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article imageAdam Beach to star as Sgt. Tommy Prince in movie about the hero

By Stephanie Dearing     Feb 11, 2010 in Entertainment
Canadian actor Adam Beach was in Winnipeg Manitoba this morning to announce the production of a feature film that will give a 'true account of Canada's most highly decorated First Nations soldier,' Sargent Tommy Prince.
Winnipeg, Manitoba - In a press release promoting the announcement, Adam Beach said "I am so honoured to play this First Nation military hero. He provided a positive role model for all First Nation people, including me." Sargent Tommy Prince, from the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, "... was one of the most decorated non-commissioned officers in Canadian military history." At the end of World War II, Prince was "summoned to London by King George VI, who awarded him the Silver Star and ribbon on behalf of the President of the United States." Prince also served in the Korean war, and altogether was awarded with 11 medals.
Somehow ten of Prince's medals ended up with other people, and the medals were almost lost to an auction, but after a massive fund-raising effort, the family was able to purchase the medals. Born in 1915, Prince was the "... great-great-grandson of the famous Chief Peguis, the Salteaux chief who led his people to the southwestern shore of Lake Winnipeg in the late 1790's from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario." One of eleven children, Prince enrolled as a cadet when he was a teenager, where he honed his shooting skills.
Prince excelled at warfare, and became part of an elite unit of highly skilled Canadian and American soldiers, coined the Devil's Brigade by the enemy. The soldiers, who would smear their faces with black, earning them the name 'the Black Devils,' would sneak under enemy lines at night during WWII and kill enemy soldiers by slitting their throats. Prince had many exploits during the time he served as a soldier and paratrooper; not just in WWII but during his two terms serving in the Korean War.
The exploits of the Devil's Brigade was made into a movie in 1968 starring William Holden. It is interesting to note that not one character in that movie portrayed Sargent Tommy Prince, whose role in the Brigade was completely overlooked by Hollywood. The 1968 movie was based on a book written about the Canadian-American unit, also titled The Devil's Brigade.
Prince was a soldier through and through, and he never did make the adjustment back to civilian life, although he certainly tried. For a brief period, he served as Chairman of the Manitoba Association, where he worked hard to try to achieve more equal treatment of Manitoba's First Nations people. It must have been difficult for this decorated war hero to face the derision, disaffection and apartheid-like living situation for many Aboriginals after having been valued by the King of England for his prowess on the battlefield. Prince is said to have become obsessed with wanting to try to change the way Canadians viewed Manitoba's First Nations people.
The Prince family have approved of the movie.
Beach is known for his portrayals of First Nation historical characters in Hollywood blockbusters, such as Windtalkers, Smoke Signals, and Disney's Squanto. He has also acted in numerous made-for-television movies and a number of television series. His latest movies is 'Warrior," to be released later this year.
The talented and multi-faceted Beach was born in Manitoba. Beach is from the Lake Manitoba First Nation, which is a member of the Salteux tribe. Beach was the driving force behind making a historically accurate movie about Tommy Prince.
The movie about Tommy Prince will be produced by Bay Film Studios, an independent company based in Vancouver.
More about Adam Beach, Sargent tommy prince, Bay film studios, Military hero, Black devil
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