Dusty Baker

Johnnie B. “Dusty” Baker Jr. is a hunter, fisherman, winery owner, book author, baseball all-star and U.S. Marine.  He was born on June 15, 1949, in Riverside, California.  Drafted at the age of 18, by the Atlanta Braves in the 1967 amateur draft right out of Del Campo High School, near Sacramento, CA, he started his professional baseball career as an outfielder.

Dusty got his nickname from his mother because he was constantly dirty.  He served in the Marine Corps Reserves from 1969-1975.

He learned some things from the Marine Corps that has helped him succeed as a manager in baseball.  He believes the chain of command has to be in place.  He has selected specific players to help lead the team just as a platoon has squad leaders and the rookies need to report to those players with their complaints instead of running to him directly.

He had a 19-year career as a hard-hitting outfielder, primarily with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.  He helped the Dodgers to pennants in 1977 and 1978 and to the World Series championship in 1981.  He then had a 20-year career as a manager with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and now the Washington Nationals.  He led the Giants to the 2002 National League pennant and also reached the playoffs with the latter three teams.

Dusty was selected as the new manager for the Washington Nationals, on November 2, 2015.

Dusty has 20 years as a Major League manager, six years as a coach, and 19-years as a player that is highlighted by 19 decorated seasons in the Major Leagues.  He is a three-time National League Manager of the Year (1993, 1997, 2000), and is the 17th-winningest manager in baseball history.

He founded the Dusty Baker International Academy of Baseball in Sacramento and is supportive of many local charitable organizations.

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Lou Diamond

Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland “Lou” Diamond was born on May 30, 1890, in Bedford, Ohio.  His parents were Canadians from Belleville, Ontario.  His father was the youngest of the famed Diamond Brothers of the North-West Mounted Police.  He is descended from the Hudson River Valley AlgonquinMohican Diamond family of the pre-American-Revolution era.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in Detroit, Michigan, July 25, 1917 at the age of 27, listing as his previous occupation as “railroad switchman”.

Because of his incredibly powerful voice, which matched his 5’11” 200-pound frame, Diamond was once dubbed “The Honker.”  Many of his comrades at Guadalcanal considered him “a human air-raid warning system.”

Diamond often defied rules and regulations of the Corps, going hatless and wearing dungarees in open defiance of military dress regulations. He also had a goatee and relaxed grooming standards compared to other Marines.  (He even accepted one of his decorations in dungarees.) His self-confidence, even cockiness, was one of his outstanding characteristics. He considered anybody with less than ten years in the Corps a “boot”.  While he ‘dressed down’ recruits who sometimes instinctively saluted him, he frequently failed to salute officers who were less than field grade.

Diamond was offered many opportunities to become a commissioned officer and rejected them by saying, “nobody can make a gentleman out of me.”

As a corporal in January 1918, he shipped out from Philadelphia aboard the USS Von Steuben bound for Brest, France and saw action during World War I, with the famous 6th Marine Regiment in the battles at Chateau Thierry, Belleau Wood, the Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne.  Promoted to the grade of Sergeant, he marched to the Rhine with the Army of Occupation.

At war’s end, he returned to America, and received an honorable discharge.  But he soon found out that railroading and civilian life did not suit him.  On September 23, 1921, Diamond re-enlisted and saw more action in Shanghai, with Company M, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment.  But the Sino-Japanese controversy, in Diamond’s opinion, was “not much of a war,” and on June 10, 1933, he returned to the United States, disembarking from the USS Henderson (AP-1) at Mare Island, California. By then he was a Gunnery Sergeant.

Diamond returned to Shanghai with his old outfit, the 4th Marines, ten months later; was transferred to the 2nd Marines in December 1934; and returned to the states in February 1937.  Two years after his promotion to Master Gunnery Sergeant on July 10, 1939, he was assigned to the Depot of Supplies at Philadelphia to help design a new infantry pack.

Following the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Diamond shipped out to Guadalcanal with Company H, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, arriving at the beaches on August 7, 1942.  He was then 52 years old.

Diamond proved himself an expert with both 60- and 81-mm mortars, his accurate fire being credited as the turning point of many battles on Guadalcanal.  Among the many fables concerning his Guadalcanal service is the tale that he lobbed a mortar shell down the smoke stack of an off-shore Japanese cruiser.  It is considered a fact, however, that he drove the cruiser from the bay with his harassing “near-misses.”

