It’s Memphis, Tennessee, circa 1954. You’re out of fuel (should have used a fuel card with better site coverage, naturally!) and you’ve no choice but to ‘thumb it’ on the side of a dusty road. The sun is incredibly, mind-numbingly hot, and you’ve left your shades at home so you don’t even look cool. This is definitely a major crisis! But wait! A truck is slowing down, pulling over, coming to your rescue – who is this knight of the road? Jet-black, slicked-back quiff (with possibly a little too much hair product for our liking), obscenely handsome, blue suede shoes pumping the gas pedal, and much chat about hound dogs…it can only be ‘The King’! Yes, true enough, before he became such a legend that he didn’t even need a surname, Elvis really did drive a truck for a living.
Who, then, follows Presley into our ‘Hall of Fame’ of five famous people (fame, like beauty of course, is all in the eye of the beholder!) who have, at one time or another, driven something for a living? Read on:
Hard man actor Charles Bronson also, before he became well known, worked as a lorry driver. Often playing the part of a man of a few words, his unquestionable talent shone through in classics such as ‘The Great Escape’, The Magnificent Seven’ and ‘Death Wish’. Bronson, wounded while on active service during WW2, was also a tough guy in real life and not someone whose seat leather you’d have wanted to scuff!
Before becoming a celebrated thespian, Danny Glover once worked as a taxi driver in his native San Francisco. Perhaps best known for his role in the Lethal Weapon films alongside Mel Gibson, Glover actually put his ‘behind the wheel’ experience to good use in the 2001 film ‘3 A.M.’ which followed the lives of a bunch of New York cab drivers
In 1981, before he became the ‘Bard of Barking’, Billy Bragg joined the army in order to emulate his father’s Second World War exploits as a tank driver. Although exiting the Royal Armoured Corps after completing his basic training means the protest singer never did – officially – become a bona-fide turret conductor, we’re giving him 10 out of 10 for effort and including him (and only partially because we fancied getting tanks into the list!)
Last to make it alongside the ‘exalted’ company above is American comedian and film star, Chevy Chase. Ok, so there are plenty of others to choose from but we’ve opted for Chevy because (a) he’s not just had one ‘driving’ occupation in his previous life, no, he’s had three, having been a lorry driver, taxi driver, and motorcycle courier. Reason (b) is because, as the star of the ‘National Lampoon’ films, he makes us laugh! Check out the roundabout scene in ‘European Vacation’; it’s priceless.
Honorary mentions to those who just missed out go to:
Actor, Sean Connery (Highlander, Diamonds are Forever), who worked as a lorry driver.
Musician, Paul Stanley (guitarist in the band ‘Kiss’) spent lonely nights as a taxi driver.
Actor, Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Gangs of New York) made himself useful around a warehouse as a Fork Lift Truck Driver.
Actor, Corey Monteith (TV Series ‘Glee’) also graced the hallowed taxi driver ranks.
Liked this piece? Share it using one of the links below. If you’re creating an interesting back-story for the day you start to grace the big screens, be sure to do it sensibly and use a fuel card for great savings and easy VAT management.