Many famous American military veterans went on to have illustrious careers in the 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 surprising military men include Tool front man Maynard James Keenan, comedian Drew Carey, and rapper Ice-T.
Do you think that serving in the military gave these famous people the discipline they needed to succeed in their careers? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Oliver Stone served in the Vietnam War, and made Platoon based on his experiences.
William Oliver Stone is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and military veteran. Stone came to public prominence between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s for writing and directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, in which he had participated as an infantry soldier. Many of ...more
Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
Profession: Television director, Soldier, Television producer, Film Producer Screenwriter, + more
Credits: Platoon, JFK, Natural Born Killers, Any Given Sunday
#75 on The Most Beloved US Veteranssee more on Oliver Stone
"Million Dollar Baby" director Clint Eastwood was drafted by the US Army during the Korean War.
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and politician. He rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy of spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s, and as antihero cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty ...more
Birthplace: California, United States of America
Profession: Film Score Composer, Businessperson, Politician, Pianist Television producer, + more
Credits: Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, Unforgiven, Rawhide
Also Rankedsee more on Clint Eastwood
Elvis Presley joined the US Army in 1958.
Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "the King of Rock and Roll", or simply, "the King". Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and when he was 13 years old, he and his family ...more
Age: Died at 42 (1935-1977)
Birthplace: Tupelo, Mississippi, United States of America
Profession: Soldier, Musician, Actor, Singer
Credits: Love Me Tender, Blue Hawaii, Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas
#3 on The Best Rock Vocalistssee more on Elvis Presley
"Bucket List" Morgan Freeman served in the US Air Force.
Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, and narrator. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus, and won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby. He has also won a ...more
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America
Profession: Businessperson, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor Voice acting, + more
Credits: The Shawshank Redemption, Se7en, Driving Miss Daisy, Million Dollar Baby
Also Rankedsee more on Morgan Freeman
Chuck Norris served in the US Airforce.
Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris is an American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his rise to fame as a martial artist, and has since founded his own school, Chun Kuk Do. Norris appeared in a number of action films, such as Way of ...more
Birthplace: Ryan, Oklahoma, United States of America
Profession: Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Author Actor, + more
Credits: The Way of the Dragon, Missing in Action, The Delta Force, The Expendables 2
#48 on The Most Beloved US Veteranssee more on Chuck Norris
"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak served in the US Army during the Vietnam War.
Pat Sajak is an American television personality, former weatherman, actor and talk show host, best known as the host of the American television game show Wheel of Fortune. ...more
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Profession: Talk show host, Television producer, Game Show Host, Film Producer Radio personality, + more
Credits: The Price Is Right, Airplane II: The Sequel, Wheel of Fortune, Wheel of Fortune's daytime version Pat Sajak Weekend, + more
#67 on The Most Beloved US Veteranssee more on Pat Sajak
Jimi Hendrix joined the Army after being caught stealing cars. He was given the choice of Army or prison.
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th ...more
Age: Died at 28 (1942-1970)
Birthplace: Washington, Area code 206, Western United States, Northwestern United States United States of America, + more
Profession: Record producer, Guitarist, Songwriter, Entrepreneur Musician, + more
Credits: Almost Famous, Wayne's World, Point Break, Minions
#52 on The Best Rock Vocalists
#88 on The Best Singers of All Timesee more on Jimi Hendrix
Musician Marvin Gaye enlisted in the US Air Force, but was discharged after he faked a mental illness.
Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter and musician. Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown Records, first as an in house session player in the 1960s and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, including How Sweet It Is and I Heard It Through the Grapevine, and duet recordings with ...more
Age: Died at 45 (1939-1984)
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America
Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter Composer, + more
Credits: Se7en, Zodiac, Transformers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
#30 on The Best Rock Vocalists
#11 on The Best Singers of All Timesee more on Marvin Gaye