Hollywood and the military have a long history together. The entertainment industry has been involved in creating propaganda, but it also created work criticizing the politics around world conflicts. This is because many actors and directors are veterans and used their experiences in their work.
So which popular celebrities served? Here are popular celebrities who served in the U.S. military and the surprising experiences they’ve had from lying to enlist and weird reasons they were punished or discharged. You won’t believe which surprising Golden Girls star served in the Marines during World War II (page 9)!
1. Clint Eastwood
- Eastwood survived a Navy plane having to land on water.
The iconic actor was drafted during the war in Korea and went to Ft. Ord in California for basic training, according to Military.com. He was once on a Navy plane returning from his visit home in Seattle and it experienced engine trouble to the point where it had to land on water off of San Francisco. The website claims he swam over a mile to get to shore. He was later discharged in 1953.
Eastwood eventually directed Sully, a movie about the true story of Chesley Sullenberger landing a plane in the Hudson River saving the passengers and crew. That’s when he opened up more about his personal experience.
“We went down at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon,” Eastwood said according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I could see the Marin County coast from a distance. I don’t know how far it was — it seemed like 50 miles, but it was probably a mile or two. Then it got dark. It was quite a way into nightfall before we reached it.”
The movie’s star, Tom Hanks also talked about Eastwood’s experience going into directing the movie. “He almost died! He almost froze in the water!” Hanks said according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I mean, no one else but Clint could have or should have made this movie.”
Next: This Star Wars star joined the Marines after 9/11.