Thursday, July 26, 2018

Donlevy's colorful early life

Oscar-nominated actor Brian Donlevy played a lot of swashbuckling roles in his career, both on the big screen, television, and on radio. And his early years were just about as colorful as those he portrayed on the screen.

He lied about his age and entered the Army at age 14. (One suspects the recruiting officers were not looking too closely.) When General "Black Jack" Pershing was sent to punish the bandit Pancho Villa, Donlevy was in the expedition. In World War I he was a pilot in the Lafayette Escradille, a unit in the French Air Force composed of American and Canadian pilots. Before entering the movies, he was a model for famous illustrator J. C. Leyendecker.

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