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Post a celebrity who served their country, add some pictures and their service details, one celebrity per post. 

Peter Sellers CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire 1966) 

In September 1943 Peter Sellers joined the Royal Air Force, although it is unclear whether he volunteered or was conscripted  his mother unsuccessfully tried to have him deferred on medical grounds. Sellers wanted to become a pilot, but his poor eyesight restricted him to ground staff duties. He found these duties dull, so auditioned for Squadron Leader Ralph Reader's RAF Gang Show entertainment troupe. Reader accepted him and Sellers toured the UK before the troupe was transferred to India. His tour also included Ceylon and Burma, although the duration of his stay in Asia is unknown, and Sellers may have exaggerated its length. He also served in Germany and France after the war. According to David Lodge, who became friends with Sellers, he was "one of the best performers ever" on the drums and developed a fine ability to impersonate military officers during this period. 

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Sir Michael Caine CBE ( Knighted 2000, Commander of the Order of the British Empire 1992) 

In 1951 Michael Caine joined the Queens Royal Regiment and the Royal Fusiliers and served in Germany and Korea.

Here's a few words on the time he spent in Korea. Whenever I killed someone there was no guilt, no remorse - it didn't feel real. It was during the Korean War and I was just trying to stay alive. It was self-defense. It was always done at night and we never had any idea who we had killed. I didn't even think about it - we had machine guns and we just did it. I never did anything close up or hand-to-hand. It didn't give me nightmares, because the Army brutalizes you. It was like the World War I trenches - half a mile apart - and we were just firing backwards and forwards, so we never knew who any of our victims were as individuals. You never saw the whites of a man's eyes when you killed him.

I was nearly killed. There were four of us on patrol in a valley in the middle of the rice paddies. The Chinese were closing in on us and the officer said, 'Let's run towards their line - they won't expect it because they'll be expecting us to run away towards our lines.' So we did that and we ended up going right around them. They couldn't find us because they were looking in the wrong place and we got away. But we'd faced that moment that we thought was the end.

That night we went back to our bunkers and celebrated with a beer. We were just happy to be alive . . . I faced a moment when I knew I was going to die and I didn't run, I wasn't a coward, and it affected me deeply. I was at peace with myself and that's guided my life, not just in terms of whether someone's going to kill me, but in everything.

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Michael Caine standing second from left in the Royal Fusiliers.

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His first starring role in the 1964 epic war film Zulu.

 

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Never realised he had been in the military.

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One of the other prominent actors in the film was Siegfried Rauch, some of whose last rôles were as the Kapitän in the popular TV-Series "Traumschiff" and also in der "Bergdoktor".   Rauch (+85)  died on 11. March 2018. He had been in the film business since 1956, and soon got many international parts, particularly in war films as "the German". All the good old actors and actresses have now nearly all died out.

His country was Bavaria.

Abschied mit Tränen... A short obituary and report about the funeral was in the Münchener Abendzeitung:

https://www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de/inhalt.beerdigung-des-bergdoktor-siegfried-rauch-so-bewegend-nimmt-seine-familie-abschied.1ce6fed0-2347-434c-8542-145579c7de5b.html

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On 10/06/2018 at 07:21, kenny andrew said:

Post a celebrity who served their country, add some pictures and their service details, one celebrity per post. 

Peter Sellers CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire 1966) 

In September 1943 Peter Sellers joined the Royal Air Force, although it is unclear whether he volunteered or was conscripted  his mother unsuccessfully tried to have him deferred on medical grounds. Sellers wanted to become a pilot, but his poor eyesight restricted him to ground staff duties. He found these duties dull, so auditioned for Squadron Leader Ralph Reader's RAF Gang Show entertainment troupe. Reader accepted him and Sellers toured the UK before the troupe was transferred to India. His tour also included Ceylon and Burma, although the duration of his stay in Asia is unknown, and Sellers may have exaggerated its length. He also served in Germany and France after the war. According to David Lodge, who became friends with Sellers, he was "one of the best performers ever" on the drums and developed a fine ability to impersonate military officers during this period. 

