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July 24, 2016, 09:46:51 AM
567534 Posts in 43565 Topics by 5674 Members
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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Entertainment  |  Before They Were Famous « previous next »
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Author Topic: Before They Were Famous  (Read 296 times)
BoyScoutKevin
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« on: June 08, 2016, 03:51:09 PM »

This s in no way meant to be a slight of any who served with honor in their countries' armed forces, but . . .?! I had to make some restrictions in this list to make it manageable.

1st. The military service had to be sometime within this century or the past century.

2nd. The list is restricted to "artists" (i.e. actors, writers, etc.)

3rd. While there have been "famous" people who joined the military, this list is restricted, for the most part, to those "famous" people who joined the military, before they were famous.

I have wanted to do this for a long time. Thus, I hope everyone finds it as interesting as I have.

Don Adams
comedian
WWII U.S. Marines
saw action on Guadalcanal
Stateside
became a drill sergeant
from whence he learned his clipped cadence of speaking.

To be continued . . .
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2016, 01:58:48 PM »

Continuing . . .

Isaac Asimov
writer
post-WWII U.S. Army
Barely escaped taking part in the atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll, when he was discharged from the military, just days before the tests began.

Richard "Dick" Bakalyn
actor
Korean War U.S. Air force

Charles Bickford
actor
WWI U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Humphrey Bogart
actor
WWI U.S. Navy
There are 2 stories on how he got his scarred lip.
1st. He caught his lip on a splinter, when he was 12.
2nd. While in the Navy, he was escorting a man to prison, who took umbrage, where he was going, so he hit Bogie across the mouth, with the manacles, the man was wearing. Bogie then pulled out the .45 he was wearing and shot the man.
"When legends become fact, print the legend."

Richard "Have Gun Will Travel" Boone
actor
WWII U.S. Navy

Neville Brand
actor
WWII U.S. Army
saw action in Europe
recipient of the Silver Star and a Purple Heart
A voracious reader, he once had one of the biggest private libraries in the U.S. O'er 30,000 volumes. Most of which were lost in one of the brushfires that plagued the Malibu Hills.

Charles Bronson
actor
WWII U.S. Army Air Corps
tail gunner
saw action in the skies o'er Europe
flew 25 missions in a B-29.
recipient of a Purple Heart

. . . to be continued.
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RCMerchant
Bela
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2016, 09:04:46 AM »

Bela Lugosi
actor
WW1-served in the Hungarian army from 1914-1916

Lugosi's own words-

 “There was a moment I could never forget. We were protecting a forest from the Russians. All of us were cowering beneath huge trees, each man beneath a tree. A young officer incautious, went a little way out of cover and a bullet struck his breast. I forgot the Russians were firing from their line with machine guns. Not a selfless man…I ran to him and gave him first aid. I came back to my tree and found out that it had been blown to the heavens in heavy crushing pieces. I became hysterical. I wept there on the forest floor, like a child…not from fear, not even from relief…from gratitude at how God had paid me back for having that good heart.”

He was badly wounded in 1916 and was given a medal .



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\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
RCMerchant
Bela
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2016, 09:19:12 AM »

Ed Wood Jr.
director,writer,actor
WWII-In 1942, Wood enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, just months after the Attack on Pearl Harbor. Assigned to the 2nd Defense Battalions, he reached the rank of Corporal before he was discharged. He was involved in the Battle of Tarawa, among others, and during the war, he lost his two front teeth to a Japanese soldier's rifle butt and was shot several times in the leg by a machine gunner. Wood later claimed that he feared being wounded in battle more than he feared being killed because he wore a bra and panties under his uniform.

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\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
RCMerchant
Bela
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 0
Posts: 12462


"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2016, 09:33:58 AM »

Jack Kirby
comic book artist & writer
WWII- Kirby was drafted into the U.S. Army on June 7, 1943. After basic training at Camp Stewart, near Savannah, Georgia, he was assigned to Company F of the 11th Infantry Regiment. He landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy on August 23, 1944, two-and-a-half months after D-Day, though Kirby's reminiscences would place his arrival just 10 days after.Kirby recalled that a lieutenant, learning that comics artist Kirby was in his command, made him a scout who would advance into towns and draw reconnaissance maps and pictures, an extremely dangerous duty.

