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The kid who voiced Bambi grew up to become the youngest Marine drill instructor and served three tours in Vietnam!


Donnie Dunagan was only 6 when Walt Disney hired him to be the voice of Bambi. He was discovered at a Memphis talent show, and actually performed in 8 movies as a little child. He had a promising career that was cut short because his family fractured. He spent his time as a kid and teen in different boarding homes, until he joined the military as a teen.

He had a pretty good career there too. He was the youngest ever Marine Drill instructor and served three tours during the Vietnam war. He said he was fortunate to be in a leadership position for over 25 years. However, his true identity as Bambi remained hidden while he was in a military. He thinks people wouldn’t have taken him seriously if they knew he voiced the famous fawn. It wasn't years later, until he was 70, that he made it publically known.

He was attending a banquet, when a casual comment tipped media off that he had been a child star. After that, Disney got back in contact with him and he participated in the DVD featurette about the Bambi cast. He's now getting DVDs from them to give to orphanages. Fans are ecstatic that he's come back into the spotlight, and he's now proud whenever someone calls out "Major Bambi" out on the street "I love it to death," he says.

(Source)

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