Hollywood Heroes and Hollywood Morons
by Bill Levinson
It is instructive to compare the personal character and integrity of today’s Hollywood celebrities and those of fifty or sixty years ago. Today, of course, we have 9/11 conspiracy theorists like Rosie O’Donnell and Charlie Sheen. Hanoi Jane Fonda is still active, while Michael Moore’s Web site calls the terrorists who are murdering our men and women in uniform “Minutemen.” The following information is primarily from Wikipedia which, although we recognize that it is not always authoritative or entirely accurate, is probably good enough for our purposes.
HALL OF HONOR
In 1941 the U.S. entered the Second World War and Dietrich became one of the first celebrities to raise war bonds. She entertained troops on the front lines in a USO revue that included future TV pioneer Danny Thomas as her opening act. Dietrich was known to have strong political convictions and the mind to speak them. Like many Weimar era German entertainers, she was a staunch anti-Nazi who despised anti-Semitism.
She recorded a number of anti-Nazi records in German for the OSS, including “Lili Marleen”. She also played the musical saw to entertain troops. She sang for the Allied troops on the front lines in Algiers, France and into Germany with Generals James M. Gavin and George S. Patton. When asked why she had done this, in spite of the obvious danger of being within a few kilometers of German lines, she replied, “aus Anstand” – “it was the decent thing to do”.
Dietrich was awarded the Medal of Freedom by the US Government for her war work. She was also made a chevalier (later commandeur) of the Légion d’Honneur by the French government.
…he then enlisted in the Navy to fight in World War II, saying, “I don’t want to be in a fake war in a studio.”
Previously, he and Stewart had helped raise funds for the defense of Britain from the Nazis. Fonda served for three years, initially as a Quartermaster 3rd Class on the destroyer USS Satterlee. He was later commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in Air Combat Intelligence in the Central Pacific and won a Presidential Citation and the Bronze Star.
Bob Hope “…performed his first United Service Organizations (USO) show on May 6, 1941, at March Field, California. He continued to travel and entertain troops for the rest of World War II and later during the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the 1990–1991 Persian Gulf War. When overseas he almost always performed in Army fatigues as a show of support for his audience.”
Hedy Lamarr (Delilah in “Samson and Delilah”) “and composer George Antheil received U.S. Patent 2,292,387 for their Secret Communication System on August 11, 1942. This early version of frequency hopping used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam. …Lamarr wanted to join the National Inventors Council but she was told that she could better help the war effort by using her celebrity status to sell War Bonds. She once raised $7,000,000 at just one event.”
Christopher Lee (Saruman in “Lord of the Rings” and Count Dooku in “Star Wars”): “He volunteered to fight for the Finnish forces during the Winter War against the Soviet Union in 1939 – though, as Lee admits in his autobiography, he and his fellow British volunteers were in Finland only a fortnight and kept well away from the Russian forces the whole time. He went on to serve in the Royal Air Force and intelligence during World War II.”
Patrick Macnee “was commisioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and was awarded the Atlantic Star for his service during WW2.” Not content with fighting cinematic evildoers side by side with Avenger Emma Peel, Macnee also fights them in real life: “In his spare time Patrick enjoys bird-watching, desert reclamation, and preventing terrorism! (He received an award from the Bureau of Federal Aviation for preventing terrorism on aircraft).”
Audie Murphy “received the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award for valor, along with 32 additional medals awarded for bravery and service.”
With the outbreak of World War II, Palance’s boxing career ended and his military career began. Palance’s rugged face, which took many beatings in the boxing ring, was disfigured when he bailed out of his burning B-24 Liberator while on a training flight over southern Arizona, where he was a student pilot. Plastic surgeons repaired the damage as best they could, but he was left with a distinctive, somewhat gaunt, look. After much reconstructive surgery, he was discharged in 1944.
On May 25, 1937, Reagan was appointed a second lieutenant in the Officers’ Reserve Corps of the Cavalry, serving with Troop B, 322nd Cavalry. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lieutenant Reagan was ordered to active duty, but because of his astigmatism, he was prevented from serving overseas. Reagan remained in Hollywood for the duration of the war. At the request of the Army Air Force, he applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to the Army Air Force. In June 1942, he was assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit, which made training and education films for the war effort.
Brigadier General James Maitland “Jimmy” Stewart–well, the military rank speaks for itself. The Army Air Force veteran often played airplane pilot roles in postwar films.
In 1944, he twice received the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in combat and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. He also received the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters. In July 1944, after flying 20 combat missions, Stewart was made Chief of Staff of the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing of the Eighth Air Force. Before the war ended, he was promoted to Colonel, one of only a few Americans to rise from private to colonel in four years.
HALL OF SHAME
While Marlene Dietrich was singing for Allied soldiers, Hanoi Jane Fonda posed in a North Vietnamese gun emplacement.
Michael Moore calls terrorists who are murdering our men and women in uniform “Minutemen.”
Rosie O’Donnell, former keynote speaker for the disgraced and defunct Million Mom March, joins Charlie Sheehan in espousing 9/11 conspiracy theories while blaming the United Kingdom for Iran’s recent act of piracy on the high seas.
Susan Sarandon (Susan Saranwrap to Michael Savage) “Sarandon appeared at an Anti-War rally in Washington, D.C., with people such as Tim Robbins, and Jane Fonda. Her stance was, “Let us resist this war” and “Let us hate war in all its forms, whether the weapon used is a missile or an airplane.”” And don’t forget to sing “Kumbaya…” (Given her Welsh ancestry, we recommend that she learn the meaning of “Men of Harlech” instead.) Her behavior is admittedly far less objectionable than that of Fonda, Moore, O’Donnell, and Sheen; unlike O’Donnell and Sheen, she apparently agrees that terrorists used airplanes as weapons on 9/11.
Charlie Sheen joins Rosie O’Donnell’s 9/11 denial. 9/11 Denial = Holocaust Denial, except it writes off, excuses, or blames on someone else four missing aircraft and two missing skyscrapers instead of six million missing Jews and three missing Polish Catholics.