Ten Academy Award winners who served in the military:
- Donald Crisp (10th Royal Hussars, Royal Army)
- Pierre Boulle (French Army)
- George Kennedy (U.S. Army)
- Pedro Almodóvar (Spanish Armed Forces)
- Ang Lee (Military of the Republic of China)
- Michael Curtiz (Austro-Hungarian Army)
- Paul Newman (U.S. Navy)
- Sean Connery (Royal Navy)
- Morgan Freeman (U.S. Air Force)
- Maximilian Schell (Swiss Army)
This list has its roots in the list I did for mmaresca last week, which named various people who share his last name. A I was researching Marescas for that list, I saw that Italian actor Angelo Maresca was a veteran of the Aeronautica Militare, the Italian Air Force, and decided them to return to the topic of actors who served in the miliary once Reader Request Month was over. Maresca ended up not making the list, obviously, since he hasn't won an Academy Award.
I would thnk most of these names are familiar to most of you, with two exceptions. Donald Crisp was an English Actor who won the 1941 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for How Green Was My Valley. He actually served in two different armed services. He served with the Hussars in the Boer War and with military intelligence during World War I; during World War II, having moved to Hollywood, he served with the U.S. Army Reserves. Pierre Boulle won an Oscar for adapting his novel The Bridge on the River Kwai for the screen, though in fact he had nothing to do with it. The screenplay was actually written by Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman; Boulle was officially credited as screenwriter because Wilson and Foreman were both blacklisted at the time. In 1984, the Academy awarded posthumous Oscars to Wilson and Foreman, but did not revoke the Oscar given to Boulle; he's listed alongside Wilson and Forman in the Academy database as having won. River Kwai, incidentally, was inormed by Boulle's own experience as a prisoner in a forced labor camp in French Indochina during World War II.