Kirby and his wife corresponded regularly by v-mail, with Roz sending "him a letter a day" while she worked in a lingerie shop and lived with her mother at 2820 Brighton 7th Street in Brooklyn. During the winter of 1944, Kirby suffered severe frostbite on his lower extremities and was taken to a hospital in London, England, for recovery. Doctors considered amputating Kirby's legs, but he eventually recovered from the frostbite. He returned to the United States in January 1945, assigned to Camp Butner in North Carolina, where he spent the last six months of his service as part of the motor pool. Kirby was honorably discharged as a Private First Class on July 20, 1945, having received a Combat Infantryman Badge and a European/African/Middle Eastern Theater ribbon with a bronze battle star.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2016, 09:36:31 AM by RCMerchant » Logged

\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
indianasmith
Archeologist, Theologian, Elder Scrolls Addict, and a
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A good bad movie is like popcorn for the soul!


« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2016, 09:50:02 AM »

LOVED the story about Bela Lugosi!!!  Thanks, RC!  Cheers
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RCMerchant
Bela
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"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2016, 10:41:51 AM »

LOVED the story about Bela Lugosi!!!  Thanks, RC!  Cheers

Yer welcome.  Smile

Forrest J Ackerman
Literary publicist,editor,writer,actor
WWII- Spent three years in the U.S. Army after enlisting on August 15, 1942, where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant, held the position of editor of his base's newspaper, and passed his entire time in service at Fort MacArthur, California.

These were the only pics I could find of FJA in uniform-far left-top and bottom.

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\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
RCMerchant
Bela
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 0
Posts: 12462


"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2016, 10:56:35 AM »

Christopher Lee
actor
WWII-When World War II broke out, Lee volunteered to fight for the Finnish forces during the Winter War in 1939. He and other British volunteers were kept away from actual fighting, but they were issued winter gear and were posted on guard duty a safe distance from the front lines. After a fortnight, they returned home. Lee returned to work at United States Lines and found his work more satisfying, feeling that he was contributing. In early 1940, he joined Beecham's, at first as an office clerk, then as a switchboard operator. When Beecham's moved out of London, he joined the Home Guard. In the winter, his father fell ill with double pneumonia and died on 12 March 1941. Realising that he had no inclination to follow his father into the Army, Lee decided to join up while he still had some choice of service, and volunteered for the Royal Air Force.

Lee reported to RAF Uxbridge for training and was then posted to the Initial Training Wing at Paignton. After he had passed his exams in Liverpool, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan meant that he travelled on the Reina del Pacifico to South Africa, then to his posting at Hillside, at Bulawayo in Southern Rhodesia. Training with de Havilland Tiger Moths, Lee was having his penultimate training session before his first solo flight, when he suffered from headaches and blurred vision. The medical officer hesitantly diagnosed a failure of his optic nerve, and he was told he would never be allowed to fly again. Lee was devastated, and the death of a fellow trainee from Summer Fields only made him more despondent. His appeals were fruitless, and he was left with nothing to do. He was moved around to different flying stations, before going to Salisbury in December 1941. He then visited the Mazowe Dam, Marandellas, the Wankie Game Reserve and the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. Thinking he should "do something constructive for my keep", he applied to join RAF Intelligence. His superiors praised his initiative, and he was seconded into the Rhodesian Police Force and was posted as a warder at Salisbury Prison.He was then promoted to leading aircraftman and moved to Durban in South Africa, before travelling to Suez on the Nieuw Amsterdam.

After "killing time" at RAF Kasfareet near the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal Zone, he resumed intelligence work in the city of Ismaïlia. He was then attached to No. 205 Group RAF before being commissioned as a pilot officer at the end of January 1943, and attached to No. 260 Squadron RAF as an intelligence officer. As the North African Campaign progressed, the squadron "leapfrogged" between Egyptian airstrips, from RAF El Daba to Maaten Bagush and on to Mersa Matruh. They lent air support to the ground forces and bombed strategic targets. Lee, "broadly speaking, was expected to know everything." The Allied advance continued into Libya, through Tobruk and Benghazi to the Marble Arch and then through El Agheila, Khoms and Tripoli, with the squadron averaging five missions a day. As the advance continued into Tunisia, with the Axis forces digging themselves in at the Mareth Line, Lee was almost killed when the squadron's airfield was bombed. After breaking through the Mareth Line, the squadron made their final base in Kairouan. After the Axis surrender in North Africa in May 1943, the squadron moved to Zuwarah in Libya in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily. They then moved to Malta, and, after its capture by the British Eighth Army, the Sicilian town of Pachino, before making a permanent base in Agnone Bagni. At the end of July 1943, Lee received his second promotion of the year, this time to flying officer. After the Sicilian campaign was over, Lee came down with malaria for the sixth time in under a year, and was flown to a hospital in Carthage for treatment. When he returned, the squadron was restless, frustrated with a lack of news about the Eastern Front and the Soviet Union in general, and with no mail from home or alcohol. Unrest spread and threatened to turn into mutiny. Lee, by now an expert on Russia, talked them into resuming their duties, which much impressed his commanding officer.


