Did you know that a pre-'Law & Order: SVU' (and pre-rap career) Ice-T was an army ranger? How about that all-around nice guys Bob Barker and Ed McMahon had badass streaks -- both were fighter pilots during World War II?
After the jump, a list of more veterans-turned-actors. But first, a brief history of the holiday: Veterans Day originated as a celebration of the end of World War I, created by President Woodrow Wilson to thank the American soldiers who fought in the war. In 1978, Gerald Ford designated Nov. 11 as the official date of Veterans Day, and we've celebrated on the 11th day of the 11th month every year since then.
Unlike its companion miniseries, 'Band of Brothers,' which followed the legendary Easy Company throughout the war in Europe, 'The Pacific' focuses more on the individual perspectives of four Marines -- Pvts. Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale) and Sidney Phillips (Ashton Holmes) in the 1st Marine Regiment; Sgt. John Basilone (Jon Seda) in the 7th Marine Regiment; and Phillips' best friend, Pvt. Eugene Sledge (Joseph Mazzello), in the 5th Marine Regiment -- as they struggle to keep their spirits high while fighting an unrelenting enemy -- the Japanese.
AOL TV had the honor of speaking to 85-year-old WWII veteran Dr. Sidney Phillips, the only one still with us (Basilone was fatally wounded at Iwo Jima, and Leckie and Sledge, both of whom wrote memoirs on which 'The Pacific' is based, both passed away in 2001). Phillips tells us what it felt like to see his war-time experiences and those of his best friend Sledge depicted on screen.
Read the interview after the jump
I, however, persist in liking Brothers and Sisters, manipulation and all. That isn't to say that I don't get irritated with the show, as readers who followed my posts last year can attest. I was irritated tonight with the blatant manipulation of opening the show with a funeral, when last week's episode left us in some doubt about whether or not the youngest Walker (oops, second-to-youngest), Justin, was killed in Iraq.
PBS recently posted a teaser clip of the new Ken Burns documentary about World War II, The War, on YouTube. I've placed it at the end of this post.
Based on my past posts about this upcoming documentary (it airs for two weeks starting September 23), people have differing opinions about Burns' talent as a documentary filmmaker. As a layman, I thought his Civil War was well-made and very interesting, though certainly not the most exciting documentary I've ever seen.
Ken Burns' upcoming PBS documentary about World War II has angered some veterans and leaders in the Latino community.
The protest was sparked by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, who runs an oral history project about Latino veterans for the University of Texas.
Burns points out that not every story could be told in The War, his 14-hour documentary slated to air on PBS this September, but the documentary contains no interviews with Latino soldiers whatsoever. Unfortunately, going back and splicing in stories from Latino veterans is easier said than done, and satisfying Rivas-Rodriguez's desire to have at least an additional two hours dedicated to Latino veterans is a rather tall order, considering the documentary focuses on four specific communities and Latino veterans from each of those communities would have to be found and their stories spliced in to fit the overall narrative.
But, oh, ick ick ick! Oh god, please don't make Robert McCallister a saint or anymore of a good guy. The fact that he let people think he was a hero when he was scared under heavy fire and didn't really want to evacuate those people just humanizes him a bit. How can anybody be that good looking and that wonderful? It's too much really.
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