Celebrities Who Served

Sgt Elvis Aaron Presley, U.S. Army (1958-1960)

Sgt Elvis Aaron Presley, U.S. Army (1958-1960)

American singer and actor Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), widely recognized as The King of Rock-N-Roll, is the celebrity whose military service is probably best known. He enlisted in the US army at the peak of his career, in 1958, when he was already world-famous and had wide success as a rockabilly and rock-n-roll singer also encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads, and pop music. Elvis Presley: Birth of the Star Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi. He was a twin, but his brother was stillborn. Elvis had a strong bond with his parents, especially with his mother Gladys. His father Vernon was doing odd jobs, and the family often depended on the goodwill of neighbors or government food support. Elvis was an average student at best, but impressed the teachers with his singing. One of the teachers encouraged him to enter a singing contest, which turned out to be Elvis’s first public appearance at the age of...

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Pvt Burt Young, U.S. Marine Corps (1957-1959)

Pvt Burt Young, U.S. Marine Corps (1957-1959)

You may not recognize the name, but you'll recognize the face. Let's be honest: a Burt Young movie marathon is a day well spent. He appeared in more than 160 roles in 50 years in Hollywood, acting alongside the silver screen's most recognizable names: Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, and, of course, Sylvester Stallone.  His credits include "Chinatown," "The Killer Elite" and "Once Upon a Time in America," along with his turn as Paulie in the 1976 film "Rocky." He continued in the role through all of the "Rocky" sequels, but it was his performance in the first film that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.  The Unlikely Journey from Queens Hoodlum to Hollywood Star Burt Young, born Gerald Tommaso DeLouise on April 30, 1940, in Queens, New York, USA, grew up in a family where his father wore many hats—a sheet metal worker, an iceman, and eventually a high school shop teacher and dean. He has Italian-American heritage, which added authenticity to his...

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TSgt Norman Lear, U.S. Army Air Force (1942-1945)

TSgt Norman Lear, U.S. Army Air Force (1942-1945)

Norman Lear, most known for his TV producing as the creator of such shows as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude, Sanford and Son, Different Strokes, Mary Hartman, Mary, One Day at a Time and Good Times, didn't always bask in the glitz of Hollywood. Before crafting iconic television shows, Lear's journey unfolded in the United States Army during World War II. Norman Lear's military service, encompassing various roles and a transformative encounter, marked the inception of a prolific career that spanned seven decades.  Norman Lear’s Early Years Born on July 27, 1922, in New Haven, Connecticut, Norman Milton Lear was 19 years old when the Japanese Nava Air Forces bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. Raised in a Jewish household, Lear's early years were marked by the Great Depression. His family relocated multiple times during his childhood, finally settling in New Haven. During his formative years at Weaver High School in Hartford, Connecticut, Lear displayed a keen interest in music and...

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Clint Eastwood, U.S. Army (1951-1953)

Clint Eastwood, U.S. Army (1951-1953)

Clint Eastwood, the renowned actor and director, did not always grace the red carpets of Hollywood. Prior to becoming the legendary "Man with No Name," Eastwood's path unfolded in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Clint Eastwood's military tenure, spanning from his initial odd jobs to a pivotal encounter, marked the commencement of a 70-year career in the entertainment industry. TogetherWeServed salutes Clint Eastwood for his honorable military service and the indelible mark he has left on the world of entertainment. His legacy serves as a shining example of the incredible achievements that can be realized when talent, hard work, and military values converge. We are proud to celebrate Clint Eastwood's contributions to both our nation and the entertainment industry. Clint Eastwood’s Early Years Clint Eastwood, born on May 31, 1930, at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, California, to Ruth and Clinton Eastwood, boasts a diverse ancestry—English, Irish, Scottish, and...

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Don Rickles, U.S. Navy (1944-1946), WWII

Don Rickles, U.S. Navy (1944-1946), WWII

Before emerging as the renowned comedy legend celebrated for his wit and humor, Don Rickles navigated a significant chapter in his life that often goes overlooked. Long before his name became synonymous with laughter, Rickles dutifully answered his country's call by enlisting in the United States Navy during World War II. These military years in the Navy laid the groundwork for the extraordinary career that would later make him a comedy icon adored by audiences worldwide. Don Rickles’s Early Years Donald Jay Rickles was born on May 8, 1926, in New York City. Raised in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, Rickles grew up in a close-knit Jewish family. Despite the financial challenges posed by the Great Depression, his parents Etta and Max Rickles nurtured his comedic talents, encouraging him to find laughter in everyday situations.  After graduating from Newtown High School, Rickles embarked on a new chapter in his life. In response to his country's call during World War...

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1LT James Earl Jones, U.S. Army (1953-1955)

1LT James Earl Jones, U.S. Army (1953-1955)

Before gaining fame as the iconic voice behind Darth Vader in 'Star Wars,' James Earl Jones had a significant chapter in his life. During his youth, Jones responded to his country's call and served in the United States Army during the Korean War. His military experience profoundly influenced his character and laid the foundation for his exceptional journey in the entertainment industry. James Earl Jones’s Early Years James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931, in Arkabutla, Mississippi. His father, Robert Earl Jones, a boxer and actor, was largely absent from his life growing up. At an early age, Jones was raised by his maternal grandparents on their farm in Michigan. He is of Irish, Cherokee and African descent. Jones developed a severe stutter in childhood, which left him terribly self-conscious and shy around other children. He refused to speak in school until a teacher helped him out of his silence during his high school years. "I had a great English teacher who believed in...

