1. Sir Alec Guinness
From a cherished ridiculous to a fantastic burlesque pantomime, get the tip on the military careers of nine notable World War II stagers.
Some 35 times before he counseled Luke Skywalker to “ use the Force” as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sir Alec Guinness was piloting army wharf craft in the Mediterranean. A trained thespian, Guinness put his theater career on hold in 1939 to join the Royal Navy. He landed some 200 British dogfaces on the strands of Sicily during the July 1943 irruption of Italy and went on to ferry arms to prejudiced fighters in Yugoslavia. During one similar passage in 1944, Guinness’s boat was caught in a violent hurricane off the seacoast of Italy, and he only hardly managed to guide the boat into a harbor before it was thrown onto a rocky oceanfront and damaged beyond form. Guinness would latterly put his wartime experience to use portraying military officers in similar flicks as “ The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “ Melodies of Glory,” and indeed played Adolf Hitler in 1973’s “ Hitler The Last Ten Days.”
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