Celebs Who Played Real-Life War Heroes

May 28, 2012 By:
Celebs Who Played Real-Life War Heroes

It’s Memorial Day Monday, a day to honor those men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It’s also a great time to have a Barbecue or go on a three-day weekend, no judging.

In honor of the Holiday, we’ve rounded up the celebs that have played real life war heroes in movies. I’m not a war hero, but I play one on TV…or something like that.

Tom Hanks as Capt. John H. Miller in “Saving Private Ryan”: Loosely based on the real-life story of the Niland brothers, Tom Hanks character is on a mission to find Private Ryan, who plays the only surviving member of the fictionalized Niland brothers during WWII. Hanks finds him, but dies when Private Ryan tells him to defend a risky bridge in France instead of saving him.

Ryan Philippe as John “Doc” Bradley in “Flags of Our Father”: This Clint Eastwood directed flick tells the story of the five real-life Marines and one Navy Corpsman who were responsible in raising the flag on Iwo Jima during World War II. The story follows Ryan Philippe who becomes an overnight hero for raising the flag. He is relieved of duty, returns home, and wrestles with the idea of what it means to be a "war hero."

Ben Affleck as Rafe in “Pearl Harbor:” Affleck’s character of Rafe is a fictionalized account of a real war hero named George Welch, but the heroic story is still the same. He volunteers to fight with the British Royal Air Force during WWII before the US has even entered the war. He defends the US Base at Pearl Harbor when it’s attacked by Japanese forces in the infamous Doolittle’s Raid on Tokyo. He sacrifices his life saving a friend.

Bruce Willis as Lieutenant A.K. Waters in “Tears of The Sun”: Bruce Willis plays a fictionalized version of real-life War Hero Denis Morisset from Canada in “Tears of the Sun.” Willis’s character is on a mission to extract US personnel from a violent coupe in Nigeria. Once there, he rescues all the Americans and all the other endangered individuals and whisks them away to safety.

Denzel Washington as Trip in “Glory:” Denzel’s portrayal of an escaped slave is loosely based on the true-life story of a man who left slavery during the Civil War but returns to a life of orders in the first all black regiment and with his men they charge the Confederate Fort Wagner.

The Cast of “Red Tails:” Cuba Gooding Jr. Kr and Terrence Howard lead the cast in “Red Tails” a based-on-the-true-story-of the Tuskegee airmen. A group of black pilots during World War II who are finally called into duty and allowed to fly. The Tuskegee Airman were finally and collectively awarded a Gold Medal by Congress in 2007