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Actors Who Were There.....In Real Life Then In Movies.

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Truly an 'Actor who was there' in Korea who also appeared in a film about Korea

 

Not an American, but Michael Caine served with the Royal Fusiliers in Korea in 1951 and was in the film 'A Hill in Korea' made in 1956

 

http://seanlinnane.blogspot.com/2010/09/michael-caine-royal-fusilier_19.html

 

"Whenever I killed someone there was no guilt, no remorse - it didn't feel real. It was during the Korean War and I was just trying to stay alive. It was self-defense. It was always done at night and we never had any idea who we had killed. I didn't even think about it - we had machine guns and we just did it. I never did anything close up or hand-to-hand. It didn't give me nightmares, because the Army brutalizes you. It was like the World War I trenches - half a mile apart - and we were just firing backwards and forwards, so we never knew who any of our victims were as individuals. You never saw the whites of a man's eyes when you killed him."

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I'd Think Jimmy Stewart qualifies too.  In WW2 he was a B-24 bomber pilot in the 8th AF.  Glen Miller happened to perform at the Base in England where Stewart was a Squadron Commander.  10 years later he played Miller, who lost his life in a plane crash flying out of England in 44.

 

Throw in that Stewart was Air Force Reserve in the 50s and he played a bomber commander in "Strategic Air Command" and I think he's a lock.

 

Photos of Stewart in WW2, as Glen Miller and in SAC

My favorite all time actor. A true hero and probably the only Hollywood actor that became a general.

 

 

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Charles Durning was in thr thick of it. He landed in one of the first waves on Omaha and survived the Malmedy massacre. His description of events is very moving:

 

 

 

 

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Can't remember specifics, but i think i recall there being an actor in "A Bridge Too Far" that was involved in the actual armored column in real life...

That was Dirk Bogarde, who played Lieutenant General Browning. He was in intelligence in the British army. He, was sent sent to Arnhem during the battle.

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Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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Actors Who Where There.....In Real Life Then In Movies.

 

Jack Warden, Merchant Marine, US Navy, US Army - Movie Credits included Darby's Rangers, The Thin Red Line, From Here to Eternity, That Kind of Woman, You're in the Navy Now, The Frogmen, Red Ball Express, Run Silent Run Deep, and The Presidio.

 

Warden worked as a nightclub bouncer, tugboat deckhand and lifeguard before joining the United States Navy in 1938. He was stationed for three years in China with the Yangtze River Patrol.
In 1941, he joined the United States Merchant Marine but he quickly tired of the long convoy runs, and in 1942 he moved to the United States Army, where he served as a paratrooper in the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, with the 101st Airborne Division in World War II. In 1944, on the eve of the D-Day invasion (in which many of his friends would die), Warden, now a Staff Sergeant, shattered his leg when he landed in a tree during a night-time practice jump in England. He spent almost eight months in the hospital recuperating, during which time he read a Clifford Odets play and decided to become an actor. Ironically, Warden would later portray a paratrooper from the 101st's rivals – the 82nd Airborne Division – in That Kind of Woman.
After leaving the military, he moved to New York City and studied acting on the G.I. Bill. He joined the company of the Dallas Alley Theatre and performed on stage for five years. In 1948 he made his television debut on the anthology series, The Philco Television Playhouse and Studio One. His first film role, uncredited, was in the 1951 film You're in the Navy Now, a film which also featured the screen debuts of Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson.
From Mark Bando's website: Tom's (Fracassi) former platoon Sgt, Jack Lebzelter, was a stocky redhead from Newark, N.J. Jack left the outfit just before Normandy, after landing on an English fence on a practice night jump and severely breaking his leg. Lebzelter's men had laughed when he announced that after the war he intended to act in movies. Jack Lebzelter now resides in Malibu Beach, CA and is better known to movie fans as Jack Warden. Although his paratrooper buddies phone him from the 501st regimental reunion each year, he refuses to meet them at the reunions. He feels he doesn't belong, because he had to leave the 501 before combat. His buddies have the utmost pride and affection for him, and wish he would attend. Life is short, but such is Jack Warden's personal code of honor.

 

Jack Warden.jpg

Warden.jpg

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Now that's a cool story, and one I never heard of, thanks for sharing salvage sailor

 

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This is a much more recent one. Rudy Reyes served in the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He played himself in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill.


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Always looking for items from these men (family members):
Even if not to buy, to know where they are would be great.
Cornelius Doherty - 108th Field Artillery, Pennsylvania NG, WWI Joseph A. Doherty - 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd ID. KIA March 3, 1944.
Harry Riley - 62nd Armored Field Artillery Bn, Died August 13, 1944. Robert Lester Mahler - I/3/24, 4th Marine Div. WIA March 8, 1945.
Thomas R. Riley - USAAF Joshua L. Doherty - With a Seabee Unit, I believe.
Ens. Alex A. Gorski, USNR - Died as a POW, January 28, 1945. Capt. Henry Gorski, USN (ret.)
Remembering their service and sacrifice.

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I have always been impressed by the Hollywood actors who had made a name for themselves before WWII and entered service and put themselves in harm's way voluntarily. Men like Jimmy Stewart, B-24 8th AF combat pilot rising to full Colonel and command of a group, Tyrone Power, screen idol who enlisted in the USMC and became a pilot flying transport aircraft in the Pacific and Sterling Hayden, a USMC volunteer under an assumed name, who became an officer serving in the OSS earning a Silver Star.

