Actors and Actresses

Discussion in 'General' started by Peter Clare, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    There must be quite a list of actor and actresses who served in WW2. Can you name them and the armed service they served in?
     
  2. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

  3. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    "Professor" Jimmy Edwards.
    Actually James Keith O'Neill B 23 Mar 1920, D 7 Jul 1988.
    British comedian and actor. Flt Lt (DFC). Shot down piloting a Dakota at Arnhem. His 'trade-mark' handle-bar moustache was to hide the scars of plastic surgery.
     
  4. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    Christopher Lee - He volunteered to fight for the Finnish forces during the Winter War against the Soviet Union in 1939 - though, as Lee admits in his autobiography, he and his fellow British volunteers were in Finland for a fortnight and kept well away from the Russian forces the whole time. He went on to serve in the Royal Air Force and intelligence during World War II. He trained in South Africa as a pilot but was forced to drop out due to vision problems. He eventually ended up in North Africa as Cipher Officer for No. 260 Squadron RAF and was with them through Sicily and Italy. Additionally, he has mentioned serving in Special Operations Executive. Lee retired from the RAF after the end of the War in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

    Alec Guinness - Served in the Royal Navy throughout World War II, serving first as a seaman in 1941 and being commissioned the following year. While in the Navy, Guinness for a while planned on becoming an Anglican priest. He commanded a landing craft taking part in the invasion of Sicily and Elba and later ferried supplies to the Yugoslav partisans.
     
  5. 52nd Airborne

    52nd Airborne Green Jacket Brat

    Clive (Don't Panic!) Dunn of Dads Army Fame was a Trooper in the Royal Armoured Corp, spending 4 years as a POW.
     
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Further to that, you may be interested to see the following quoted from the Dad's Army website:

    "Clive Dunn is third generation show business, the son of two comedy artistes, and he remains a modest, unassuming man despite hundreds of television shows and the talent to be a clown, actor, dancer, trick cyclist, and singer. Nobody was more surprised than him to find himself at the top of the Hit Parade and appearing on Top Of The Pops with his record Grandad. It couldn't have happened to a better chap because Clive Dunn as a Trooper in the Queen's own 4th Hussars was captured on the Greek mainland in 1941 and spent four years in a prisoner in a German labour camp."

    When the war finished in 1945 and the chaps who were POWs were released, not all of them returned to their original unit and I don't remember coming across Clive Dunn during my own service with the 4th QOH.
     
  7. djcrtoye

    djcrtoye Member

    Here are 2 more actors in the services during the war. Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olvier both served in the Fleet Air Arm before being dissmissed as being poor pilots.
     
  8. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

  9. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Have you seen this site?
    Actors in WWII

    I am reminded that in 1942, whilst awating my call-up I was living near Luton and commuting daily to London.
    One day when stopping at Welwyn Garden I was surprised to see a very dashing young officer board the train, none other than David Niven.
     
  10. 52nd Airborne

    52nd Airborne Green Jacket Brat

    Further to that, you may be interested to see the following quoted from the Dad's Army website:

    "Clive Dunn is third generation show business, the son of two comedy artistes, and he remains a modest, unassuming man despite hundreds of television shows and the talent to be a clown, actor, dancer, trick cyclist, and singer. Nobody was more surprised than him to find himself at the top of the Hit Parade and appearing on Top Of The Pops with his record Grandad. It couldn't have happened to a better chap because Clive Dunn as a Trooper in the Queen's own 4th Hussars was captured on the Greek mainland in 1941 and spent four years in a prisoner in a German labour camp."

    When the war finished in 1945 and the chaps who were POWs were released, not all of them returned to their original unit and I don't remember coming across Clive Dunn during my own service with the 4th QOH.

    Clive Dunn is his stage name, his real name is Robert Bertram Dunn.
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Alec Guinness - Served in the Royal Navy throughout World War II, serving first as a seaman in 1941 and being commissioned the following year. While in the Navy, Guinness for a while planned on becoming an Anglican priest. He commanded a landing craft taking part in the invasion of Sicily and Elba and later ferried supplies to the Yugoslav partisans.

