From Combat to Hollywood: 31 Actors That Served Overseas, Part II

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You’ve made it! Welcome to Part II of this two-part list. If you’ve found your way here without checking out the first part, please feel free to mosey back, and re-visit this portion when ready.

Even if you haven’t looked at Part I, here’s what you’ll find on this list: entertainers. Actors, specifically. From Mel Brooks to R. Lee Ermey, the actors you’ll find on this list not only served in the military, they served overseas, in WWI, WWII, The Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The names throughout just may surprise you…


Don Rickles

This New York-born funny man has been in the business for a long time now, transcending from a quality club act to lending his voice to animated films like Toy Story, or trading lines with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Casino. Before that, though, Don Rickles served in the U.S. Navy, and fought in World War II.


Harry Dean Stanton

Best known by the public for his work in Alien, The Green Mile and Paris, Texas, Harry Dean Stanton served in the U.S. Navy and fought in World War II.


Lee Van Cleef

Like Don Rickles and Harry Dean Stanton, Lee Van Cleef served in the U.S. Navy and fought in World War II. He went on to be a prominent player in western films, including The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, For a Few Dollars More, and High Noon.

This clip is the awesome introduction to Angel Eyes, Lee Van Cleef’s character in Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.


Jesse Ventura

Yes, Jesse Ventura had a professional wrestling career and, yes, he did delve into a life of politics and, yes, he did have roles in Predator and The Running Man. But “The Body” also served as an Underwater Demolition Team member (U.S. Navy) in the Vietnam War.

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G.D. resides in West Michigan. When he isn’t writing (or editing), you can find him outside, riding a bike, reading a book, or just plain running. Other interests include sports (of any kind), music (again, any kind) and cinema (a bit pickier here).