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I liked the film in which he disguised himself as the  concièrge in a stately hotel in a former castle in either Bavaria or Austria, the disguise alone was enough to make you burst out laughing, and then all of a sudden his false nose started to melt....! Can't remember which film that was, sometime in the mid 1980s. I found a picture that reminded me of this, but probably not the same film.image.png.e22a35fb967212eb4edc2375cac828fd.png

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Yes that's the problem with Peter Sellers he made so many films, I'm still discovering new ones, many of his films have long since been deleted. The melting nose is from The Pink Panther Strikes Again from 1976

Here's another bizarre clip from the same film

The picture you posted is from Revenge of the Pink Panther 1978 he was totally mad in real life too :D

 

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image.png.c6f4757865ff1ce0a62d0d166e9f0cca.pngReminds me of the old days when life (live, as the Germans say and mean life) was a laff (laugh!)

By the way, how did you find the clips so quickly?!?

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Yes life was a lot easier in the old days . That's actually two films, the first part is from A Shot in the Dark the second film from 1964, and the second part is The Pink Panther Strikes Again, from 1976. Easy to find the clips as I'm a big Peter Sellers fan, here's a funny clip from Parkinson 1974   :D

 

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 He was a very strange man in real life , and could be very difficult, I remember reading about the Parkinson interview  that I posted above that Parkinson said minutes before he was due to be interviewed he decided he did not want to do it any more, and caused the producers all sorts of problems, he finally changed his mind and said he would do it only if he could come on as someone else, hence the German uniform.

Another story which I have tried to find on the net but to no avail, is another one by Micheal Parkinson I think I saw it on a TV show marking Parkinson's  retirement.It went something like this.

I later made friends with Peter Sellers he invited myself and my wife Helen to visit him in his large mansion for lunch. We drove for several hours to visit him, when we arrived at the arranged time I knocked on his door, there was no reply, although I was sure I could hear some one moving behind the door. We waited for another ten minutes or so as it had taken so long to get there but eventually after knocking again and again had to give up. We got back into our car and drove away, when I looked in the rear mirror I saw Peter Sellers standing in his drive way waving us goodbye. I never had anything to do with him again after this. :D      

    

 

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James Doohan is best known for his role as "Scotty" on the Star Trek TV series and movies, he was also in WW2. James Doohan was a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Army. Trained as a pilot, Doohan had a reputation as the “craziest pilot in the Canadian Air Forces” because he did things like slam a plane between two telegraph poles just to prove it could be done. When D-day came, he was put on the ground and joined the raid on Juno Beach. Doohan personally shot two enemy snipers and led his troops through a field of anti-tank mines—only to be taken out by his own army. While Doohan was moving between two command posts, a nervous Canadian soldier opened fire on Doohan, shooting him six times. One of the bullets hit him in the chest. Luckily, Doohan’s life was saved by a cigarette case in his breast pocket.

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Mel Brooks, the off-the-wall director and actor famous for such goofy films as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and Spaceballs was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). A corporal in the combat engineers, his job was to destroy enemy obstacles and included occasionally defusing mines—a job that required a steady nerve, a calm demeanor, and no doubt a good sense of humor. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944 and was even rumored to have been known to answer German propaganda that was being broadcast at regular intervals from a loudspeaker by shouting “Toot Toot Tootsie goodbye!” I guess Mel Brooks was Mel Brooks even back then.