    Just saw this on Strategypage:

    Obi Wan Kenobi Goes to War
    Already an establish actor on the British stage, in 1941, Alec Guinness (1914-2000), was accepted as an officer candidate in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. By his own account, Guinness says this was apparently solely on the basis of the fact that he could swim, since otherwise the interviewing petty officer made repeated “little disparaging shakes of the head” to virtually every answer he gave during his pre-induction interview. During his physical, however, the examining officer was greatly impressed with Guinness’ ability to expand his chest by four inches, the result of years of voice training.
    As did all officer candidates, Guinness – who served using his full name, Alec Guinness Cuffe – was initially enrolled as an ordinary seaman in HMS Raleigh, a shore-side basic training establishment near Plymouth, and then proceeded to other bases for more advanced training, at each step going through additional screenings, in which he was helped by the advice from a fellow actor who was already an officer, “just act the part.”
    After more schooling, and some practical experience, Guinness was commissioned a temporary sub-lieutenant in 1942, by which time he was training as a landing craft commander. Completing the course, Guinness was assigned to command an LCI(L) – landing craft, infantry (large). As his vessel was actually under construction in Boston, he sailed for America aboard the Queen Mary. Arriving in the U.S., Guinness was not displeased to learn that HMS LCI(L)-124 would not be ready for some time. Pulling in a few favors, he was able to secure a role in the American premier of the play Flare Path, which opened at the Henry Miller Theatre on Broadway on December 23, 1942.
    In Flare Path, about the lives of R.A.F. officers and their wives and sweethearts, Guinness played a young flight lieutenant. The New York Times review called the play “slow and sentimental,” but observed that this impression might be due to the fact that the reviewer – like most Americans – had never been bombed. The reviewer went on to say that Guinness, in his American debut, brought “nervous energy and bounce to the part,” but was not always convincing. Essentially a puff piece written with the support of Bomber Command, the play closed in early January, after only 14 performances.
    Guinness was shortly at sea in command of LCI(L)-124, and was promoted to temporary lieutenant in April of 1943. He first saw action during the landings in Sicily (July 9, 1943), in the course of which LCI(L)-124 was fouled by another vessel and remained stuck on the beach for more than a week. Guinness and his crew – all 17 of them – later supported Allied operations in Italy, helped land the French on Elba (June 17, 1944), and then ran supplies to the Yugoslav Partisans until the vessel was wrecked in a storm off the Italian port of Termoli in early 1945. Guinness held various assignments thereafter until he was released from the service shortly after the end of the war.
    Guinness later claimed that his training as an actor helped him be a better officer, since so much of what an officer does is acting. And apparently his experiences as an officer helped him become a better actor, for he admitted to modelling officers that he was asked to play in the course of his acting career on men whom he had known while in the service.
    Guinness’ experience as an officer in the Royal Navy, and that of many other later notable Britons, such as Nicholas Monsarrat, Evelyn Waugh, and James Callaghan, is examined in Brian Lavery’s In Which They Served: The Royal Navy Officer Experience in the Second World Warhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thehundredyearsw&l=as2&o=1&a=1591144019 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2008)


    Where would we be without the Search function? :)
     
    Juha likes this.
  12. James Daly

    James Daly Senior Member

    there was an interesting article in the January 2009 Issue of Britain at War Magazine, about the war service of the Dads Army actors. Turns out that Arnold Ridley, who played Godfrey, saw more action than any of them! quite an interesting story, I will have to dig it out...
     
  13. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    there was only one that really mattered surely..Spike.
     
  14. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Favourite Arty Celebs

    Spike Milligan - 56 Heavy Regt Royal Artillery
    Harry Secombe - 132 Field Regt Royal Artillery
    Frankie Howerd - Royal Artillery
    Sir John Mills - 2nd Lt Royal Artillery
    Sir Edward Heath Lt Col Royal Artillery

    Apologies to the Red-Caps
    21 days in the Glasshouse!

    Rob
     
  15. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    James Stewart served as a bomber pilot with USAAF, flying missions over France and Germany.

    Douglas Fairbanks Jr also served in the US airforce.
     
  16. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    George Bush, pilot USNavy, President USA.
     
  17. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    which one
     
  18. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    I thought this thread would be really good as everyone searched their brains and tried to remember what actors served.....

    Then people come along and cut and paste the whole bloody lot that ended that topic
     
  19. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    ahhh..see...where you went wrong was to not just say who was your favourite...spike and niven for me..im pretty sure thora hird was ats too..so shes my female of the species.
     
  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Ahh, sorry, I did go off track with a Celebrity who wasn't an actor, insofar as one might be allowed to think that politicians have to be actors...

    I'll mend my ways and suggest Ronald Reagan, an actor who didn't quite make it as, even being an officer in Army Reserve since 1935, he wasn't accepted for combat duty due to astigmatism :)

    Urqh, that was GB senior who flew a Grumman Avenger in the Pacific, junior got into the National Guard as a fighter pilot, and some people will say he avoided going to Vietnam, although this may be disputed.
     

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