Donald Malarkey, a World War II veteran portrayed by Scott Grimes in the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, has died, reported the Associated Press. He was 96.
Malarkey died on Saturday in Salem, Oregon, of age-related causes, his son-in-law told the AP.
As a paratrooper, Malarkey was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroics on D-Day in 1944, according to the AP. He parachuted behind enemy lines at Normandy, destroying German artillery.
He was a member of the Easy Company — the Army company profiled in the 2001 American war drama — with whom he fought in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.
After serving in the war, Malarkey returned to college at the University of Oregon, graduating with a business degree in 1948. That same year, he married Irene Moor, with whom he welcomed four children.
In 2009, Malarkey was presented with the French government’s highest honor, the Legion of Honor Medal, for his actions during the war, said the AP. A year prior, he shared his experiences in the Easy Company through an autobiography called Easy Company Soldier. He was also a guest lecturer at West Point, and sometimes traveled to both Kuwait and Germany to meet with soldiers injured during the Iraq War.
He is survived by his sister and three daughters.