Donald Malarkey, WWII hero portrayed in HBO's 'Band of Brothers,' dies at 96

Malarkey was member of 'Easy Company'
WWII hero portrayed in 'Band of Brothers' dies
Posted at 4:42 AM, Oct 04, 2017

Donald Malarkey, a World War II hero who was one of several American soldiers portrayed in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," has died.

Malarkey, 96, died of natural causes in Salem, Oregon on Sept. 30, according to his obituary published in The Oregonian.

He was an Oregon native who was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942, when he was a student at the University of Oregon.

During the war, Malarkey was a paratrooper who landed behind enemy lines at Normandy on D-Day. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his work destroying Nazi artillery during the Battle of Brecourt Manor, according to his obituary.

Malarkey's service became famous to many after he was portrayed by actor Scott Grimes in "Band of Brothers," which aired in 2001 and became a phenomenon. The miniseries, co-produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, won seven Emmy Awards.

Pictured: The "Band of Brothers" cast, including Scott Grimes as Donald Malarkey (standing far left, bottom row).

"Band of Brothers" followed the members of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne, known as "Easy Company." Malarkey was the oldest surviving member of "Easy Company."

Upon hearing about Malarkey's passing, Grimes tweeted a message of thanks and condolence in his memory.

After his service, Malarkey returned to the University of Oregon to earn his bachelor's degree in business and serve as president of the Sigma Nu fraternity. In 2008, he co-wrote an autobiography about his time in the war called "Easy Company Soldier."

Malarkey was married to his wife Irene for 58 years, from 1948 until her death in 2006. They had four children, three of whom survive him, along with 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Clint Davis is a reporter for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis. Keep up to date with the latest news by following @ScrippsNational on Twitter.