All Hollywood stars end up taking a different route to "make it." Some train as actors or entertainers from a young age, and some take less conventional routes to get there. It might be surprising to some that a good number of Hollywood icons actually served in their country's respective armed forces before shining on the big screen.
Here are 10 actors who served their country before making their way to Hollywood.
1. Don Rickles
The late great insult comic Don Rickles joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 18, right out of high school. He served on the USS Cyrene during World War 2, as a seaman first class. Rickles was honorably discharged in 1946 before going on to become a Hollywood icon.
Before coming out with smash hits such as: "Angel," "Boombastic," and "It Wasn't Me," Shaggy was actually a member of the Marine Corps. He was part of the 10th Marine Regiment during the Gulf War in the early 90s.
3. Bob Barker
Though he is now retired from showbiz, he was the iconic host of the game show The Price Is Right for decades. He was in the air force, but by the time he was fully trained and ready for combat, World War 2 had actually ended. Still, he was ready and willing to serve his country.
4. Morgan Freeman
Before becoming the most recognizable voice in Hollywood in movies like The Shawshank Redemption, and Seven, Freeman's love of planes and flying led him to join the Air Force in 1955. Unfortunately he only ended up becoming a radar technician, but he did serve nearly four years in uniform.
5. Alan Alda
Alda joined the Army Reserve right out of high school, and ended up fighting in the Korean War. His time in the military, and on the field of battle would later inspire much of his performance on the hit show MASH.
6. Nate Dogg
The late rapper and singer, made famous for his musical productions with the iconic Snoop Dogg, and the group 213, was actually a veteran of U.S. Marine Corps before his days of music fame. He joined when he was only 17, and ended up spending three years as an ammunition specialist.
7. Drew Carey
The funny man from The Drew Carey Show, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and now the host of The Price Is Right, was a member of the Marine Corps for six years, from 1980 - 1986. After his discharge, he went on to become a hilarious stand-up comic and TV personality.
8. James Earl Jones
He is best known for voicing the characters of Darth Vader from the Star Wars trilogy, and Mufasa from the original Lion King, but James Earl Jones started his working life off in the military. He was training to be an Army Ranger, and before his honorable discharge, he was promoted to first lieutenant.
9. Ice - T
The former rapper, and one of the current stars of Law and Order SVU, served four years in the United States Army as part of the 25th infantry. He was stationed in Hawaii before being honorably discharged.
10. Mr. T
Most of you will have no trouble believing that Mr. T was a soldier in real life before portraying one on the TV show, The A Team. He served as a member of the Military Police Corps during the 1970s, and eventually worked his way up to leading his own squad.
Share this if you didn't know these Hollywood icons had served their country.