Flying Officer C. F. C. Lee in Vatican City, 1944, soon after the Liberation of Rome
After the Allied invasion of Italy, the squadron was based in Foggia and Termoli during the winter of 1943. Lee was then seconded to the Army during an officer's swap scheme. He spent most of this time with the Gurkhas of the 8th Indian Infantry Division during the Battle of Monte Cassino. While spending some time on leave in Naples, Lee climbed Mount Vesuvius, which erupted three days later. During the final assault on Monte Cassino, the squadron was based in San Angelo, and Lee was nearly killed when one of the planes crashed on takeoff, and he tripped over one of its live bombs. After the battle, the squadron moved to airfields just outside Rome, and Lee visited the city, where he met his mother's cousin, Nicolò Carandini, who had fought in the Italian resistance movement. In November 1944, Lee was promoted to flight lieutenant and left the squadron in Iesi to take up a posting at Air Force HQ. Lee took part in forward planning and liaison, in preparation for a potential assault into the rumoured German Alpine Fortress. After the war ended, Lee was invited to go hunting near Vienna and was then billeted in Pörtschach am Wörthersee. For the final few months of his service, Lee, who spoke fluent French and German, among other languages, was seconded to the Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects. Here, he was tasked with helping to track down Nazi war criminals. Of his time with the organisation, Lee said: "We were given dossiers of what they'd done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority ... We saw these concentration camps. Some had been cleaned up. Some had not."He retired from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of flight lieutenant.

No wonder he was-and IS- SIR Christopher Lee!

Logged

\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
RCMerchant
Bela
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 0
Posts: 12462


"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2016, 11:16:10 AM »

Buster Keaton
actor
WWI-
Buster Keaton was assigned to the 40th Division. 159th Infantry. Company C on July 24. 19 18. Buster reported for duty at Camp Kearney. California in July of 1918. The nickname for the 40th Division was The Sunshine Division and it was organized in 1917 from National Guard troops from California and 5 other states. After two weeks of training at Camp Kearney, Buster's division was transferred to Camp Mills on Long Island. New York. This was the final training camp before troops were sent overseas. From Camp Mills, Buster Keaton embarked on a troop ship HMS Otranto to Liverpool. England before being sent to his base camp in France.
After some additional training in England. Buster Keaton arrived in France. The troops would travel for days in overcrowded boxcars which were know as 40-and-8s, but the troops nicknamed them "The devil's gift to transportation." Conditions awaiting a soldier during the 1st World War were very harsh. Food was in short supply and adequate housing for the troops was simply unavailable. Keaton would later recall his own personal experiences: "We slept in circular tents ... our feet in the center and our heads close to the drafts from the great outdoors. This was the beginning of an experience I have never forgotten. During my seven months as a soldier in France, I slept every night but one on the ground or on the floor of mills. barns and stables.

"There is always a draft close to the floor of such farm buildings, and I soon developed a cold which imperiled my hearing. Before I was overseas a month, my superiors had to shout orders at me. I had become almost stone deaf due to my being exposed to floor drafts each night. "Late one night, I had a narrow escape while coming back from a card game. A sentry challenged me and I didn't hear his demand for the password or the two warnings he gave me after that. Then he pulled back the breech of his gun, prepared to shoot. My life was saved by my sixth sense which enabled me to hear that gun click and stopped me dead in my tracks. "After bawling me out, the sentry listened to my explanation and got me past a second guard. From that day on-the fear of losing my hearing drove me half crazy permanently." For the rest of Keaton's life he would remain deaf in one ear. Many enlisted men from each company put together their own form of entertainment to entertain the troops and boost morale.



