Happy Veterans Day to Tom Selleck, Adam Driver and More Stars Who Served in the Military
The famed Golden Girls star was a typist and truck driver in the Marine Corps for two years beginning in 1943. She was also one of the first members of the Women’s Reserve, and after being discharged in 1945, married Marine Private Robert Arthur before eventually embarking on a storied career in show business.
The Oscar winner with the iconic voice was intrigued by war films growing up, which inspired him to join the Air Force in 1955. He served as a radar technician, and, realizing that flying in the Air Force was not for him, left the military almost four years later. The actor would eventually return to duty on film: Freeman starred in the acclaimed 1989 Civil War drama Glory.
Although it’s hard to picture the late Hefner as anything but the iconic impresario behind the Playboy empire, he served as an infantry clerk in the Army after high school. He was discharged two years later in 1946.
Before his acting days, 17-year-old Driver joined the Marines shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
“I joined … feeling like I think most people in the country did at the time, filled with a sense of patriotism and retribution and the desire to do something,” he said in a TED Talk. “That, coupled with that fact that I wasn't doing anything.”
The Star Wars and Girls actor “loved” being in the Marines, but was medically discharged after two years of service.
The legendary singer was drafted into the army during World War II, serving in Germany and France. Bennett returned to the U.S. two years later in 1946 after being discharged, and went on to study at the American Theater Wing.
The actor and comedian joined the Marines as a pilot in 1990 and served for 23 years before retiring in 2013.
“I was an undergrad a the University of Kansas, and I had my pilot's license … I was also a theater and film major. So I either was going to be Top Gun when I graduated or I was gonna be a waiter. And I thought being Top Gun sounded much sexier, much cooler,” Riggle told CBS News.
After graduating from high school in 1950, the country super star enlisted in the Air Force. While stationed in Germany, where he served as an intelligence-service radioman, he wrote the lyrics for the song that would become his signature, “Folsom Prison Blues."
The legendary actor and Oscar-winning filmmaker served in the Army before kicking up a celebrated career in Hollywood. Drafted during the Korean War, he trained at Fort Ord in California. There, he landed a job as a swimming teacher, and was eventually discharged in 1953.
The one and only King of Rock and Roll was drafted into the Army in 1957. He eventually rose to the rank of sergeant, and was discharged in 1960. It was during his time in the Army that he met Priscilla Beaulieu, the woman who would one day become his wife.
Ice-T joined the Army’s 25th Infantry Division after high school. After being deployed to Hawaii and serving four years, he moved to California, eventually launching a career as a hitmaking rapper before moving into film and television, including the long-running series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
The Howard Stern Show cohost served her country from 1975 to 1978. After graduating with a nursing degree, she worked as a nurse in the Air Force, rising to the rank of captain. The radio personality, who is a cancer survivor and has spoken openly about her battle with the disease, published an autobiography in 1995.
When the future rock legend enlisted in the Army in 1961, it was something of a forced choice. After being caught up in a case involving a stolen car, Hendrix was given the option of prison time or joining the Army. He opted for the latter and served in the 101st Airborne Division. Hendrix was far from a model soldier though, reportedly falling asleep on duty, and he was discharged in 1962 following an injury.
The screen legend, who memorably helped guide Katharine Hepburn through troubled waters in The African Queen, joined the Navy during World War I. As a sailor, he spent much of his time ferrying troops between Europe and the U.S.
The Expendables 2 star served as an air policeman in the Air Force after high school. During his four-year military career, which ended in 1962, he was sent to the Osan Air Base in South Korea, where he reportedly began training in martial arts — a passion that would later become his trademark as an action star. Norris was made an honorary United States Marine in 2007.