Adam Beach to star as abo­rig­i­nal war hero Tommy Prince in new movie

Cape Breton Post - - Arts & Entertainment -

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.

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