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Lee Marvin

This actor, known for his tough guy roles, was a real life roughian who left school to join the United States Marine Corps, serving as a Scout Sniper in the 4th Marine Division in the South Pacific. He was wounded in action during the Battle of Saipan and saw most of his platoon killed. Marvin was wounded by machine gun fire, which severed his sciatic nerve, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart medal and given a medical discharge. The tough old Marine died of a heart attack in 1987 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery where his headstone reads “Lee Marvin, PFC US Marine Corps, World War II”. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

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Ian Fleming

Before he was Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, he was Commander Fleming, an intelligence officer in the Royal Navy and right-hand man to Admiral John Godfrey, Director of British Naval Intelligence. As such, Fleming was responsible for the creation of what came to be known as Assault Unit 30 (AU 30), a top-secret British commando unit specifically formed to gather intelligence. Fleming proposed the concept of AU 30 to Admiral Godfrey in a March 10, 1942 memo titled, "Proposal for Naval Intelligence Commando Unit."

The idea for AU 30 came out of a British intelligence crisis happening in 1942 for which Fleming sought a solution. Code-breaking specialists working in a secret location in Buckinghamshire called Bletchley Park had had - until 1942 - great success breaking coded messages sent by German Enigma Code machines. The Enigma machines had been invented by a German scientist, and the Germans wrongly believed the codes from Enigma machines were unbreakable. Essential to the war effort, the intelligence from the codebreakers of Bletchley Park kept British forces informed about the latest German military tactics. However, in 1942 the Germans advanced their technology, upgrading the Enigma machine to a 4-rotor wheel and leaving Bletchley Park codebreakers in the dark.

Fleming also worked with Colonel "Wild Bill" Donovan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's special representative on intelligence co-operation between London and Washington. Fleming was involved in the Raid at Dieppe and Operation Overlord. 

Fleming was also involved in Operation Ruthless, a plan aimed at obtaining details of the Enigma codes used by Nazi Germany's navy, was instigated by a memo written by Fleming to Godfrey on 12 September 1940. The idea was to "obtain" a German bomber, man it with a German-speaking crew dressed in Luftwaffe uniforms, and crash it into the English Channel. The crew would then attack their German rescuers and bring their boat and Enigma machine back to England. Much to the annoyance of Alan Turing and Peter Twinn at Bletchley Park, the mission was never carried out. 

Fleming was demobilised in May 1945, but remained in the RNVR for several years, receiving a promotion to substantive lieutenant-commander (Special Branch) on 26 July 1947. In October 1947, he was awarded the King Christian X's Liberty Medal for his contribution in assisting Danish officers escaping from Denmark to Britain during the occupation of Denmark. He ended his service on 16 August 1952, when he was removed from the active list of the RNVR with the rank of lieutenant-commander.

 

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Alec Guinness

In 1941, he entered military service with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. In 1942, he was commissioned officer of a landing craft, he saw action in the invasion of Sicily, Elbe and Normandy and during the allied attempt to supply arms to Yugoslavian partisan groups. During the war, he was granted leave to appear in the Broadway production Flare Path, which was a play about the RAF Bomber Command. After the war, he continued his successful Shakespearean career as well as evolving into a film actor. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1955 and was Knighted in 1959. In 1957, he was in the Bridge on the River Kwai, in which he won the Academy award for best actor. He is also well known for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. In 1991 he received an honorary doctorate degree from Cambridge University. In 1994 he was mae a Companion of Honour for his accomplishments in the arts. He passed away in 2000. 

 

 

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Johnny Carson

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 8, 1943, as an apprentice seaman enrolled in the V-5 program, which trained Navy and Marine pilots. He hoped to train as a pilot, but was sent instead to Columbia University for midshipman training. He performed magic for classmates on the side. Commissioned an ensign late in the war, Carson was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania, a battleship on station in the Pacific. He was en route to the combat zone aboard a troopship when the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the war to a close.

The Pennsylvania was torpedoed on August 12, 1945 and Carson reported for duty on the 14th — the last day of the war. Although he arrived too late for combat, he got a firsthand education in the consequences of war. The damaged warship sailed to Guam for repairs, and as the newest and most junior officer, Carson was assigned to supervise the removal of 20 dead sailors.

He later served as a communications officer in charge of decoding encrypted messages. He recalls that the high point of his military career was performing a magic trick for Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal.

