Find out someone’s an Eagle Scout and you can make a few assumptions about his character right off the bat. He’s probably a leader who can handle a challenge and has a passion for helping others. This kind of quick personality assessment extends into the realm of entertainment and fiction. Well, sort of.
On screen, earning Eagle Scout is HUGE, whether Eagle Scouts in TV shows and movies are smart and levelheaded (like we expect) or in total contrast to what we esteem in an Eagle Scout. This trait provides a character with a sense of realness, making him instantly relatable to most Americans. That’s probably why creators of some of our favorite shows chose to feature characters who earned the rank.
Did you know these eight TV and film icons are Eagle Scouts?
1. Fred Flinstone: Have you seen the episode of The Flinstones where the family stumbles onto the International Cave Scout Jamboree? Did you catch the first season episode where Fred takes on the role of Scoutmaster? In these episodes we learn Fred is an Eagle Scout and Barney was a Boy Scout. While Fred’s notorious temper may not be characteristic for an Eagle, his ability to always come through for his friends and family certainly is.
2. Professor Roy Hinkley: The professor from Gilligan’s Island was incredibly accomplished, earning six degrees by the time he was 15 years old. With that kind of intelligence and discipline, it’s no surprise the professor was the youngest boy in his hometown to earn the Eagle Scout rank.
3. Hank Hill: The main character in King of the Hill is a family man with a meticulous affinity for a pristine lawn and a strong bond with his bloodhound. The show points out Hank is an Eagle Scout several times, I’ll tell you what.
4. Mr. Wilson: Of Dennis the Menace origins, Mr. Wilson is credited as an Eagle Scout in this comic strip (below). The man often pushed to his limits by a menacing, young neighbor went on to be the subject of several TV shows and movies.
5. Roy Miller: In the film Knight and Day (Mangold, 2010), Tom Cruise stars as Roy, an Eagle Scout and spy working to clear his name. He’s athletic, smart, brave and helps protect June Havens, played by Cameron Diaz.
6. Jim Lovell: In Apollo 13 (Howard, 1995), James Lovell’s mother expresses her confidence in her son’s ability to stay calm during crises – he was an Eagle Scout after all. This legendary portrayal of an Eagle is not fiction. Lovell is a Distinguished Eagle Scout in real life.
7. Capt. Jonathan Archer and Lt. Malcolm Reed: In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Rogue Planet” these two characters are revealed to be Eagle Scouts – proof that even a century from now, earning Eagle Scout will be an honor to talk about.
8. Daryl Bates: If teenagers needed to team up to protect their town from invading forces, you’d probably have an Eagle Scout or two leading the bunch. Daryl Bates is credited as an Eagle Scout in the original Red Dawn (Milius, 1984).
Have you noticed other fictional Eagle Scouts in pop culture? The subtle references are everywhere so share some of your favorite Eagle Scout shout-outs in the comments below, and check out our past features on Scouts in pop culture through the decades: