From: Texas...what country are YOU from?
I'm gonna have to go in a minute so here it is...
A man named Thomas Heggen wrote a book that was published in 1946. That book was kind of a compilation of short stories of his life aboard AKA-20 USS Virgo in the South Pacific during World War II.
Broadway producer Leland Hayward acquired the rights for use as a play and hired Heggen and Joshua Logan for the adaptation.
The play opened in February of 1948 starring Henry Fonda, David Wayne, Robert Keith and, Jocelyn Brando. Fonda got out of a Hollywood film contract in order to star in the Broadway theatre stage production, and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. The production ran for 1,157 performances.
A young man named Fess Parker began his show business career in the play, in 1951, making $32 a week as an extra.
Fess Elisha Parker was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up on a small farm outside San Angelo. He served in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II. He joined to become a pilot, but was turned down for being too tall at 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) to fill such a position. He then tried to become a aviation radio gunner, but was again found to be too large to fit in the cockpit. Based on the training he had by then received, he was assigned to the Marine Corps as a radio operator in a unit that shipped out shortly before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
After being discharged, he was stabbed in the chin by a drunken driver during a post-collision argument. Parker required many months of rehabilitation, and was unable to participate in sports to the extent he desired.
Parker graduated from the University of Texas on the G.I. Bill in 1950 with a history degree. Parker was an initiated member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Still having a year left on his G.I. Bill he then moved to California, where he studied drama at the University of Southern California seeking a master's degree in theater history. However minor acting jobs soon obstructed that objective.
Parker married Marcella Belle Rinehart on January 18, 1960. They had two children — Fess Elisha III and Ashley Allen Rinehart — along with 11 grandchildren and a great-grandson.
Parker died at age 85, of natural causes according to a spokesperson, at his home in Santa Ynez, California, near the Fess Parker Winery on March 18, 2010. His death came on his wife's 84th birthday.
And now you know...the rest of the story...
There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army