After serving in the Navy, Carson attended and graduated from the University of Nebraska. After college, he worked for various radio and television shows in California. In 1962, Carson became the permanent host of the Tonight Show. He went on to host the show for thirty years, and became one of the most recognizable television personalities.

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Arthur C. Clarke

This well known British science fiction writer served in WW2 as well. 

During the Second World War from 1941 to 1946 he served in the Royal Air Force as a radar specialist and was involved in the early-warning radar defence system, which contributed to the RAF's success during the Battle of Britain. Clarke spent most of his wartime service working on ground-controlled approach (GCA) radar, as documented in the semi-autobiographical Glide Path, his only non-science-fiction novel. Although GCA did not see much practical use during the war, it proved vital to the Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949 after several years of development. Clarke initially served in the ranks, and was a corporal instructor on radar at No. 2 Radio School, RAF Yatesbury in Wiltshire. He was commissioned as a pilot officer (technical branch) on 27 May 1943. He was promoted flying officer on 27 November 1943. He was appointed chief training instructor at RAF Honiley in Warwickshire and was demobilised with the rank of flight lieutenant.

After the war he attained a first-class degree in mathematics and physics from King's College London. After this he worked as assistant editor at Physics Abstracts. Clarke then served as president of the British Interplanetary Society from 1946 to 1947 and again from 1951 to 1953.

Although he was not the originator of the concept of geostationary satellites, one of his most important contributions in this field may be his idea that they would be ideal telecommunications relays. He advanced this idea in a paper privately circulated among the core technical members of the British Interplanetary Society in 1945. The concept was published in Wireless World in October of that year. Clarke also wrote a number of non-fiction books describing the technical details and societal implications of rocketry and space flight. The most notable of these may be Interplanetary Flight: An Introduction to Astronautics (1950), The Exploration of Space (1951) and The Promise of Space (1968). In recognition of these contributions, the geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometres (22,000 mi) above the equator is officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union as the Clarke Orbit.

Following the 1968 release of 2001, a space odyssey, Clarke became much in demand as a commentator on science and technology, especially at the time of the Apollo space program. On 20 July 1969 Clarke appeared as a commentator for CBS for the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Clarke was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1989 "for services to British cultural interests in Sri Lanka". He was knighted in 1998 and was awarded Sri Lanka's highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005

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Charles Bronson

He's best known for being the anti-hero in the Death Wish movies, a member of the Magnificent Seven, and one of the greatest tough-guy actors in Hollywood history, but long before he was pumping bullets at baddies on celluloid, Charles Bronson pumped bullets at baddies in the skies as an Army gunner during World War II.

In true rags-to-riches fashion, Bronson was born as Charles Dennis Buchinsky in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the Allegheny mountains, where mining coal was the only viable occupation. The son of a Lithuanian immigrant father and the 11th of 15 children in the family, bronson had to start working the coal mines at age 10 when his father died, earning the measly sum of $1 for every ton of coal mined. According to legend, Buchinsky's family was so poor that at one point he had to wear one of his sister's dresses to school because he didn't have anything clean left to wear -- not exactly what you'd expect from a future macho superstar actor. On the other hand, from a young age he proved to a tough, quiet, self-reliant type, traits that would serve him well in the movies later in life, and he became the first member of his family to graduate from high school despite the fact that he didn't learn English until he was a teen.

Buchinsky enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces in 1943, serving as an aircraft gunner in the 760th Flexible Gunnery Training Squadron. In 1945 he became a Superfortress crewman with the 39th Bombardment Group, based on Guam, and was assigned to a B-29 bomber, flying on 25 missions. Eventually he was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received during his service and left the military in 1946.

After his return, Buchinsky used the GI Bill to study art, then decided to move on to acting, not so much for the glamour as for the money, which looked plenty good to a kid from rural Pennsylvania. His first film role (uncredited) was in a military production, fittingly enough, as he played a Sailor in You're in the Navy Now (1951), and he made his first major impression as Vincent Price's mute, hulking henchman Igor in the original House of Wax (1953).

