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Famous Overseas Alumni and Military BRATs

MARK HAMILL

FILM ACTOR

Mark Hamill is a Military Brat and an Overseas School Alumnus.

Hamill attended Kinnick High School (Yo-Hi) in Yokohama, Japan. He graduated as a member of the Class of ’69. He was voted the school’s best all around and most talented student and served as student council president.

No surprise, but he was involved in drama productions while attending the school.

Mark Hamill is best known as Luke Skywalker in several of the Star Wars Movies.

MARK McEWEN (1954-   )

TV REPORTER, ACTOR 

Born in San Antonio , TX , Sept. 16, 1954, Mark McEwen was an Air Force Brat and Overseas Alumnus. He often mentioned growing up at Travis AFB (CA). He also lived in Berlin , Germany ; Montgomery , AL and Crownsville , MD.

McEwen retired as Weatherman from the CBS Early Show after 16 years in 2002. His reporting included many other areas while he was at CBS. He was named one of the “Ten Most Trusted TV News Personalities” by TV Guide in 1995. He became a news anchor for a local TV station in Orlando but suffered a stroke in November 2005.

MARLON RIGGS (1957-1994)

DOCUMENTARY FILM MAKER

Marlon Riggs was an Army Brat who attended Nurnberg HS 1972-73 & Ansbach HS 1973-74

Marlon Riggs was known for making insightful and controversial documentary films confronting racism and homophobia that thrust him onto center stage in America’s “cultural wars.”

Riggs’ first major work, Ethnic Notions (58 min, 1987), traced the evolution of the racial stereotypes which have implanted themselves deep into the American psyche across 150 years of U.S. history. The documentary received a National Emmy Award and other top film festival honors and has become a core audio-visual “text” in a wide range of courses.

Marlon’s second major work, Tongues Untied (58 min, 1989), a moving, highly personal, sometimes angry, always poignant documentary was the first frank discussion of the black, gay experience on television. Though acclaimed by critics and awarded Best Documentary at Berlin and other film festivals, its broadcast by the PBS series P.O.V. was immediately pounced upon by the Religious Right as a symbol of everything wrong with public funding for art and culture, particularly culture outside the mainstream political debate.”

Marlon’s own next major work, Color Adjustment (86 min, 1991), traced over 40 years of the representations of African Americans through the distorting prism of prime time television, from Amos ‘n’ Andy to Cosby. Color Adjustment garnered television’s highest accolade, the George Foster Peabody Award, among other awards. That same year the American Film Institute granted Riggs their Maya Daren Lifetime Achievement Award.

Marlon Riggs died of AIDS in 1994.

MARY EDWARDS WERTSCH

AUTHOR & REPORTER

Mary Edwards Werstch is a military brat.  Her father was an Army Officer.

Wertsch’s Book: “Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress” is considered to be the seminal book on growing up and forever being a “military brat.”

MARY-LOUISE PARKER

ACTRESS

Mary-Louise Parker is an Army Brat who was born August 2, 1964 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

She has appeared in movies such as Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), Lawrence Kasdan’s Grand Canyon (1991), Naked in New York (1994), the romantic comedy Mr. Wonderful (1993), Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway(1994), and the Jane Campion Adaptation of Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady (1996).

She currently has a recurring role in the popular television series “West Wing.”

MAYTE GARCIA-NELSON

Choreographer

Mayte Garcia-Nelson is an Army Brat and an Overseas School Alumnus. She graduated from Gen. H.H. Arnold High School in Wiesbaden, Class of 1991.

Garcia-Nelson is married to the Artist formerly known as “Prince.”  She has produced numerous artistic dance programs that have been showcased throughout the United States.

MIA HAMM

US WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM 1999 WORLD CUP

Mia Hamm is a Military Brat and Overseas School Alumnus.

Mia Hamm was one of the stars of the US Women’s soccer team that won the World Cup in 1999.

When her father was stationed in Germany Mia, age 5,  wanted to play soccer, but at the time there were only boys teams so Mia had  to play with the boys.

MICHAEL ANTHONY STRAHAN (1971-)

From age 9 to age 16, he grew up in Mannheim, Germany on a US Army base, where his father, Major Gene Strahan, was stationed.

His father was a boxer with a 1-1 record against future heavyweight boxing champion Ken Norton.

His mother, Louise Strahan, was a basketball coach.

Michael’s uncle is retired pro football player Arthur Strahan.

Michael was not able to play US high school football until he was a high school senior at Westbury High School in Houston, Texas. However, he was able to play organized football as a linebacker for the Mannheim (Germany) Redskins in 1985, mostly made up of other military brats from the nearby US Army base where his father was stationed.

In order to get US high school football experience, his father sent him to live with his brother Art Strahan (Michael’s uncle) in Houston, Texas, USA, the summer before his senior year.

 

MICHAEL J. ALEXANDER

AUTHOR

Michael Alexander is the author of “The Underground Guide to Computer Security,” published by Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. 1996. He is also the author of book “The Digital Doberman,” published by Ventana Press in 1998.

Michael Alexander is a 1968 graduate Mannheim American High School in Germany.

MICHAEL J. FOX (1961- )

FILM & TELEVISION ACTOR

Michael J. Fox is a Canadian Army Brat.  His father retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in 1971.

Born Michael Andrew Fox to parents William and Phyllis in Edmonton,  Alberta, Fox adopted the “J” as an homage to legendary character actor Michael J. Pollard.

Fox, an “army brat,” moved several times during his childhood, along with his parents, brother, and three sisters. The Foxes finally planted roots in Burnaby, B.C. (a suburb of Vancouver), when  William Fox retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in 1971.

