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Old school actors who played tough guys who WERE tough guys. Login/Join 
Peace through
superior firepower
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Posts: 84872 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Man Once
Child Twice
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Tom Neal
A jealous thug who severely beat Franchot Tone.
 
Posts: 9904 | Location: NE OHIO | Registered: October 22, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get Off My Lawn
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Steve McQueen.

Had a shitty childhood, stepdad beating the shit out of him. A juvenile gangster. Sent to a boys home. Finally joined the Marines, had a rocky start, but ended up straightening out his life. Was an honest to goodness auto and motorcycle racer. Learned martial arts from Pat Johnson (played a bit part in Enter the Dragon), and of course his friend Bruce Lee. The guy was no fluff muffin.



"I’m not going to read Time Magazine, I’m not going to read Newsweek, I’m not going to read any of these magazines; I mean, because they have too much to lose by printing the truth"- Bob Dylan, 1965
 
Posts: 11392 | Location: Texas | Registered: May 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I want to say that I really like this list. Otherwise, it's a shame that you can point out as good a list of current actors/actresses that have similar backgrounds.


... Chad



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Posts: 486 | Location: Colorado Springs, CO | Registered: December 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Eddie Albert

Prior to World War II, and before his film career, Albert had toured Mexico as a clown and high-wire artist with the Escalante Brothers Circus, but secretly worked for U.S. Army intelligence, photographing German U-boats in Mexican harbors.[8] On September 9, 1942, Albert enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and was discharged in 1943 to accept an appointment as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for his actions during the invasion of Tarawa in November 1943, when, as the pilot of a Coast Guard landing craft, he rescued 47 Marines who were stranded offshore (and supervised the rescue of 30 others), while under heavy enemy machine-gun fire.[9]







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Legalize the Constitution
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quote:
Originally posted by K0ZZZ:
I want to say that I really like this list. Otherwise, it's a shame that you can point out as good a list of current actors/actresses that have similar backgrounds.

Obviously, you can’t; however, Rob Riggle served 23 years in the Marine Corps and retired as LTC. He had deployments to Liberia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. As a member of the Daily Show he joked “that he could kill any other member of the show.” That’s probably a LTG.


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James Arness


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quote:
Originally posted by oddball:
..but ended up straightening out his life.


Only at the very very end.


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High Speed Low Drag
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Originally posted by Orguss:
Nobody has mentioned Ronald Reagan? Eek



https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/...ice-of-ronald-reagan


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Posts: 679 | Location: Portland,OR | Registered: October 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Peter Ortiz. Not a movie star, but appeared in some John Ford and John Wayne movies based on his friendship with Ford from their OSS days in WWII.

Anything in a John Wayne or Schwarzenegger movie pales in comparison with Ortiz' real life exploits, from the French Foreign Legion as a teenager to German POW camps to working with the French underground as a U.S. Marine.

His biography is worth the time to read.

https://www.argunners.com/incr...tiz-in-world-war-ii/
 
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Leo Gordon
 
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Jimmy Stewart. He didn't really play badasses but he chose to fly B17s into Germany for bombing missions when he could easily have gotten out of serving with his celebrity. That is a badass!
 
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Originally posted by k5blazer:
Leo Gordon


I just read his bio in wikipedia. This guy actually served time in San Quentin for armed robbery. He also got a DD from the army but still managed to collect GI Bill benefits?
 
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Originally posted by cslinger:
So I have recently watched a couple old flicks with Lee Marvin and it comes to me just how different some of these old guys were vs new / current tough guy actors.

You look at Lee Marvin and you really get that this dude WAS A REAL BAD ASS. He wasn’t acting.

Just musing about an observation. Some of these old Hollywood heroes really were been there done that bad asses.

Lee Marvin immediately came to mind. If I recall, he was in the USMC and fought in the Pacific in WWII.


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Sterling Hayden - also a WWII Marine/OSS agent who went in harm's way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_Hayden




 
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Charles Durning.

U.S. Army. Normandy Invasion. CIB. Silver Star. Bronze Star. Three Purple Hearts.


Some accounts list Charles Durning as one of three survivors of the Malmedy massacre during the Battle of the Bulge. He helped identify the bodies afterwards.
 
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Lee Van Cleef was in WWII, in the Navy. I don't think that he was a tough guy in the 'get drunk and fight' pattern but he would sometimes be challenged to prove that he was as hard as in the movies.

Donald Pleasance, of the Great Escape, and the Halloween movies was in the RAF and an actual POW in a german Stalag. He seems like the kind of bloke that you would rather have on your side if you just could not escape from a bar fight.


"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye". The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, pilot and author, lost on mission, July 1944, Med Theatre.
 
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Clint Eastwood
Crashed in a Douglas AD Bomber in 1951 off the coast of California then swam 3 miles to shore.
 
Posts: 634 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: December 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by oddball:


Steve McQueen.

Had a shitty childhood, stepdad beating the shit out of him. A juvenile gangster. Sent to a boys home. Finally joined the Marines, had a rocky start, but ended up straightening out his life. Was an honest to goodness auto and motorcycle racer. Learned martial arts from Pat Johnson (played a bit part in Enter the Dragon), and of course his friend Bruce Lee. The guy was no fluff muffin.


IIRC, He saved a few Marines from drowning in an Amtrac that sunk.



Eddie Albert (Yep, Mr Green Acres himself) is another one that comes to mind.

Was a spy working for OSS prior to WWII spying on Nazi subs, joined the Coast Guard or Navy Reserves, and was responsible for saving the lives of 40+ Marines at the Battle of Tarawa.


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Posts: 5312 | Location: Just moved: Downtown Chi-Town | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lee Marvin, my favorite actor.
 
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