World War II hero Donald Malarkey, portrayed in ‘Band of Brothers,’ dies at 96

SALEM, Ore. — Donald Malarkey, who served in World War II and was one of several soldiers portrayed in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died.

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

Malarkey was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 while he was attending the University of Oregon.

The paratrooper was awarded the Bronze Star after parachuting behind enemy lines at Normandy to destroy German artillery on D-Day.

He fought across France, the Netherlands and Belgium. With Easy Company, he helped fight off Nazi advances while surrounded at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Scott Grimes portrayed Malarkey in “Band of Brothers,” which aired on HBO in 2001 and became a huge hit.

The miniseries was co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, and earned seven Emmy Awards.

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

Grimes praised and thanked Malarkey after learning of the death.

Malarkey wrote an autobiography, “Easy Company Soldier,” in 2008 about his war experiences. He also gave several speeches.

Malarkey was married to his wife, Irene, for 58 years until her death in 2006.

They had four children, three of whom survive him, as well as 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.