Seeing that The Searchers was going to be on soon, I turned to the station and saw that the 1942 version of The Jungle Book was on. In a sudden fit of "Where are they now?" curiosity, I looked up Sabu on IMDb, and learned that his early career was almost a Hollywood cliche, as he was trained (appropriately enough) as a mahout, but was discovered while mucking out the elephant stables and "had a movie career handed to him on a silver platter."
After making three wildly successful movies for Alexander Korda, he moved to Hollywood, where he was, alas, cast largely in formulaic potboilers...
...and, after becoming an American citizen in 1944 he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, where he served as an aerial gunner and was awarded the Air Medal and the Distinguished Service Cross.
Alas, his post-war movie career never met the promise of those early days, and he died of an unexpected heart attack at the age of 39.