If it weren't for U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy and America's "Red Scare" during the 50s, we might be remembering the name Charles Buchinsky today, but during the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) proceedings in 1954, Buchinsky permanently changed his last name to Bronson on his agent's advice, since the Eastern European surname "Buchinsky" could be perceived as Russian. 

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Paul Newman

We’re all aware of Newman’s achievements in acting, auto racing, and philanthropy, but what most people don’t know  is that in the years before he rose to stardom in Hollywood, Paul Newman was part of the United States Navy and served during World War II.

His initial plan was to join the Navy’s V-12 program at Yale University and become a pilot, but it was soon discovered that he was color blind and was instead sent to boot camp where he eventually qualified himself as a radioman and gunner.

The iconic actor, who won an Academy Award for his performance in Scorsese’s The Color of Money, nearly lost his life during World War II. His squadron was in Saipan when the pilot of his crew was forced to ground the airplane due to an ear infection. The rest of Newman’s squadron was transferred to the USS Bunker Hill and only two days later they were killed by kamikaze aircraft. He was lucky enough not to be aboard when the incident occurred and managed to survive the war.

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Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis, the star of The Sweet Smell of Success, Some Like it Hot, Operation Petticoat, and over 100 other movies, was also a U.S. Navy veteran.

He was among the many Americans who enlisted after the attack on Pearl Harbor, joining the Pacific submarine force. From 1943 until 1945, Curtis served in the Pacific Theater as part of the submarine force as a Signalman 3rd class.

On September 2, 1945, Curtis was onboard the USS Proteus and watched the ceremony in Tokyo Bay in which the Japanese surrendered. He was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, the Asia-Pacific Medal, and the American Area Medal.

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Benny Hill

Driver/Mechanic 14332308 Benny Hill of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers didn't arrive in Normandy until 1 September 1944. He was a searchlight operator for the Third Light Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Battery which landed at the famous Mulberry floating harbours. From there they were sent to Dunkirk where a pocket of 7,000 Germans had been bypassed. Though they nicknamed the area 'buzz bomb alley' they saw little action, though a few men were killed while on guard duty.

As one might imagine, Hill was not a natural soldier. In training he developed a bad case of 'guardsman's foot'. And he never did get the hang of driving. But his sense of humour was as sharp as ever. When his sergeant asked him what a 'fine sight' was, he replied, 'Two dinners on one plate.'

He was eventually transferred to Germany and began entertaining, ending up in the production 'Stars in Battledress'. But he hated his actual service, claiming that there was always someone above you to shout, 'You're an 'orrible dozy little man. What are you?' 'I'm a horrible dozy little man, sergeant.' He later summed up his service with, 'I was five years in the army and never got a stripe.'

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Clint Eastwood

Long before Eastwood dared anyone to make his day as Dirty Harry, he served in the Army as a swimming instructor at Ft. Ord. As fate (and luck) would have it, his swimming skills would come in handy: one time when he was hitching a ride aboard a Navy torpedo bomber, the plane ran out of gas and was forced to ditch in the Pacific Ocean approximately 3 miles off Point Reyes Station CA. Eastwood swam through the tide to shore, foreshadowing his own character's watery trials in "Escape from Alcatraz" through shark infested waters. After his discharge in 1953, Eastwood attended L.A. City College and studied drama under the GI Bill. From humble origins in the movie business (he started on a $75-a-week contract with Universal Studios), he eventually found international fame in "spaghetti" westerns, the Dirty Harry series, and as an Oscar-winning director.

 

 

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Gene Roddenberry 

Gene Roddenberry is most famous for creating the renowned "Star Trek" franchise – it began with a three-season run in the sixties and has thrived to this day. His crowning achievement in science fiction is known for being filled with philosophical questions, cultural progressiveness, and musings on the possibilities of technology. One of the keys to "Star Trek's" success is the fact that almost every aspect of the show is grounded one way or another in real-world concepts. Starfleet, the organization unifying humanity and aliens in the exploration of the galaxy, is one such concept and was undoubtedly influenced by Roddenberry's time as a pilot during World War II.

