Audi Murphy: The Real Hollywood Hero.

Essay by RTShacklefordUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2005

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During World War II and its aftermath, Americans looked to Hollywood to provide them with heroes to reaffirm the "indestructible American spirit" (Wilson 230). It was during this time, 1945, that Hollywood answered America's request with a hero that truly encompassed all of the qualities of a real American hero. The hero's name was Audie Murphy. Audie served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany during World War II, leaving the army as the highest decorated solider in the history of the US at that time (Maltin 213). Throughout the span of his career, from the late 40's through the early 60's, Audie starred in over 40 films, made several TV appearances, including Gunsmoke, produced two films, and even dabbled in county music writing ("Biography" 4-5"). Audie was normally cast as the hero with a heart of gold, but willing to fight when the situation arose. He became cast into these roles so easily because that was his true character, and he lived a life that reflected that.

Audie Murphy remains the true American hero today because he lived as any great American should; he fought for his country, he came from an honest and humble upbringing, and he remained that way his entire life, no matter how famous he became.

Audie Murphy was born on June 20th, 1924, in Kingston, Texas, but grew up in Celeste, Texas. His parents were poor Texas sharecroppers that left Audie, along with ten brothers and sisters, orphaned at a very young age. His father left the family when Audie was only twelve, supposedly to find work, but he never returned. While attending eighth grade in Celeste, he was forced to drop out to help raise his family. About four years later, Audie's mother died due to chronic illness. It was during this...