Adam Beach to star as aboriginal war hero Tommy Prince in new movie
WINNIPEG (CP) — Actor Adam Beach is preparing to go back to the trenches again, this time to portray Canadian aboriginal war hero Tommy Prince.
Manitoba-born Beach, who also starred in Clint Eastwood’s wartime epic Flags of Our Fathers, will be in Winnipeg today to make the formal announcement, alongside Prince’s descendants and native leaders.
“I am so honoured to play this First Nation military hero. He provided a positive role model for all First Nation people, including me,” Beach said in a statement.
Beach, who is originally from Dog Creek First Nation, appeared in Windtalkers with Nicholas Cage and Joe Dirt with David Spade, as well as numerous TV shows.
Vancouver-based Bay Film Studios says the full-length movie will be a “true account of Canada’s most highly decorated First Nations soldier.”
Prince was one of 11 children born on the Brokenhead Ojibwa reserve in Manitoba. He enlisted in the military in 1940 at the age of 24 and eventually joined an elite battalion known to German soldiers as the “Devil’s Brigade.”
In 1944, Prince was spying on the Germans from an abandoned farmhouse near enemy lines when his communication wires were severed by shelling. He donned civilian clothing and went out in plain view of German soldiers, pretending to tie his shoelace while he repaired the line.
His intelligence led to the destruction of four German positions and earned him the Military Medal. He continued spying behind enemy lines, later earning the Silver Star, an American army decoration for gallantry in action.
Prince went on to serve two tours of duty in the Korean War before being honourably discharged. Later in his life, he battled alcoholism and destitution, selling off his medals to support himself. He died in 1977.