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The most decorated U.S. soldier of World War II, Audie Murphy returned home a hero and became an actor, starring in his own story, To Hell and Back.
Audie Murphy - National Hero (1:43)
On May 28, 1971 Audie Murphy died in a plane crash.
After returning from the war, Audie Murphy was brought out to Hollywood by legendary actor James Cagney, beginning Audie's long career in acting.
During his military career Audie Murphy was awarded 33 U.S. military medals, including three Purple Hearts and one Medal of Honor.
At the time of the bombing at Pearl Harbor, Audie Murphy was only seventeen years old. But when he turned eighteen the next year, Audie was eager to join the armed forces.
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In addition to acting, he became a successful country music songwriter, and many of his songs were recorded by well-known artists, including Dean Martin, Jerry Wallace and Harry Nilsson.
During his rise to fame, Murphy met and married actress Wanda Hendrix. They divorced after several turbulent years. He married again in 1951, this time to Pamela Archer, with whom he had two children. Plagued by insomnia and nightmares,
a condition that would eventually become known as post-traumatic stress disorder, Murphy suffered from a powerful addiction to sleeping pills.
In his later years, Audie Murphy squandered his fortune on gambling and bad investments, and was in financial ruin when he died in a plane crash on May 28, 1971. Murphy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on June 7, 1971, and was given full military honors.
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