After two months on Guadalcanal, physical disabilities dictated his evacuation by air against his wishes.  He was moved to the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) and later to a hospital in New Zealand, where he somehow acquired orders to board a supply ship for New Caledonia.  There a friend ordered him back to Guadalcanal — the supposed location of his old outfit. Upon his arrival, however, Diamond discovered that the 1st Marine Division had shipped out to Australia.  Diamond made the trip, without orders, by bumming rides on planes, ships and trains.

But Diamond was destined not to see any more combat.  On July 1, 1943, he disembarked from the USS Hermitage (AP-54) at San Pedro, California, and twelve days later was made an instructor at the MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina.  After two years as an instructor, he was transferred to Camp Lejeune, on June 15, 1945, and joined the 5th Training Battalion with the same duties.  Five months later, on November 23, 1945, Lou retired fro the Corps and returned home in Toledo, Ohio.

Diamond was a member and frequent visitor of the Toledo, Ohio Jewish Serviceman’s USO Club, sponsored by the National Jewish Welfare Board in 1943, as indicated by his registration card coded as a NON-JEW with a hole punched in the top left hand corner.

His death at the Great Lakes, Illinois, Naval Training Center Hospital, September 20, 1951, was followed by a funeral, with military honors, at Sylvania, Ohio.  He was laid to rest at Toledo Memorial Park in Sylvania.

Actor Ward Bond portrayed Diamond in an episode of the television series Cavalcade of America entitled “The Marine Who Was Two Hundred Years Old”.  It aired on June 1, 1955; a copy has been located at the Marine Corps Museum.

The Filipino-American actor Lou Diamond Phillips was named after him by his father, an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Although Diamond is sometimes referred to as “highly decorated”, his only personal decoration was the Secretary of the Navy Commendation Ribbon, which later became the Navy Commendation Medal. His other awards include:

Diamond also earned the French Fourragère (Croix de Guerre 1914–1918) as a personal award, since he had participated in earning it with the 6th Marines.

Drew Carey

Drew Carey was born on May 23, 1958, and grew up in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.  He graduated from James Ford Rhodes High School in 1975 and then  attended Kent State University.  He left Kent State after three years and enlisted into the Marine Corps Reserves in 1979 and served for four years with Headquarters and Services Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, as a field radio operator.

In 1985, Drew began his comedy career by following up on a suggestion by David Lawrence, a disc jockey friend who had been paying Drew to write jokes for David’s radio show in Cleveland.  The following year, Drew won an open-mic contest and became Master of Ceremonies at the Cleveland Comedy Club.  He performed at comedy clubs over the next few years in Cleveland and Los Angeles.

Drew first came into the national spotlight when he competed in the 1988 series of Star Search.  He then appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in November 1991.  His performance impressed Johnny, who invited Drew to sit on the couch next to his desk; this was considered a rare honor for any comedian.  In that same year, Drew joined the 14th Annual Young Comedians Special on HBO and made his first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman.  In 1994, Carey wrote his own stand-up comedy special, Drew Carey: Human Cartoon, which aired on Showtime and won a CableACE Award for Best Writing

Drew has appeared in several films, television series, music videos, a made-for-television film, and a computer game.  He has hosted The Price Is Right since 2007 on CBS.  He is interested in a variety of sports, and has worked as a photographer at U.S. National Team soccer games, and is a minority owner of the Major League Soccer team Seattle Sounders FC.  Drew has written an autobiography, Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined, detailing his early life and television career.

Please visit the SuccessfulMarines PX to purchase Drew Carey products.

Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel was born on May 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Miriam and Harry Keitel, Jewish immigrants from Romania and Poland, respectively.  His parents owned and ran a luncheonette and his father also worked as a hat maker.

Harvey grew up in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, with his sister and brother.  He attended Abraham Lincoln High School and Alexander Hamilton Vocational School, but dropped out to join the Marines in 1956.  While serving with 2nd Marine Division as a rifleman fire team leader, his service took him to Lebanon, during Operation Blue Bat.

