8 Famous People With Purple Hearts

James Arness Purple Hearts are awarded to service members who are wounded in war. There are quite a few folks you know from the worlds of TV, movies, or literature that you may never have suspected are recipients of the Purple Heart. For example, James Arness, who played Marshal Dillon for years on TV's Gunsmoke.

Arness (or Aurness before he started acting) enrolled in the US Army in 1943. He wanted to be a fighter pilot, but with a height of 6’7”, there was no way that was going to happen – the maximum height of pilots at the time was 6’2”. So instead he served as a rifleman. Unfortunately, his height singled him out to be the first off the boat to test the water depth for the other men, leaving him to be the first target for the enemy. As a result, Arness was injured less than a year into his service during an invasion on Anzio, Italy, when he was shot in the right leg.

On the upside, his time in the hospital led to his work in television… eventually.

Read the rest of Arness' story, and those of other notable veterans with Purple Hearts at mental_floss. You might be able to guess a couple of them, but you won't guess all of them -and there are more in the comments, too. Link


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