Many famous American military veterans went on to have illustrious careers in the movie entertainment industry. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly actor Clint Eastwood served in the US Army during the Korean War and almost died when he was involved in a plane crash. The plane landed in the ocean near Fort Ord, CA, and Eastwood was able to swim to safety. Some 40 years later, he won his first Oscar for directing Unforgiven. Other prolific actors who have served in the military include Paul Newman, Morgan Freeman, and Chuck Norris.
Some surprising celebs also served in the military, including musicians and rocks stars. Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia joined the US Army, but left the military 9 months later to study at the Art Institute of San Francisco. Other well known celebrity vets include Tool front man Maynard James Keenan, comedian Drew Carey, and rapper Ice-T.
Bill Cosby joined the Navy and worked as a hospital corpsman.
“Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson served in the Navy.
Mr. T served in the US Army.
Comedy director Mel Brooks served in the US Army during World War II.
Jazz musician John Coltrane enlisted in the Navy and played in their jazz band.
“Price is Right” host Bob Barker served as a fighter pilot in the US Navy during World War II.
Musician Johnny Cash enlisted in the US Air Force.
Musician Shaggy served in the US Marine Corps during the Gulf War.
Tom Selleck served in California’s National Guard.
Rapper Ice-T served in the US Army.
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Sammy Davis Jr. served in the Army during World War II.
Entertainer MC Hammer served in the US Navy.
Author Ernest Hemingway used his served in World War I.
“Cool Hand Luke” star Paul Newman served in the Navy during World War II.
Richard Pryor served in the US Army for two years, but he spent most of that time in army prison.
Rapper Nate Dogg served in the US Marine Corps.
“Sopranos” actor Vincent Pastore served in the US Navy.
James Earl Jones
“Field of Dreams” actor James Earl Jones served in the Korean War.
Actor Mickey Rooney served during World War II.
Talk show host Montel Williams served in the US Marine Corps.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” star James Stewart was rejected from the US Army when he was first drafted because he didn’t meet the weight requirement. He then worked out and bulked up and enlisted as a private.