A lot of the time, we only see one side of celebrities — the one they put out there for their adoring fans. But there’s often so much more to them than meets the eye. Did you know, for instance, that many famous women worshipped for their starring roles and their beauty, actually served in the military? From spying to truck driving, here’s what these well-known women did when they gave back to their counties.
1. Bea Arthur
Bea Arthur had a knack for playing strong-willed characters on-screen — a trait that she had in real life, too. The Golden Girls star was one of the first women to sign up for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Women Reserves during World War II. At first, Arthur worked as a typist. But maybe this kind of secretarial work wasn't challenging enough for her, as within a couple of months, she applied for a more hands-on role.
Getting stuck in
Yep, in June 1943 Arthur moved across to the Motor Transport School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. And she eventually went on to become a truck driver and dispatcher, climbing her way up to the role of staff sergeant by the time she was discharged in 1945. Rather fittingly, Arthur is described as “frank and open” and “argumentative” in her file.
2. Gal Gadot
As is customary in Gal Gadot’s native Israel, she was required to spend two years doing National Service in the Israeli Defense Force. While not much is known about what Gadot had to do during her service, she did open up about a few of her responsibilities to the website Maxim in 2007.
Training the recruits
“I taught gymnastics and calisthenics,” Gadot told Maxim, adding, “The soldiers loved me because I made them fit.” But the experience seemed to help Gadot, too, setting up for her career in Hollywood and the rigorous training regimes required for films such as Wonder Woman. The actress also told Glamour magazine in 2016 that it taught her "discipline and respect."