Harvey’s time in the Marines made a huge influence on his life and helped shape many of his perspectives.  During training at night combat school, he mentioned being afraid of the dark.  An instructor told him that everyone is afraid of the dark because people are afraid of the unknown, and he would teach him how to handle it. Harvey took the lesson to heart and extended it to other areas of his life over the years.

After his discharge he returned to New York and worked as a court stenographer for several years and was able to support himself before beginning his acting career when he joined the New York’s Actors Studio.  His persistence paid off, and he began landing roles in live theater.

His film career took off with Martin Scorsese‘s 1967 “Who’s That Knocking at My Door.”  The actor and director hit it off, and Harvey returned in future Scorsese films.

Harvey’s film career now has 150 credits as an actor, and five as a producer, spanning from 1966 – present day, he is still active in Hollywood and working on several projects, with his latest films including “Chosen“, “The Ridiculous 6“, and “The Comedian.”  He credits time serving the Marine Corps for his success and professionalism within the film industry.

Check out the SuccessfulMarine PX for Harvey Keitel’s films and other products.

Donald Bren

Donald Bren was born on May 11, 1932, in Los Angeles, California.  His father Milton was a naval officer, talent agent, real estate developer, and successful movie producer.

Donald attended the University of Washington, on a skiing scholarship and earned a degree in business administration and economics.  After graduation he and then served for three years as an officer in the Marine Corps.

He began his business career at the age of 25, in 1958 when he founded the Bren Company, which built homes in Orange County, California.  He built his first house in Newport Beach with a $10,000 loan.

In 1963, he and two others started the Mission Viejo Company (MVC) and purchased 11,000 acres to plan and develop the city of Mission Viejo, California.  Donald was President of MVC from 1963 to 1967.  International Paper bought Bren Co. for $34 million in 1970, and then sold it back to Donald for $22 million in 1972 following the recession.  He took the proceeds and in 1977 joined a group of investors to purchase the 146-year-old Irvine Company,

The historic Irvine Company dates back to 1864, and has been the master planner and master builder of the 93,000 acre Irvine Ranch since 1960.  This purchase made him the largest shareholder of the company, owning 34.3% and gave him the title of Vice-chair of the board.  By 1983, he was the majority owner of the firm and was elected chairman of the board.  By 1996, he bought out all outstanding shares to become the sole owner.

In 2005, OC Weekly wrote that Bren “wields more power than Howard Hughes ever did, probably as much as any man in America over a concentrated region—determining not only how people live and shop but who governs them.”  In 2006 the Los Angeles Times said that Orange County looks like Orange County because of Donald Bren.  In its 2015 edition of, “The 400 Richest Americans“, Forbes ranked Donald as the wealthiest real estate developer in the US and 30th “Richest American” with an estimated net worth of $15.2 billion. Today, he is number 29 on the Forbes 400 list.

The Irvine Company now owns several hotels, marinas, golf courses, 60,000 apartments, more than 40 shopping centres and 500 office buildings make up the property portfolio, with the majority located in Southern California. .

In 2008, BusinessWeek named Bren one of the top ten philanthropists in the nation, with his contributions to various causes such as education, conservation and research among other areas exceeding $1 billion.

You can read more about Donald by visiting: The Irvine Company and by visiting the SuccessfulMarines PX for products related to Donald’s successful career.

Bea Arthur

Beatrice Arthur, originally Bernice Frankel was born on May 13, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York.  In 1933, the Frankel family relocated to Cambridge, Maryland, where her parents operated a clothing shop.  She attended Linden Hall School for Girls, the oldest girls’ boarding school in the United States.  She then enrolled at Blackstone College for Girls in Blackstone, Virginia, where she was active in the drama program.

Her employment after attending Blackstone College for Girls, included working as a food analyst at a Maryland packing plant; a hospital lab technician, and an office worker at a New York loan company.  She was due to start another job when she heard that the Marine Corps had opened enlistments to women.   She decided to join, with hopes of going into ground aviation. She went to basic training in March 1943, at the age of 21.

During her service she worked as a typist and a truck driver and had assignments at Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C., a Navy air station in Virginia and Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina.  A year into her enlistment, she married a fellow Marine, Private Robert Aurthur, in a ceremony presided over by a city judge in Ithaca, New York.  She then formally had her named changed to Bernice Aurthur.  She completed her two years of service, achieving the rank of staff sergeant before being honorably discharged in September 1945.

