamerplatz » 01 Aug 2007 22:06

Thanks for your contributions to the thread phylo, I always enjoy reading your interesting and well-researched posts both here and over at Feldgrau. 8-)

Marlon Brando was particularly unlucky. Twice he tried to join the army and he was turned down on both occasions.

Brando tried to join the US Army during World War II but was rejected due to a knee injury he had sustained while playing football at Shattuck Military Academy. After he made "The Men" in 1950, the Korean War broke out, and he was ordered by the draft board to report for a physical prior to induction. As his knee was better due to an operation, he initially was reclassified from 4-F to 1-A, but the military again rejected him, this time for mental problems, as he was under psychoanalysis.

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waldorf
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Post by waldorf » 02 Aug 2007 01:28

I am not sure if these have been mentioned:

Jackie Coogan - - - Glider pilot during WWII.
Charles Schultz - - - Although not an actor served in the U.S. Army during WWII as a machine-gun squad leader.
Jack Warden - - - paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division during WWII.
Carroll O'Connor - - - Merchant Marine during WWII.
Werner Klemoerer (Col. Klink) - - - Served in U.S. Army entertaining troops.

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