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Celebrity Veterans

Before you knew them as actors, musicians, politicians and important personalities, these brave men and women served their respective countries in both times of war and times of peace. This page serves as nothing more than a way to honor that legacy of commitment and service.

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Entries in Hollywood Canteen (1)

Monday
Mar282011

Hollywood Canteen - a place to write home about.

Judy Garland at the Hollywood CanteenThe Hollywood Canteen operated at 1451 Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood, California between October 3, 1942 and November 22, 1945 (Thanksgiving Day) as a club offering food, dancing and entertainment for servicemen, usually on their way overseas. Even though the majority of visitors were U.S servicemen, the Canteen was open to servicemen of allied countries as well as women in all branches of service. The serviceman's ticket for admission was his uniform and everything at the Canteen was free of charge.

 

The driving forces behind its creation were Bette Davis and John Garfield, along with composer Jules Stein, President of Music Corporation of America. Bette Davis served as its president and devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to the project . The various guilds and unions of the entertainment industry donated the labor and money for the building renovations. The Canteen was operated and staffed completely by volunteers from the entertainment industry. By the time the Canteen opened its doors, over 3000 stars, players, directors, producers, grips, dancers, musicians, singers, writers, technicians, wardrobe attendants, hair stylists, agents, stand-ins, publicists, secretaries, and allied craftsmen of radio and screen had registered as volunteers. Source Source

John Garfield Takes the stage with troopsBette greeting soldiers at the Canteen

 

Here's a short newsreel featuring footage from the Hollywood Canteen in its' heydey. Chock full of stars including Bette Davis, John Garfield, Marlene Dietrich, Jack Benny, Diana Durbin and more.

 

 

Mel Blanc, Claudette Colbert, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby