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Burt Kennedy

Burt Kennedy

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Also Known As: Z. X. Jones Died: February 15, 2001
Born: September 3, 1922 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Muskegon, Michigan, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, radio writer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Coming to film from radio Westerns, Kennedy penned "Seven Men from Now" (1956), the first of four collaborations with director Budd Boetticher and the first of three with producer-director Andrew V. McLaglen. Moving from the typewriter to the director's chair by the early 1960s, Kennedy continued for a time creating lean, leathery B's and TV Westerns. He also received acclaim for his gritty WWII action drama, "Combat" (ABC, 1962-67).Kennedy's traditional action fare brandished occasional laconic comic touches, but it was really with "The Rounders" (1965) and its spin-off TV series that comedy came to the fore in his work. "The War Wagon" (1967) basked in the by-play between John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, and by the time Kennedy made the popular "Support Your Local Sheriff" (1969) and its enjoyable sequel, "Support Your Local Gunfighter" (1971) he had firmly moved into spoof territory.TV-movies dominated Kennedy's credits from the 70s on; "Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid" (1978) and "More Wild, Wild West" (1980) are typical of the light touch he brought to the small screen during this period. The broadly handled Hulk Hogan action feature "Suburban Commando" (1991) played up Kennedy's jokey side, but...

Coming to film from radio Westerns, Kennedy penned "Seven Men from Now" (1956), the first of four collaborations with director Budd Boetticher and the first of three with producer-director Andrew V. McLaglen. Moving from the typewriter to the director's chair by the early 1960s, Kennedy continued for a time creating lean, leathery B's and TV Westerns. He also received acclaim for his gritty WWII action drama, "Combat" (ABC, 1962-67).

Kennedy's traditional action fare brandished occasional laconic comic touches, but it was really with "The Rounders" (1965) and its spin-off TV series that comedy came to the fore in his work. "The War Wagon" (1967) basked in the by-play between John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, and by the time Kennedy made the popular "Support Your Local Sheriff" (1969) and its enjoyable sequel, "Support Your Local Gunfighter" (1971) he had firmly moved into spoof territory.

TV-movies dominated Kennedy's credits from the 70s on; "Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid" (1978) and "More Wild, Wild West" (1980) are typical of the light touch he brought to the small screen during this period. The broadly handled Hulk Hogan action feature "Suburban Commando" (1991) played up Kennedy's jokey side, but his elegiac TV-saga "Once Upon a Texas Train" (1988), with Willie Nelson as an aging outlaw and Richard Widmark as a former Texas ranger, showed that Kennedy's earlier affectionate sobriety had not left him entirely.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Suburban Commando (1991) Director
2.
  Big Bad John (1990) Director
3.
  Once Upon a Texas Train (1988) Director
5.
  Trouble With Spies, The (1987) Director
6.
8.
  Wolf Lake (1981) Director
9.
  Concrete Cowboys, The (1979) Director
10.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1942:
Served with the US Army; awarded Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster
:
Began as a radio writer after WWII, specializing in Westerns with an often comic flavor
1956:
First feature writing credit, "Seven Men from Now"
:
Wrote and directed for the ABC Western series, "Lawman"
1961:
Feature directorial debut, "The Canadians"
:
Wrote and directed for the ABC WWII drama series, "Combat"
:
Directed episodes of the NBC Western drama "The Virginian" during the 60s
:
First TV producing credit, as executive producer of the short-lived Western-flavored sitcom, "The Rounders"
:
Directed the popular Western comedy, "Support Your Local Sheriff" (1969) and its sequel, "Support Your Local Gunfighter" (1971)
1970:
First feature producing credit, "Dirty Dingus Magee"
1977:
Directed the three-part miniseries, "The Rhineman Exchange", a war and espionage drama
:
Directed episodes of the popular CBS detective drama, "Magnum, P.I." During the 80s
:
Was one of five directors who worked on the short-lived NBC primetime serial drama "Yellow Rose"
1987:
First feature producing credit for over 15 years, "The Trouble with Spies"
1989:
Directed the premiere episode of the sophisticated comedy-mystery series, "Snoops"
1990:
Co-wrote (with James Bridges) the screenplay for the Clint Eastwood film, "White Hunter, Black Heart"
1992:
Appeared as one of the interviewees on the TV biographical documentary, "James Cagney: Top of the World"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"I think Burt Kennedy is the best western screenwriter there ever was," said [Budd] Boetticher in a phone interview. "Burt is so carefully authentic in everything he does." --From The Hollywood Reporter, January 12, 1993.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Sheila Theresa Foster. Married on July 11, 1973.
companion:
Nancy Pendelton. Survived him.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Thomas James Kennedy. Vaudevillian. Half of "The Dancing Kennedys".
mother:
Gertrude Amelia Kennedy. Vaudevillian. Half of "The Dancing Kennedys".
daughter:
Susan Kennedy-McNutt. Survived him.
daughter:
Bridget Kennedy. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Hollywood Trail Boss" Boulevard Books

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