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ENS Johnny Carson, U.S. Navy (1943-1945)

ENS Johnny Carson, U.S. Navy (1943-1945)

Before achieving fame as the renowned host of late-night television, Johnny Carson was a young man who dutifully responded to his country's call. His early years were defined by his service in the US Army Air Force from 1943 to 1945. This period of his life served as the cornerstone for his exceptional Hollywood career, where he emerged as the unmatched presenter of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." Through his military service, Carson not only made a lasting impact on the silver screen but also within the hearts of his fellow servicemen. Johnny Carson’s Early Years Born on October 23, 1925, in Corning, Iowa, Johnny Carson spent his formative years in the heart of the Midwest. Carson's family relocated to Norfolk, Nebraska, where he enrolled in Norfolk High School. During his academic years, he showcased his comedic prowess by participating in school plays and honing his magic skills. At the age of 12, during a visit to a friend's house in Nebraska, he stumbled upon a magic...

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Pvt. Mr.T (Laurence Tureaud), U.S. Army (1975-1978)

Pvt. Mr.T (Laurence Tureaud), U.S. Army (1975-1978)

Lawrence Tureaud, famously known as Mr. T, rose from humble beginnings to become one of Hollywood's most recognizable tough guys and an enduring cultural icon. Before he became the face of the "A-Team," Mr. T's journey began with a commitment to serving his country. Join us as we follow the military journey of Mr. T, paying tribute to his profound influence on both the world of cinema and the hearts of his fellow Americans. This story serves as a compelling testament to the incredible impact of unwavering dedication and self-belief. Mr. T’s Early Life Born on May 21, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois, Laurence Tureaud had a childhood marked by challenges and determination. Raised in a tough South Side neighborhood, Laurence Tureaud was the youngest of twelve siblings, and his early years were far from glamorous.  Growing up in a tight-knit African-American family, Mr. T faced adversity from a young age. Poverty was a constant companion, and his family struggled to make ends meet....

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Radioman 3rd Class Paul Leonard Newman, U.S. Navy (1943-1946)

Radioman 3rd Class Paul Leonard Newman, U.S. Navy (1943-1946)

In the dazzling world of Hollywood, Paul Newman's name has become synonymous with timeless charm, talent, and philanthropy. A prominent American actor and director, renowned for his captivating charm, striking intelligence, and enduring good looks, he graced the silver screen for over half a century. Throughout his illustrious career, Newman made a name for himself by delivering riveting portrayals of iconic antiheroes. But long before he became an award-winning actor, Newman donned a uniform and served his country with unwavering dedication during World War II. Today, TogetherWeServed pays tribute to this remarkable actor and true patriot, as we take a look at the notable military service of Paul Newman. Paul Newman’s Early Years Born on January 26, 1925, in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Paul Leonard Newman grew up during the Great Depression era. The Newman family, including older brother Arthur Jr., lived on Brighton Road in Shaker Heights. Paul’s father and uncle ran Newman-Stern Co.,...

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LTJG Robert (Bob) William Barker, U.S. Navy (1943-1945)

LTJG Robert (Bob) William Barker, U.S. Navy (1943-1945)

Bob Barker, renowned for his charismatic presence on television screens as the beloved host of "The Price is Right," is a man of many talents and accomplishments. Beyond his illustrious career in the entertainment industry, Barker's life story includes a remarkable chapter that often goes unnoticed: his dedicated service in the military. Robert or ‘Bob’ William Barker who served in the US Navy Reserves between 1943 and 1945, is best known for hosting the iconic game show The Price Is Right between 1972 and 2007. His stint on the program made him a record-breaker, the longest-running daytime game show host in North American television history. Prior to his 35-year stay with the show, he was host of Truth or Consequences, another game show, for 18 years between 1956 and 1974. However, before his career in broadcasting, Barker was a man of more modest means, who served the United States during World War II.  Bob Barker’s Early Life Bob Barker was born in Darrington, Washington on...

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Cpl Charles Dennis Buchinsky (Bronson), U.S. Army Air Force (1943-1946)

Cpl Charles Dennis Buchinsky (Bronson), U.S. Army Air Force (1943-1946)

Charles Dennis Buchinsky (or Bronson) who served in the US Army Air Force between 1943 and 1945, went on to be one of Hollywood’s pre-eminent tough guys, the face of the Death Wish film franchise. However, his time as the silver screen’s top draw was preceded by a very humble childhood. Enlisting in the United States Army during World War II, Bronson’s service would lay the foundation for a remarkable career in Hollywood, where he would go on to captivate audiences with his unique charisma and tough-guy persona. Join us as we follow the military journey of Charles Bronson, honoring the indelible mark he left both on the big screen and in the hearts of his fellow servicemen. Charles Bronson’s Early Life Born on November 3, 1921, in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, Bronson grew up in a modest family of Lithuanian descent. The 11th of 15 children, Charles grew up speaking three languages at home, but none of them English. The Buchinsky family lived in the coal region of the Allegheny Mountains,...

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Lt. Col. Rob Riggle, U.S. Marine Corps (1990-2013)

Lt. Col. Rob Riggle, U.S. Marine Corps (1990-2013)

When we think of Rob Riggle, we might envision his hilarious comedic performances or his charismatic on-screen presence. However, before he became a household name in the entertainment industry, Riggle served his country with distinction in the United States Marine Corps. Rob Riggle born on April 21, 1970, in Louisville, Kentucky, possessed a deep sense of duty and patriotism from a young age. After completing his high school education, Riggle decided to pursue a career in the military and enlisted in the Marine Corps. Famous Veteran: Rob Riggle Rob Riggle quickly proved himself as a dedicated and committed Marine. He joined the Marine Corps in 1990 and underwent rigorous training to become an officer. Riggle excelled in his training and was eventually commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. During his time in the Marines, Riggle held various roles and served in different locations across the globe. His occupational specialty led him to work with several...

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