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More and more Marines who are actors

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marine actors

Marines have consistently filled the acting ranks from all backgrounds and experiences. These few, proud actor Marines have starred in many memorable films and shows. Some of those movies and TV series may have been forgotten, but their service is still in our minds. Take a look, you might see a familiar face.

Here are more Marines who are actors

Dan Lauria

dan lauria
Dan Lauria in the Corps and in his acting career.

Lauria is most known for his role as the patriarch of the Arnold family, Jack, in The Wonder Years. He has worked in a couple more series which are still in recent memory such as Sullivan and Son, and Pitch. He grew up in New York, attended Southern Connecticut State University, where he began acting, and then served in the Corps as an officer. His service in the Corps was from 1970 to 1973 with him serving at An Loc which is close to the Cambodian border. Lauria left the service as a Captain.

His acting career has spanned over five decades including stage, film, and TV. He was in the film Independence Day, appeared on stage as Vince Lombardi in Lombardi on Broadway and served as the Department of Veteran Affairs celebrity hospital visitor for one year touring hospitals to meet patients. Significant TV credits for him include Law & Order: SVU, Walker, Texas Ranger, Batman Beyond, Smallville, JAG, Criminal Minds, NCIS: Los Angeles and Blue Bloods. He’s made a career of playing America’s Dad or coach. In the military, Lauria worked on the Kennedy assassination investigation. See who he thinks killed the president, here.

Joe Lisi

joe lisi one of the top marines who are actors
Joe Lisi

Lisi is most known for his work on Third Watch as Lieutenant Swersky and has appeared on many more shows such as ER, Law & Order: SVU, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, The Sopranos, New York Undercover, Law & Order and NYPD Blue. He started his professional career in law enforcement with the NYPD in 1969 and then joined the Marine Corps that same year. He attained the rank of Corporal in the Corps and then further focused on his NYPD career. He retired after 24 years as a Captain of the NYPD. Lisi then focused on his true passion, acting and has been in over 70 projects, both feature and TV. He continues to be a goodwill ambassador for NYC and the USMC.

Mort Mills

janet leigh with mort mills
Janet Leigh with Mort Mills in Psycho.

Mort Mills served in World War II with the 3rd Marine Parachute Battalion in the Pacific Front. His acting career began in 1952 on Biff Baker, U.S.A. as a soldier. He also did Family Theatre that year as a scribe. His most famous role is as the highway patrolman who pulls Janet Leigh over in Psycho and is suspicious of her activities. He worked with Hitchcock again in Torn Curtain, which also starred Paul Newman and Julie Andrews.

Mills was a co-star in the western Man Without a Gun for two seasons in the late 1950s. He later appeared in eight episodes of the hit show Perry Mason. His career waned in the 1970s after episodes of The Streets of San Francisco, Alias Smith and Jones, Mission: Impossible and Adam-12. He appears to have left the industry by 1975 with 150 credits to his name. Nonetheless, another Marine lent his persona to many memorable roles and projects.

Robert Ryan

robert ryan one of the top marines who are actors
Robert Ryan in the Corps.

Robert Ryan’s career went from 1940 to 1973 and he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the film noir Crossfire. He grew up in Chicago and attended Dartmouth College in the 1930s. He was a boxer, played football and ran track at the school. He went into acting post-college and in the 1930s. He joined Paramount in 1939 and off he went with his career. Ryan had roles in The Ghost Breaker, Queen of the Mob and The Rangers Ride Again.

During World War II he joined the Corps and served as a Drill Instructor. He struck up a friendship with future Oscar winner Richard Brooks while stationed at Camp Pendleton. Post World War II he went back into acting into such films Flying Leathernecks, The Naked Spur, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Longest Day, the Western classic The Wild Bunch and the war movie The Dirty Dozen. He left behind a legacy of tough villains, edgy leads and interesting characters from his life.

Don Adams

don adams one of the top marines who are actors
Don Adams as Maxwell Smart.

The man known as Maxwell Smart and the voice of Inspector Gadget also served in the Marines during World War II. An actor-comedian recognized for his timing and delivery, served in the Battle of Guadalcanal and the Pacific Theater of Operations. During his wartime service, he was shot by a sniper and contracted blackwater fever, aka malaria. He recovered in a Navy hospital in New Zealand and then, once recovered, served as a Drill Instructor achieving the rank of corporal before his discharge.

Upon returning to civilian life, Adams, eventually broke into television in 1954 after years of struggling. He appeared on many comedy shows during the 1950s and early 1960s. He got his big break on Get Smart as the eponymous Maxwell Smart. The show lasted five seasons and Adams then went on different points in his career. He struggled with type casting and eventually found further work in the Inspector Gadget animated series as Gadget himself. He continued acting and voicing projects until 2000.