The Sunday Post (Dundee)
Godfather star was a wartime secret agent
Dolly sang about her childhood on her 1994 track, Smoky Mountain Memories.
She was born in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, the fourth of 12 children, and the family lived in a one-room cabin.
A replica of the cabin has become a tourist attraction in the small town of Locust Ridge.
The Smoky Mountains are a subrange of the Appalachians and rise along the Tennessee/North Carolina border.
The name “Smoky” comes from the natural fog that often hangs over the range, looking like large smoke plumes from a distance. FOR the umpteenth time, I was watching The Godfather with my uncle, as it’s his favourite film.
He stunned me when he told me the actor who played the cop, Captain McCluskey, was a war hero in real life – in fact, he was a secret agent.
A movie star that was a secret agent? Sounds like something even Hollywood wouldn’t dream up. – J.
Born in 1916, Sterling Hayden was only 16 when he took a job as a ship’s mate, learning nautical skills that would help in his later career.
He eventually returned to a life on shore and became an actor.
He made two movies, Virginia and Bahama Passage (both 1941) but wouldn’t make another until 1947.
Immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, Hayden joined the US Marine Corps under the name John Hamilton.
He graduated as an officer and was transferred to the Office of Strategic Service (OSS), the US military intelligence, and forerunner of the CIA.
As an OSS agent, his service included sailing with supplies from Italy to Yugoslav partisans and parachuting into fascist Croatia.
He also participated in the invasion of Italy and helped establish air crew rescue teams in enemyoccupied territory.
After the war, he returned to acting, and starred in great movies including The Godfather, The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing and Dr Strangelove.