Denver was born on November 20th 1920. He was born in Rector, Arkansas.
After dropping out of high school, during his junior year, he left the area that he knew as home. He ended up working for a short time in a foundry, but life changed for Denver, when he enlisted in the United States Army on August 19 1942.
Denver Randleman was a member of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. He began training at Camp Toccoa, in Georgia in the August of 1942. It was here, he met and was under the infamous training of Captain Herbert Sobel.
June 6th 1944, Bull, as he was now nicknamed, thanks to his large stature and gravely voice, dropped into France with the rest of the Airborne Division. Operation Market Garden proved to be problematic for Bull. He injured his shoulder during this campaign and spent the night hiding out in a barn. While some members of the unit believed him to be killed in action, a search party secured his location bringing him home to Easy Company.
Bull was with his company throughout The Battle of the Bulge and finished the war alongside his comrades. Major Richard Winters, Easy Company Commanding Officer , has been quoted as saying that Bull was one of the best soldiers he ever had.
Michael Cudlitz was the actor that gave life to Bull in Band of Brothers. In a piece from the Smithsonian Magazine from September 22 2021, Michael reflected on the time filming.
Michael talked about filming episode five of the epic 2001 HBO miniseries about American soldiers fighting in World War II. Lights were ready and cameras were rolling as he fired furiously at the actors playing German soldiers.
He went on to talk of how he pressed a new clip into his M1 Garand rifle, then continued shooting as per the scene dictated. He talks of how he watched the enemy fall to the ground.
Michael said, in the interview, “I call it my holy shit moment. There is the smell of cordite and sulphur in the air. For a second, you feel like you caused that. There is something very visceral about it. We got the tiniest taste of what these guys might have gone through.”
Many of the actors had similar experiences and talk of how being part of this, changed them.
As far as his character, I had never met the man. With the articles I have read, the websites I have gathered my information and the many Band of Brother books I have read over my time, Bull strikes me as being sweet, yet tough.
The southern accent always seems to add a softness to a character in my opinion. We did see that in the series on several occasions. We also saw the polar opposite of that on the battlefield as the brutal and ruthless soldier came to the forefront. Bull had a tactical mind and a talent with weapons. Most of all he got on with the job, while showing the utmost respect for those around him, whatever rank they were.
Bull Randleman – Thank you for your service