Information from the Michael J. Fox Foundation Web site: www.michaeljfox.org/

MIKE MacDONALD (1955-    )

ACTOR, COMEDIAN 

Born in Metz , France , Mike MacDonald is the son of a career Canadian Air Force officer. His first 15 years were spent living on various bases in Europe . One of them was in Wing 4 of Baden-Baden, Germany.

His standup comedy has garnered him appearances on many U.S. and Canadian TV programs.

MITCH PLEGGI

ACTOR, Co-star As Asst. Director Skinner “X-Files” TV Show

Mitch Pleggi is an Overseas School Alumnus.  A graduate of Marshall AHS, Ankara, Turkey. His father, Vito Pileggi, was an operations manager for a defense contractor whose career took him to Ankara, Turkey .

Info From: Marilyn Elmore Brown was Mitch Pileggi’s music teacher at Ankara American High School and still teaches in DoDDS. Info From Timothy Wurtz , and “People Magazine” 05/06/96 & Mike O’Brien.

NEAL BOORTZ

NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST

Neal Boortz is a Marine Corps Brat. His father was a Marine Corps Pilot. The Neal Boortz Show is also syndicated throughout the United States. His Program airs daily from WSB-AM 750 in Atlanta, Georgia to an estimated daily national audience of more than three million listeners. Mr. Boortz was born in 1945 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Some of the places he subsquently lived as a Marine Corps Brat included: Honolulu, Hawaii, Laguna Beach, California, Morehead City, North Carolina; Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Pensacola, Florida. He graduated from Pensacola High School in 1963. Source: Neal Boortz Homepage: boortz.com

NEWT GINGRICH

FORMER SPEAKER OF THE US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Born Newton Leroy McPherson in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1943, Gingrich was adopted and changed his surname when his young mother remarried a career military man. The Gingrich family was constantly on the move, and Newt attended an array schools on various military bases. After 16 years as a Republican in the House of Representatives, Gingrich became the 58th Speaker of the House in January 1995. That same year, he was named ‘Time Magazine Person of the Year’.

Of the alternatives, Tom Foley preceded Gingrich as House Speaker. A Representative from Washington, he was born in Spokane WA in 1929. Dick Cheney, Vice President under G.W. Bush and a former Representative from Wyoming, preceded Gingrich as the House Minority Leader. He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1941. Tip O’Neill is another former Speaker of the House, where he represented Massachusetts. He was born in Cambridge MA in 1912.

PAT CONROY

AUTHOR

Pat Conroy is a Marine Brat. His father was a career Marine Corps Aviator.

Many of his books have been made into films: “The Water is Wide (Movie Version” Conrack”),” “Prince of Tides,” “The Lords of Discipline,” “Beach Music” & “Great Santini.”

He did not attend any schools overseas.

To read more about him go to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Conroy.

PATRICIA RICHARDSON

FILM & TELEVISON ACTRESS

Patricia Richardson is a Navy Junior. A self-described “Navy brat,” her father was a Navy pilot.  Richardson was born in Bethesda, Maryland, and moved with her family frequently  during her childhood. Making new friends in every town forced her to be outgoing and sparked her early interest in acting.

Patricia Richardson plays Jill Taylor, the only woman in a household of men, on the television series “Home Improvement.”

For her work on “Home Improvement,” Richardson has been honored with two Emmy Award nominations as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She co-hosted the 1994 Emmy Awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe award  in 1993 and 1994.

Info From: tvplex.go.com/touchstone/homeimprovement/bios/richardson.html 

PRISCILLA BEAULIEU PRESLEY

FILM ACTRESS & EX-WIFE OF ELVIS PRESLEY

Priscilla Beaulieu Presley was an Air Force Brat.  Her step-father was an Air Force Major.

According to the book: “Child Bride -Priscilla Presley from Elvis’s teen lover to Michael
Jackson’s mother-in-law” Author Suzanne Finstad Copyright 1967 Crown Publishers, NY/NY

Priscilla Beaulieu  grew up as an AF Brat attending junior high in the Del Valle Independent School District outside of Bergstrom AFB, Austin/TX.  She attended High School at General H.H. Arnold High School in Wiesbaden, Germany from 1960 to 1963, leaving only eight weeks before graduation. The book also references the catholic girls’ school in Memphis she transferred to for her last 8 weeks of high school.

RAY ALLEN (1975- )

NBA PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER

Ray Allen is an Air Force Brat and an Overseas School Alumnus.  His father was a career Air Force NCO.

Allen was born in California and has lived in Germany, Oklahoma, England, Georgia and South Carolina.  He attended high school in Dalzell, South Carolina.

Ray Allen was the first player in UConn men’s basketball history to be named All-American status as only a sophomore Player of the year. Ray Allen helped lead the US to the gold medal at the World University Games in 1995.

Allen was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves and traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1996. Recently, he signed a six-year contract extension with Milwaukee.

To read more about him go to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Allen

REGINALD McKNIGHT

AUTHOR 

Born in Germany , Reginald McKnight’s father was in the Air Force.  A short story author and novelist, McKnight is the Hamilton Holmes Professor at the University of Georgia ,

In 1988, McKnight won the Drue Heinz literature prize for his short story collection, “Moustapha’s  Eclipse.”  His other works include “I Get on the Bus.” a novel and another short story collection, “The Kind of Light that Shines on Texas .”

RICK ATKINSON

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER, AUTHOR, REPORTER

Rick Atkinson is an Army Brat.  His father served 28 years in the US Army officer corps.

Rick Atkinson won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1982 for his series of articles on the West Point Class of 1966.    His books include:   “The Long Gray Line, The American Journey of West Point’s Class of 1966” and   “Crusade : The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War.” Atkinson is currently a staff writer for the Washington Post.

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