As we honor veterans this month we thought it'd be fun to look back on some of the famous faces that served our country. From Oscar-winning actors to late-night talk show hosts and the "King of Rock and Roll," here are a few A-Listers who share a military past.
The "King of Rock and Roll" was already well on his way to stardom when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1958. He was deployed to the 32nd Battalion in Friedberg, Germany where he eventually met his wife, Priscilla.
Before he was an Oscar-winning actor, Morgan Freeman served in the United States Air Force as a Radar Repairman before earning the rank of Airman First Class. After four years in the military, Freeman moved to Los Angeles to begin his acting career.
Actor Clint Eastwood has more than earned his reputation for being a tough guy when it comes to his films, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he was a fighter in real life as well. Eastwood was drafted during the Korean War in the '50s, serving as a swimming instructor in the U.S. Army thanks to his lifeguard training. In 1951, a bomber he was in crashed in the ocean near Point Reyes. He and the pilot swam three miles to shore.
We know talk-show host Montel Williams thanks to daytime TV, but before his career on screen, Williams joined the U.S. Marines. He impressed his superiors so much that they sent him to the U.S. Naval Academy where he was honorably discharged from the Marines and enlisted as a midshipman in the U.S. Navy. In 1980, he graduated the Academy, becoming the first African-American enlisted marine to do so.
Bea Arthur wasn't always a Golden Girl. The actress, best known for her role as Dorothy on the popular '80s sitcom also spent time as a Marine. Arthur worked as a truck driver and typist for the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve during World War II. Thank you for being a friend and for your service, Bea.
Late-night talk show host Johnny Carson joined the U.S. Navy in 1943, serving as a midshipman on board the USS Pennsylvania. While stationed in the Pacific, he'd often pass the time by entertaining his fellow crewman with magic tricks and stand-up routines.
Before Chuck Norris filled those Texas Ranger boots on TV, he was stationed in South Korea, working as an air policeman for the U.S. Air Force. While there, Norris recieved training in martial arts which might explain why he was so good at taking on the bad guys on screen.
Before he was Darth Vader in a galaxy far, far away, James Earl Jones was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Johnny Cash was one of the most talented musicians of his time but before that, he was a Morse Code Intercept Officer for Soviet transmissions while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Air Force.
The Oscar-winning actor and It's A Wonderful Life star joined the Army Air Corps in 1941. Stewart, who was eager to serve his country during the war, was stationed stateside and later in England, eventually earning the rank as Colonel and flying in 20 dangerous combat missions as a command pilot.
Johnny Carson's famous sidekick served his country during World Warr II as an instructor and test pilot for the Marine Corps. Later, during the Korean War, McMahon was called into service overseas, eventually earning six air medals.
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