 

Another pre-war star is Wayne Morris who became a Navy fighter pilot and an Ace! A lesser known name than those previously mentioned, he stepped up at age 27 and became a Naval aviator, scoring 7 victories. He died early at age 45 from a heart attack. He co-starred with Kirk Douglas in the great WWI flick, "Paths of Glory", as the cowardly French Lieutenant. His younger brother was a B-17 co-pilot KIA with the 8th AF. Both are buried at Arlington. .......R.I.P.........Bobgee

 

Here's link to his bio.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/bdmorrisjr.htm

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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That was Dirk Bogarde, who played Lieutenant General Browning. He was in intelligence in the British army. He, was sent sent to Arnhem during the battle.

Dirk-Bogarde-in-A-Bridge--003.jpg?w=620&

 

 

1946 British film made on the battlefields of Arnhem using Parachute veterans as actors

 

Theirs is The Glory

Using the original locations of the battle, the film featured veterans who were actual participants in the battle. The film was jointly produced by the J. Arthur Rank Organisation and the Army Film and Photographic Unit (AFPU).
Weaving original footage from the battle with re-enactments shot on location at Oosterbeek and Arnhem, the film was shot a year after the battle had ravaged the Dutch streets. As well as veterans, the film also features local people like Father Dyker (a Dutch civilian priest who conducts the service in the film) and Kate ter Horst (who reads a psalm to the wounded men in the cellar) re-enacting their roles and what they did for the airborne troops during the battle.
Though no credits appear before or after the film, over 200 veterans appeared as actors including Majors CFH "Freddie" Gough and Richard "Dickie" Lonsdale, Lieutenant Hugh Ashmore, Sergeants Jack Bateman and John Daley, Corporal Pearce and Privates Tommy Scullion, Peter Holt, David Parker, George ‘Titch’ Preston, Frank ‘Butch’ Dixon, Reginald Spray, Looker and Van Rijssel and war correspondents Stanley Maxted and Alan Wood. Each veteran was paid £3 per day by the Rank Organisation.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aLbS6J6plE

 

The book "Theirs is the Glory. Arnhem, Hurst and Conflict on Film" by David Truesdale and Allan Esler Smith provides the most comprehensive account of one of the greatest and most unique films of the Second World War "Theirs is the Glory" made by veterans of the battle in 1945. It became the biggest grossing war film in the UK for nearly a decade. Directed by Ulsterman Brian Desmond Hurst, a veteran of the first world war who had been mentored by John Ford in Hollywood, it was Hurst's favorite film. This short film supported the 70th battle anniversary commemorations in 2014.

 

 

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Arthur Franz, actor in multiple war films and TV roles including Eight Iron Men, The Sniper, The Caine Mutiny, Hellcats of the Navy, Sand of Iwo Jima, The Young Lions, Jungle Patrol, Battle Taxi, Anzio, Submarine Command, etc. etc, etc.....

 

During World War II, Franz served as a B-24 Liberator navigator in the United States Army Air Forces. He was shot down over Romania and incarcerated in a POW camp, from which he later escaped.

 

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Another postwar film that used the original participants is the Norwegian-French film about the sabotage of the heavy water facility in Telemark.

 

Operation Swallow: The Battle for Heavy Water

Is the English title. I knew Knut Lier-Hansen, who was involved in the sinking of the ferry transporting the shipment of heavy water to Germany.

 

 

 

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Charles Durning was in thr thick of it. He landed in one of the first waves on Omaha and survived the Malmedy massacre. His description of events is very moving:

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

 

I remember reading about Charles years ago and looked through any of the Ranger battalion rosters to find him and discovered he wasn't in a Ranger battalion and he was not in the 1st wave on Omaha beach. Regardless for his own reasons of not coming forward with the reality of his experiences or how the story got so off track, I still respect him and his service to our country.

 

Here's a pretty detailed write up on his actual service history. I'm not a fan of the somewhat callous title of the article, but it is an excellent account of his wartime experience. https://www.web2carz.com/people/who-you-know/2097/charles-durnings-war-heroism-exaggeration-fabrication


Looking for anything related to Army Ranger Battalions from World War II

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Clark Gable was in the 8th Air Force as a gunner on a B-17. His C.O. would only send him on milk runs fearing the publicity if Gable were to be lost or captured. That ended when Gabe told his C.O. if that continued he was going to call a press conference and let the American people know what was going on. He got his combat missions after that.

He didn't exactly play the same role in the movies, but he got up in the air in "Test Pilot". He went deep rather than high in "Run Silent, Run Deep"


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"Leave the gun - take the cannoli" - Peter Clemenza

War Is The Only Organized Activity Men Participate In That Women Don't Laugh At

Yes, That Is Me In The Profile Picture Ready To Climb Down the Cargo Net A Long Time Ago In A Place Far Away

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Steve McQueen was in the Navy, some say it was the asbestos wrapping used on steam pipes that caused the lung cancer that ended his life. He wore his Whites again in "The Sand Pebbles"


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"Leave the gun - take the cannoli" - Peter Clemenza

War Is The Only Organized Activity Men Participate In That Women Don't Laugh At

Yes, That Is Me In The Profile Picture Ready To Climb Down the Cargo Net A Long Time Ago In A Place Far Away

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Steve McQueen was in the Navy, some say it was the asbestos wrapping used on steam pipes that caused the lung cancer that ended his life. He wore his Whites again in "The Sand Pebbles"

Steve was in the Marine Corps. He was Amtrack Crewman 1947-1950

 

 

 

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