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Monday, September 26, 2005

You Learn Things When People Die

When a celebrity dies, you learn things about them that somehow get lost in the shuffle during their lives. Don Adams, so hilarious on Get Smart had a more interesting history than I would have guessed:

In 1941, he dropped out of school to join the Marines. In Guadalcanal he survived the deadly blackwater fever and was returned to the States to become a drill instructor, acquiring the clipped delivery that served him well as a comedian.

Maxwell Smart was a Marine. There is something shocking about that.

Read the obituary.

Update: More.

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I, too, sit here with my jaw hanging open.  Who’da thunk it?

on Sep 26 2005 @ 01:03 PM

It just doesn’t quite fit in with the character, does it?

on Sep 26 2005 @ 01:39 PM

And he was Tennesee Tuxedo.

on Sep 26 2005 @ 02:37 PM

This just makes me want to go read Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” work because I think that aside from just celebrities of that era, most individuals just had a lot more character.  Imagine reading celeb obits of the future and you can bet there’s no blackwater fever (whatever that is). How many of today’s celebs or athletes even served in the military? That’s why we love and respect Mike Anderson here in Denver, even though he likes a little reefer now and then.

on Sep 27 2005 @ 05:42 AM

Don O makes a great point. During WWII, baseball almost had to shut down because so many of its star players joined the military.

We surely live in a different age.

on Sep 27 2005 @ 02:09 PM

Aside from picking the game last night (I mean, he sent me an email a few hours before kickoff telling me that he thought the Broncs were going to put the lumber to the Chiefs--good call, Don), you’re right: he makes a great point. Every time I read a bio of sports figures and movie stars from that era, it seems like they left their civilian jobs to go serve their country. Jimmy Stewart is still my favorite example because of the length of his service, his amazing performance, and the fact that he was always so humble about it after the fact.


Can you imagine someone like Matt Damon giving up a year or two of his career to go fight terrorists?

Our military is a very different thing now than it was in the forties and our need for volunteers is, similarly, a very different animal. But the stars from that period certainly set a different standard and a different example for the country, didn’t they?

on Sep 27 2005 @ 02:26 PM
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