After her discharge she changed her name to Bea Arthur, as she started her career in acting.  In 1947 she studied at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York with German director Erwin Piscator.  Bea began her acting career as a member at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City.

She continued with acting roles on and off Broadway throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  She was then invited by Norman Lear to guest-star on his sitcom All in the Family, as Maude Findlay, an outspoken liberal feminist.  Her performance eventually led to her own series as the character and earned her several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, including an Emmy win in 1977, for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Her acting career included other less known television shows and movies until she landed a role in 1985 for The Golden Girls, the series remained on the top-ten with ratings, for six out of the seven seasons.  Baa’s performance led to several Emmy nominations over the course of the series and an Emmy win in 1988.

In 1992, she decided to leave The Golden Girls.  She made several guest appearances on shows and toured in her one-woman show, titled An Evening with Bea Arthur, as well as And Then There’s Bea.

Bea died from cancer, at her home in the Sullivan Canyon section of Brentwood, California on April 25, 2009.   She is survived by her two sons and two granddaughters.

Rob Riggle

 

Robert Allen “Rob” Riggle, Jr. (born April 21, 1970) is an American actor, comedian and retired U.S. Marine officer.  He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but his family moved to Overland Park, Kansas when he was two years old.  He attended Shawnee Mission South High School, where he was involved in the school’s radio and TV stations.  He was voted the most humorous and graduated in 1988. Riggle later graduated from the University of Kansas, in 1992, with a B.A. in Theater and Film, while attending the university he also made time to get his pilot’s license, and became a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.  He went on to earn a Master of Public Administration degree from Webster University in 1997.

He joined the Marines on April 25, 1990, after getting his pilot’s license, intending to become a Naval Aviator, he was able to get a guaranteed flight contract.  When he was in flight school he was faced with making a difficult decision.  He could continue flying and earn his flight wings, but if he did that he wouldn’t have time to pursue his comedy career.  So he decided to pursue his comedy and acting career.

He then had his flight contract changed to a ground contract and became a Public Affairs Officer.  He served for nine years on active duty before going into the reserves.  As a Public Affairs Officer, he was usually attached to command elements and he served with a number of different units including: 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines; 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines; 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable); 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing; U.S. Central Command and 5th Special Forces Group.  While serving, he visited Liberia, Kosovo, Albania, and Afghanistan.  His military education includes The Basic School, Aviation Indoctrination, Primary Flight Training, Intermediate Flight Training, Defense Information School, The Warfighting Course, Amphibious Warfare School and Command & Staff College.

His military decorations include:  Meritorious Service Medal (2); Navy and Marine Corps Commendation MedalJoint Service Achievement MedalNavy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2); Combat Action RibbonNational Defense Service Medal (2); Kosovo Campaign MedalAfghanistan Campaign MedalGlobal War on Terrorism Service MedalHumanitarian Service MedalArmed Forces Reserve Medal; and NATO Medal.

Many celebrity vets leave the service behind once they make it in Hollywood, but Rob was still a Marine and he managed to put in the required time for the Corps. while his career in Hollywood was gaining traction.  On January 1, 2013, Rob retired from the Marine Corps Reserves, as a Lieutenant Colonel, after 23 years of service.

 He is best known for his work as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show from 2006 to 2008, as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2004 to 2005, and for his comedic roles in films such as The Hangover, The Other Guys, Let’s Be Cops, 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, and Step Brothers.
He now has over 100 acting credits, 9 writing credits, 2 producer and director credits.  See more on his IMDB profile.  You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Hugh O’Brian

Hugh O’Brian, born on April 19, 1925 in Rochester, New York.  His original name is Hugh Charles Krampe, he changed it to O’Brien (from his mother’s side), because it was prone to less misspelling.  But they misspelled that, too, as “O’Brian,” so he just decided to stay with that.

He attended school at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri, playing football, basketball, wrestling, and track.  After graduation he spent a semester at the University of Cincinnati, studying law.  He then enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II, at the age of 17 and became the youngest Marine Corps drill instructor in American history.  O’Brian served as a tank crewman, during his four-year service, he won a coveted Fleet appointment to the Naval Academy.  After passing the entrance exams, he declined the appointment, to enroll at Yale University, to study law.  He was honorably discharged at the rank of  Corporal.

