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10 People You Didn't Know Were U.S. Marines

10 & 9. Don and Phil Everly

The Everly Brothers had a string of hit singles including "Bye, Bye Love" and "Wake Up Little Susie" (which was considered a scandalous song in a simpler time) when they enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve. Stationed at Camp Pendleton in 1961-1962, they frequently entertained their company with impromptu concerts. The duo appeared in their dress blue uniforms on The Ed Sullivan Show and performed "Crying in the Rain"

 

8. Bozo the Clown

Many actors have played Bozo, but Bob Bell was arguably the most popular. Bell put on the blue suit and red wig for WGN in Chicago for almost 25 years. Nearly blind in one eye, Bell managed to enlist in the Marines after graduating from high school by memorizing the eye chart. He was later discharged because of his disability and joined the Navy before embarking on a career in children's television. The gravelly voice he developed for his portrayal of Bozo was the inspiration for Krusty the Clown on The Simpsons.

 

7. Captain Kangaroo

Prior to being Clarabell the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show and then the kindly Captain Kangaroo, Bob Keeshan was a trained killer. An urban legend claiming that he fought alongside actor Lee Marvin on Iwo Jima is false. Keeshan never saw combat because the war was over by the time he was of enlistment age (Lee Marvin was indeed a leatherneck who was wounded during the Battle of Saipan, but was not at Iwo Jima).

 

6. Drew Carey

Actor/comedian/game show host Drew Carey served 6 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. When Time Magazine asked him what events in life made him who he is, Carey replied "the Marine Corps. It instilled a great sense of discipline that I can call on when I need to." Obviously he enjoyed being a jarhead because he has kept his Marine crew cut through most of his stage and TV career.

 

5. Pat Robertson

Evangelist Pat Robertson was indeed a Devil Dog who served as an officer during the Korean War. Robertson claims to have been in combat, but several veterans refute his record. They allege that his father, Senator Absalom Robertson, pulled strings to ensure that he never saw action against the enemy and was assigned to a comfortable job in the safety of Japan.

 

4. Lee Trevino

Before carrying a 9-iron as a professional golfer, Lee Trevino carried an M-14 as a Marine. Enlisting in 1957 and serving 4 years, Trevino claims that his superior skills made him such a popular golfing partner among the officers that he was promoted to Lance Corporal.

 

3. James Carville

James Carville put the strategy and tactics he learned during his two year stint in the Marines to effective use as Bill Clinton's campaign manager in 1992. Carville remains a colorful if not controversial political advisor and commentator.

 

2. Gene Hackman

The actor once known as the hardest working man in Hollywood (and certainly seemed to appear in half the films produced between 1970 and 2000), Gene Hackman has quietly retired from acting. Hackman was a Marine field radio operator before launching a film career that including roles as an Admiral (Behind Enemy Lines) and an unhinged submarine Captain (Crimson Tide).

 

1. Shaggy

Jamaican-American reggae singer Orville Burrell, a.k.a. Shaggy, served as a Field Artillery Cannon Crewman in the 10th Marines during Operation Desert Storm. It was while leading marching cadences that he developed his vocal talents. Shaggy went on to have international hits such as "Oh Carolina" and "It Wasn't Me." He continues to perform throughout the world.

Rumored to Have Been Marines
Mister Rogers

There is a long standing rumor that children's television host Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was a Marine sniper who racked up a record number of confirmed kills (and wore his famous sweater to hide "Born to Kill" tattoos). This is simply not true. Fred Rogers never served in any of the armed forces.

The Beaver

Another popular urban legend was that Jerry Mathers of the archetypal 50s sitcom Leave it to Beaver enlisted in the Marines and was killed in Vietnam. Mathers may have thought about enlisting in the Marines, but he joined the Air National Guard 1966-1969. He is alive and well.


 
 

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