Born in Texas, Roddenberry grew up respecting his father's profession as a police officer. Although he scored a high grade on a college entrance examination, he decided to go to a junior college and earn an associate's degree in police science. Once he was finished, the 20 year old Roddenberry enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. In 1942, he graduated as a second lieutenant, class G.

After Pearl Harbor, Roddenberry was sent to the Pacific Theater where he flew with the 394th Bomb Squadron, 5th Bombardment Group of the Thirteenth Air Force. He personally piloted a B-17E Flying Fortress named the "Yankee Doodle." After 89 combat missions and at the rank of captain, Roddenberry was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal before being honorably discharged in 1945. Following the war, he was known to meet up with other veterans at the California Monterey Peninsula Airport.

During his combat mission, he flew alongside a soldier who would be his best friend during the war—and the inspiration for one of his most famous characters. Roddenberry’s friend was named Kim Noonien Singh, and the two lost touch after the war. Wanting to get back in touch with his old friend, Roddenberry wrote a character into Star Trek—Kirk’s nemesis Khan Noonien Singh—hoping his friend would see it and get in touch. Singh never called, but Roddenberry didn’t stop trying. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Roddenberry named Data’s creator “Dr. Noonien Soong,” again hoping to reach out to his old friend.

When Roddenberry's service ended, he spent four years as a civilian pilot for Pan American World Airways but became an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1949. He reached the rank of Sergeant and wrote speeches for Chief William H. Parker who, supposedly, the character Mr. Spock was based on. In 1956, Roddenberry left the force to pursue his career in writing.

Work as a freelance writer marked Roddenberry's beginning in the entertainment industry. Eventually, he was able to produce his first television show, "The Lieutenant," which followed characters in the United States Marine Corps. In 1966, after two nearly-failed pitches, "Star Trek" aired for the first time. While not a critical success in its first iteration, Roddenberry's creation has continued to influence people for generations.

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Chuck Norris

The world-champion martial artist is a movie and television star, and has spawned a whole industry around "Chuck Norris facts" (for example: "Chuck Norris doesn't breathe, he holds the air hostage"). Yet it might not have come about had he not decided to join the Air Force after high school. Aiming for a career in law enforcement, he joined the USAF security police, and while stationed in Korea, he realized one night on duty that he couldn't arrest a rowdy drunk without pulling his weapon. As a result, he started studying some of the local Korean martial arts, including Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwan Do, and became the first Westerner to be awarded an eighth-degree Black Belt in Tae Kwan Do.

He held the world middleweight karate champion title for six years, and was named Black Belt magazine's "Fighter of the Year" in 1969. He founded 32 martial arts schools, and was actor and fellow veteran Steve McQueen's karate teacher. McQueen encouraged Norris to go into acting, and after gaining attention as Bruce Lee's opponent in "Way of the Dragon," he starred in such films as "Good Guys Wear Black," "Delta Force" and "Missing in Action." He also starred in the long-running TV series "Walker, Texas Ranger." Norris has used his success to give back to the military community, serving as a spokesman on behalf of the Veterans Administration and hospitalized veterans. On March 28, 2007, Commandant Gen. James T. Conway made Norris an honorary United States Marine.

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Julia Child

Julia Child is probably best known for bringing French cuisine into America’s mainstream. But, few know that she had a dynamic career as an intelligence officer before she became a cooking icon.

She was born in Pasadena, Calif., on Aug. 15, 1912. Arriving at Smith College in 1930, Julia was an active student throughout her college career. She was a member of the Student Council, played basketball, and worked for the Dramatics Association. Julia experienced her first culinary moments at Smith, as chair of the Refreshment Committee for Senior Prom and Fall Dance. After graduating from Smith in 1934, Julia wrote advertising copy for W. & J. Sloane, a furniture store in New York City.