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\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
RCMerchant
Bela
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 0
Posts: 12462


"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2016, 11:30:15 AM »

Josephine Baker
musician
WWII-a major celebrity in Europe and a symbol of the 1920s Jazz Age. Her scorn for the Nazis’ racism coupled with her gratitude toward France, where she first experienced stardom, led Baker to serve during the war as an operative for the French Resistance. Her performing career enabled her to travel around Europe without attracting suspicion, and she attended numerous parties at embassies, gleaning whatever military and political information she could that might aid the Resistance, often smuggling intelligence secrets on invisible ink on her sheet music. She also used her chateau in southern France to hide Jewish refugees as well as weapons for the cause.
Yeah-she was already pretty famous-but DAM-I'm impressed!

« Last Edit: July 09, 2016, 11:32:35 AM by RCMerchant » Logged

\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
BoyScoutKevin
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 197
Posts: 3722


« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2016, 12:47:13 PM »

I want to thank RC Merchant for all those stories he posted. If anyone has any more stories, please be sure to post them, as I am sure we will all be glad to read them. Continuing with that . . .

Nigel Bruce
actor
WWI British Army
in one action was shot 11 times
which left him confined to a wheelchair for several weeks.

James M. Cain
writer
WWI U.S. Army
writer for the Army Times

Michael Caine
born Maurice Micklewhite
Korean War British Army

Raymond Chandler
writer
WWI Canadian Army
later the Royal Flying Corp

James Clavell
writer
WWII Royal Artillery
saw action on Java
as a teen, spent 3 years in a Japanese P.O.W. camp before being released

Sean "Bond. James Bond" Connery
actor
Royal Navy

William Conrad
actor
WWII U.S. Army Air Corp
fighter pilot
flew the P-39 Air cobra
once flying it under San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge (California)

To be continued . . .
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RCMerchant
Bela
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 0
Posts: 12462


"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


WWW
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2016, 02:14:13 PM »

Update!!!
I found this unusual photo of Bela Lugosi during his military duty-check out the Kaiser type 'stache!

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\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
RCMerchant
Bela
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 0
Posts: 12462


"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


WWW
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2016, 02:23:09 PM »

Basil Rathbone
actor
WWI- After basic training with the London Scots in early 1916 he received a commission as a lieutenant in the 2/10th Battalion of the King's Liverpool Regiment (Liverpool Scottish), where he served as an intelligence officer and eventually attained the rank of captain. Rathbone's younger brother John was killed in action on 4 June 1918. It was after this that Rathbone convinced his superiors to allow him to scout enemy positions during daylight rather than at night, as was the usual practice to minimize the chance of detection. Rathbone describes it thus in his autobiography "Camouflage suits had been made for us to resemble trees. On our heads were wreaths of freshly plucked foliage, our faces and hands were blackened with burnt cork."  As a result of these highly dangerous daylight raids In September 1918, he was awarded the Military Cross for "conspicuous daring and resource on patrol".



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\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
RCMerchant
Bela
B-Movie Kraken
*****

Karma: 0
Posts: 12462


"Charlie,we're in HELL!"-"yeah,ain't it groovy?!"


WWW
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2016, 02:49:00 PM »

Claude Rains
actor
WWI-Rains served in the First World War in the London Scottish Regiment. At one time, he was involved in a gas attack that left him nearly blind in one eye for the rest of his life. By the end of the war, he had risen from the rank of Private to that of Captain.

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\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Slobber Drool Drip Has Risen From the Grave-

http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."
ER
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 445
Posts: 2568



« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2016, 03:07:35 PM »

Bela Lugosi
actor
WW1-served in the Hungarian army from 1914-1916

Lugosi's own words-

 “There was a moment I could never forget. We were protecting a forest from the Russians. All of us were cowering beneath huge trees, each man beneath a tree. A young officer incautious, went a little way out of cover and a bullet struck his breast. I forgot the Russians were firing from their line with machine guns. Not a selfless man…I ran to him and gave him first aid. I came back to my tree and found out that it had been blown to the heavens in heavy crushing pieces. I became hysterical. I wept there on the forest floor, like a child…not from fear, not even from relief…from gratitude at how God had paid me back for having that good heart.”

He was badly wounded in 1916 and was given a medal .






I'd never heard that, RC. Incredible. Wow.
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