In a time of crisis, Americans pull together and answer the call of duty, whether young or old, rich or poor, famous or not.
World War 2 was one of those climatic moments, and everyone did what they could to help, including some of Hollywood's biggest celebrities. Several movie stars put their careers on hold to enlist, and lots more celebrities served before they became famous.
What's so interesting about these stories is that if you have a relative who fought in the war, there's a chance their paths crossed with one of these huge stars!
1. Bea Arthur
Before she was a Golden Girl, this actress and comedienne was a Marine. She drove a truck and worked as a secretary in the corps, proving you should never judge a book by its cover!
2. Johnny Carson
Which of these impressive facts about the King of Late Night is the coolest: the fact that he served in the Navy, or that he had a 10-0 boxing record during his service?
3. Mel Brooks
The funnyman who directed Blazing Saddles and The Producers has always had a sense of humor. As an army engineer, he would clear landmines, build bridges, and sing Al Jolson's "Toot, Toot, Tootsie" to the Germans using a bullhorn.
4. Jimmy Stewart
Stewart was already a big star when he signed up for the Army Air Corps (after bulking up to meet their weight limit). Throughout the war, he still paid his agent 10% of his army salary.
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As these stories prove, celebrities - just like the many brave men and women across America - dropped everything to serve their country.
While some left award-winning acting careers at the height of their fame to serve, others left college and their homes to fight before they became household names.
While many were humble about their service, they deserve to be recognized for what they did!
5. Henry Fonda
Famous for saying he "didn't want to be in a fake war in a studio," Fonda also put his Oscar-winning movie career on hold to serve in the Navy.
6. James Doohan
Star Trek fans may be surprised to learn that Scotty is really Canadian. In the war, Doohan stormed Normandy beach with the Canadian army. He was shot 6 times, only surviving because his silver cigarette case blocked a bullet from hitting his heart.
7. Charlton Heston
Before his acting career began, Heston was a radio operator and an aerial gunner who flew combat missions in a B-25 bomber plane.
8. Tony Bennett
The "Rags to Riches" singer started his musical career while fighting in France and Germany, singing for other soldiers in a military band.
9. Bob Barker
In college on basketball scholarship when the war broke out, Baker dropped out top join the Navy, serving as a fighter pilot.
Share these celebrity heroes with someone you know!