Soon after the United States entered World War II, Julia felt the need to serve her country. Too tall to join the military (she was 6’2”), Julia volunteered her services to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was the forerunner of today’s Central Intelligence Agency. She was one of 4,500 women who served in the OSS. She started out at OSS Headquarters in Washington, working directly for General William J. Donovan, the leader of OSS. Working as a research assistant in the Secret Intelligence division, Julia typed up thousands of names on little white note cards, a system that was needed to keep track of officers during the days before computers. Although her encounters with the General were minor, she recalled later in life that his “aura” always remained with her. 

Julia then worked with the OSS Emergency Sea Rescue Equipment Section, where she helped develop shark repellent. The repellent was a critical tool during WWII, and was coated on explosives that were targeting German U-boats. Before the introduction of the shark repellent, curious sharks would sometimes set off the explosives when they bumped into them. From 1944-1945, Julia was sent overseas and worked in Ceylon, present day Sri Lanka, and Kunming, China. During these last two years in the OSS, Julia served as Chief of the OSS Registry. Julia -- having top security clearances -- knew every incoming and outgoing message that passed throughout her office, as her Registry was serving all the intelligence branches.

During her time in Ceylon, Julia handled highly classified papers that dealt with the invasion of the Malay Peninsula. Julia was fascinated with the work, even when there were moments of danger. Not only did Julia contribute to the efforts of the OSS, but during her time of service, she met her husband. Paul Child was also an OSS officer. He was well traveled, and it was he who opened Julia’s eyes to appreciate fine French cuisine. The two married in September 1946. Paul was assigned with the U.S. Information Agency in France in 1948, and this is where Julia’s studies of the culinary arts began at one of France’s most prestigious cooking schools, Le Cordon Bleu. Julia became interested in cooking because she was looking for something to do while her husband was away on work. Julia's cooking career has a place in American history, as many remember her as an enthusiastic and opinionated chef. With her many television series and cookbooks, her legacy still lives on.

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Robert Duvall

The son of a Rear Admiral and a descendent of Robert E. Lee, Robert Duvall was in a position to achieve great things from the day he was born. He was a self-described Navy brat, and moved whenever his father received a new posting. Despite the lack of stability, his early life was relatively peaceful.

After graduating Principia College in 1953, Duvall decided to follow a path similar to his father's and enlisted in the U.S. Army. During his time in the Army, Duval leveraged his passion and took up acting. While stationed at Camp Gordon, he acted in plays such as "Room Service." Later, due to his having served during the years of the Korean War, the media would often misunderstand his participation during the fighting. He left the military after two years of service at the rank of Private First Class.

Upon returning to civilian life, Duvall used the G.I. Bill to fuel his passion for acting. He moved to New York and enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in 1955. He was classmates with other future stars such as Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, and James Caan. During his time at school, he supported himself by working the register at Macy's, sorting mail, and driving trucks.

It didn't take long for Duvall to snap up acting jobs in numerous plays. He found work in at least five shows in 1955, and many more in the ensuing years. He continued to act on and off Broadway well into the 70s. His television debut came in 1959 in an episode of "The Jailbreak," and he made guest appearances into the 60s. Duvall's portrayal of Boo Radley in the 1962 production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" signaled his break into cinema, and kick-started his rise to fame.

Duvall's acting career has been prolific and includes a broad range of roles. His military experience came into play for a number of rolls in his career, including his portrayal of Maj. Frank Burns in "MASH." One of his most famous roles was Lt. Col. Kilgore in "Apocalypse Now," where he delivered the famous line, "Charlie don't surf." Over the course of his career, Duvall has been nominated for six Oscars and won one of them in 1984 for Best Actor in Leading Role for his part in "Tender Mercies." Duvall has accumulated numerous other accolades, and continues to act to this day.

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