1. Johnny Carson
Long before Johnny Carson became a household television name, he too had a military career. The television host-comedian joined the U.S. Navy during WWII. Carson started as an apprentice shipman but, eventually, he became a midshipman assigned to the USS Pennsylvania in the Pacific Ocean.
There, Carson continued his military career as a communications officer responsible for decoding encrypted messages. After he safely returned home, he got a degree in journalism. From there, it’s easy to see how he became the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, for which he won six Emmys and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2. Gene Hackman
While many actors felt proud to serve their country, Gene Hackman wasn’t too excited about joining the U.S. Marines back in the 1960s. You see, at that time, Hackman’s father had abandoned the family; afterward, his mother struggled to raise the family on her own. Desperate for a fresh start, Hackman ultimately lied about his age to become a U.S Marine.
Afterward, the Marines transferred Hackman overseas to China, where he served as a radio operator. Later on, they relocated him again, this time to Hawaii. While inlisted, Hackman received demotions three times since he had trouble negotiating with discipline and power. But hey, all that confrontation probably gave him some serious performing chops.