Hugh went to Los Angeles, where he planned to earn money for his Yale tuition.  He met Ruth Roman and Linda Christian, who introduced him to a little theater group and was asked to fill in when a leading actor became ill.

Hugh became one of the forefathers of the modern Western,  best known for portraying Sheriff Wyatt Earp in TV’s “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp”.  He had a successful acting career that lasted into the early 2000s, with 112 credits including appearances on Charlie’s AngelsL.A. Law, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and The Love Boat.  He shared the screen with legends such as Kirk Douglas, Rock Hudson, Spencer Tracy, Patricia Neal, Marilyn Monroe and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He is now most remembered for creating a non-profit organization, known as Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), to help high school sophomores develop leadership abilities.  O’Brian founded HOBY in 1958, after being inspired by the work of the Nobel Prize-winning Albert Schweitzer, since then more than 470,000 people have attended the program.

Hugh died at his home in Beverly Hills, on September 5, 2016, at the age of 91 from a variety of unspecified health issues.

Bradford Dillman

Bradford Dillman was born on April 14, 1930 in San Francisco, California, the son of Josephine (née Moore) and Dean Dillman, a stockbroker.  He attended the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, where he became involved in school theatre productions.  He attended Yale University, studying theatre and drama.  While at Yale, he enlisted in the Navy Reserves in 1948.  He graduated from Yale with a BA in English Literature.

After graduating from Yale, he entered the Marine Corps as an officer candidate, training at Parris Island.  He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in September 1951.  As he was preparing to deploy to Korea, his orders were changed, and he spent the rest of his time teaching communications in the Instructors’ Orientation Course.  He was discharged in 1953 as a first lieutenant.

Returning to Connecticut, he studied with the Actors Studio, and spent several seasons apprenticing with the Sharon Connecticut Playhouse before making his professional acting debut in The Scarecrow in 1953.  Dillman took his initial Broadway bow in the Eugene O’Neill play Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 1956, playing the author’s alter ego character Edmund Tyrone and winning a Theatre World Award in the process.  This distinct success put him squarely on the map and 20th Century Fox took notice by placing him under contract.

Dillman has 140 credits towards his acting career with television movies such as Fear No Evil (1969), Moon of the Wolf (1972), and Deliver Us from Evil (1973)  and tv series, The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, and Dynasty.

You can check out his entire acting career on IMDB.

Dillman also released a football fan book, Inside the New York Giants, in 1995 and an autobiography, Are You Anybody?: An Actor’s Life, in 1997.

Dillman currently lives in Montecito, California and helps raise money for medical research.

 

 

Don Adams

Donald James Yarmy, professionally known as Don Adams, was an American actor, comedian, and director.   Born on, April 13, 1923, in Manhattan, New York.  He dropped out of DeWitt Clinton High School and worked as a theater usher.

During World War II, he joined the Marine Corps and participated in the Battle of Guadalcanal, when his service ended from being shot in combat and contracting blackwater fever, a serious complication of malaria.  He was evacuated and hospitalized for more than a year at a Navy hospital in Wellington, New Zealand.  After his recovery, he served as a drill instructor.

After his service, he began a career as a stand-up comic, taking the stage name of Adams after marrying singer Adelaide (Dell) Efantis, who performed as Adelaide Adams. They had four daughters, and Adams also worked as a commercial artist and restaurant cashier to help support his family.  When they divorced, he kept Adams as his stage name because acting auditions were often held in alphabetical order.

His television career began when he won the Ted Mack & the Original Amateur Hour (1948) talent contest.  His most famous role, being secret agent Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) in the classic sitcom/spy spoof Get Smart (1965), which he also sometimes directed and wrote.  In the late 1950s, he made eleven appearances on The Steve Allen Show where Dana was part of the writing team. During the 1961-63 television seasons, he was a regular on NBC’s The Perry Como Show as part of The Kraft Music Hall Players.  He had a role on the NBC sitcom The Bill Dana Show (1963–65) as a bumbling hotel detective named Byron Glick.  Adams won three consecutive Emmys for his portrayal of Smart (1967–69).  He also provided the voices for the animated series Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (1963–66) and Inspector Gadget (1983–85, as well as several revivals and spinoffs in the 1990s).

Adams died on September 25, 2005, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.  He suffered from lymphoma and a lung infection.

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