X hits on this document

PDF document

Hollywood Stars and eir Service in the Marine Corps - page 3 / 4





3 / 4

1943. He became a combat photographer and served in the bloody invasions at Peleliu and Okinawa, where the Marines experienced “staggering casualties.” Renowned stunt man Jock Mahoney (1919-1989) was a civilian in- structor in the U.S. Army Air Corps but enlisted in the Marines in 1943, earned his wings, and flew F4U Corsairs but missed out on actual combat. He worked in many film and television Westerns, and is known for starring in two Tarzan films (1962, 1963).

Beer known as an announcer, straight-man and/or sidekick initially for TV’s Dick Clark and then for Johnny Carson (1958-1992), silvery-voiced Ed McMahon started his career in the Navy’s V-5 Program, transferred to the Marines, and was a flight instructor in F4U Corsair fight- ers prior to his discharge in 1946. While at Philadelphia’s WCAU radio and television he was recalled to active duty and Captain McMahon flew 85 reconnaissance missions in an unarmed Cessna 180 observation plane in Korea (1951-1952). Steve Mceen (1930-1980), a wild and re- bellious farm boy from the Midwest who had worked in brothels as a youth, enlisted in the Marines in 1947, was a crewman on tanks and amphibious tractors, and served in the guards assigned to President Truman’s yacht, Se- quoia. Odd jobs and Actor’s Studio led to Broadway and television (Wanted Dead or Alive, 1958-1961), a distin- guished career in motion pictures, and respect as a pro- fessional motorcycle and racecar driver. e Magnificent Seven (1960), e War Lover (1962), e Great Escape (1963), Bulli (1968), and Papillon (1971) are among his well-known films.

Hugh O’Brian, born Hugh Charles Krampe, son of a Marine captain, enlisted in 1943 and became a Drill In- structor at age 18 when he met John Wayne who be- came a life-long friend. O’Brien has the distinction of being the last man Wayne “killed” in cinema (e Shoo- tist, 1976), but had also starred as television’s Wya Earp (1955-1971) and is respected widely in Hollywood for es- tablishing HOBY - the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Program - in 1958.

Gerald O’Laughlin enlisted in 1942, was a commis- sioned officer, trained for the invasion of Japan, and served in the occupation forces in Nagasaki (1945-1946). Completing a degree in mechanical engineering, he at- tended Actor’s Studio and became a distinguished actor, director, and teacher. George Peppard (1928-1994) en- listed in the Corps in 1946 and took amphibious train- ing. His interests in civil engineering were sidetracked for drama and the Actor’s Studio, leading to memorable television series (Banacek 1972-1974, and A-Team, 1983- 1987) and films (Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Audrey Hep-


H-Net Reviews

burn in 1961, and Operation Crossbow, 1965). Lee Powell (1908-1944), who was the first Lone Ranger in pre-war se- rial films, enlisted in 1942, served in the South Pacific as a Sergeant in the 2nd Marine Division, but died of acute alcohol poisoning at age 35 on the island of Tinian.

Tyrone Power (1914-1958) was already a Hollywood megastar (A Yank in the RAF, 1942, and Crash Dive, re- leased in 1943) when he joined the Corps as a boot in April 1942. He, qualified for OCS, received his commis- sion, became an aviator, and served as a command trans- port pilot flying R4D Dakotas and C47s in the Pacific, notably, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Returning to his film career, he made Captain from Castile (1947) with for- mer Navy Chief Boatswain’s Mate Cesar Romero, and a dozen other motion pictures (Abandon Ship, e Sun Also Rises, Witness for the Prosecution, all 1957) but died of a heart aack at age 44. Television’s Lawman (1958-1962) at six feet four inches, John Russell (1921- 1991) was initially rejected for service because of his stature, but he served on Guadalcanal as a Marine 2nd Lieutenant in 1942 before a medical discharge, and would make a dozen motion pictures - many with Clint East- wood. Holding a degree in English literature, Dartmouth College-educated Robert Ryan (1909-1973) was also a heavyweight boxing champion for four years before en- listing and becoming a Camp Pendleton Drill Instructor. A commied pacifist aer 1945, he starred in films in- cluding e Dirty Dozen (1967) with fellow Marine Lee Marvin, and Sam Peckenpaugh’s classic, e Wild Bunch (1969).

George C. Sco’s service on Arlington National Cemetery’s grave detail in the mid-1940s made a lasting impression. Graduating from the University of Missouri, Sco taught at nearby Stephens College, and then moved from stage to memorable screen and television appear- ances - especially as General Buck Turgidson in Stan- ley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove (1964), as the lead in Pat- ton (1970), and portraying Hemingway in Islands in the Stream (1977). Tad Van Brunt (1921-1977) was born and raised in Japan of Dutch-American and British parentage so that his fluency in the Japanese language led to assign- ments in Guam and Okinawa as an interrogator of enemy troops. He was so popular among the native Okinawans that they asked that he be allowed to stay as governor of their island in 1945. is, of course, did not happen, and he had bit parts in three films before rejoining the Marines in 1948 and participating in the Inchon, Korea landings as an intelligence officer in 1951. A career in ad- vertising and sales preceded his death from alcoholism. Comedian Jonathan Winters served on the Marine De- tachment on the aircra carrier Bon Homme Richard off

Document info
Document views19
Page views19
Page last viewedMon Jan 16 13:04:22 UTC 2017