What Are Some Famous Purple Heart Veterans?


Quick Answer

James Garner and James Arness became well-known actors after being awarded Purple Hearts while serving in the military. Rod Serling, who created the classic television series, "The Twilight Zone," was also a Purple Heart recipient.

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Full Answer

James Garner served briefly in WWII when he lied about his age and enlisted at age 16. It wasn't until serving in the Korean War, however, that he was awarded two Purple Hearts for injuries received in battle. Garner made his big break in 1957 with the title role in the television show, "Maverick." He was noted for having one of the longest-running careers in Hollywood but passed away in 2014.

James Arness was known for his role on the long-running television show, "Gunsmoke." He also made four movies with John Wayne. Prior to that, he served in WWII as a rifleman. He was shot in the right leg during an invasion in Ansio, Italy.

Rod Serling was a paratrooper during WWII and received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star after being injured by bomb shrapnel during the Battle of Leyte. His time in the South Pacific left him with deep psychological scars. His daughter, Anne Serling, mentioned in a 2013 interview that she could remember him having nightmares about it. Several of the most iconic episodes of "The Twilight Zone" were inspired by his traumatic wartime experiences.

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