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George Kennedy

George Kennedy

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: February 18, 1925 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, author, theater orchestra leader, technical advisor, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A versatile character actor for over five decades, Academy Award winner George Kennedy brought both gravity and boundless energy to a considerable list of memorable pictures ranging from "Cool Hand Luke" (1967) and "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) to the campy "Airport" pictures and the "Naked Gun" franchise. A near two-decade stint in the military preceded his acting pursuits, where he logged numerous appearances as heavies and rough-hewn types in pictures like "Charade" (1963) and "The Sons of Katie Elder" (1964). However, his turn as a tough Southern prisoner who becomes Paul Newman's disciple of sorts in "Cool Hand Luke" brought him both an Oscar and a career boost that included heroic turns in all four "Airport" films, "The Boston Strangler" (1968) and "The Eiger Sanction" (1975). Kennedy's career went into decline in the mid-1970s, though there were occasional flashes of offbeat brilliance; most notably the slapstick "Naked Gun" series. Kennedy's long and impressive body of work surpassed any career dips, and he remained one of Hollywood's most dependable and well-regarded talents.

A versatile character actor for over five decades, Academy Award winner George Kennedy brought both gravity and boundless energy to a considerable list of memorable pictures ranging from "Cool Hand Luke" (1967) and "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) to the campy "Airport" pictures and the "Naked Gun" franchise. A near two-decade stint in the military preceded his acting pursuits, where he logged numerous appearances as heavies and rough-hewn types in pictures like "Charade" (1963) and "The Sons of Katie Elder" (1964). However, his turn as a tough Southern prisoner who becomes Paul Newman's disciple of sorts in "Cool Hand Luke" brought him both an Oscar and a career boost that included heroic turns in all four "Airport" films, "The Boston Strangler" (1968) and "The Eiger Sanction" (1975). Kennedy's career went into decline in the mid-1970s, though there were occasional flashes of offbeat brilliance; most notably the slapstick "Naked Gun" series. Kennedy's long and impressive body of work surpassed any career dips, and he remained one of Hollywood's most dependable and well-regarded talents.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Don't Come Knocking (2005) Cast
3.
 Small Soldiers (1998) Voice Of Brick Bazooka
4.
5.
 Dallas: War of the Ewings (1998) Carter Mckay
6.
 Cats Don't Dance (1997) Voice Of L B Mammoth
7.
 River of Stone (1996)
8.
 Dallas: J.R. Returns (1996) Carter Mckay
9.
 Distant Justice (1995) Chief Tom Bradfield
10.
 Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994) Captain Ed Hocken
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began acting as a child on stage and in radio appearances
:
Served in U.S. Army during WWII; achieved rank of captain
1955:
Made TV debut on "The Phil Silvers Show/Sgt. Bilko" (CBS); also acted as technical adviser
1961:
Feature film debut, "Little Shepard of Kingdom Come"
1964:
TV-movie debut, "See How They Run" (NBC)
1967:
Breakthrough screen role, "Cool Hand Luke"
1971:
TV series debut as regular, Father Samuel Swanson in "Sarge" (NBC)
1975:
Played title role in series "The Blue Knight" (CBS)
1982:
Hosted short-lived public affairs series "Counterattack: Crime in America" (ABC)
1988:
Landed a recurring appearance on CBS drama "Dallas" as Carter McKay
1988:
Cast as Ed Hocken in "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!"
1991:
Reprised Hocken role in "The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear"
1994:
Third outing as Hocken, "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult"
1998:
Reprised role for the CBS movie "Dallas: War of the Ewings"
2003:
Joined the cast of "The Young and the Restless" (CBS)
2005:
Cast in Wim Wenders' "Don't Come Knocking" opposite Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange; Shepard wrote screenplay
2010:
Appeared alongside Michael Madsen, David Carradine, and Danny Trejo in "Six Days in Paradise"
2011:
Co-starred in the ensemble family drama "Another Happy Day"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

During WWII, Kennedy served as an Armed Forces Radio and TV officer. He also opened the first Army Information Office in NYC which provided assistance to service-oriented films and TV programs.

Kennedy underwent an emergency triple-bypass surgery on September 30, 2002. He originally entered the hospital for a hip replacement, but doctors found that sleep apnea had weakened Kennedy's heart and lungs.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Joan McCarthy. Born c. 1931.

Family close complete family listing

father:
George Kennedy Sr. Composer, conductor, band leader.
mother:
Helen Meade. Ballet dancer.
daughter:
Shaunna Kennedy. Adopted; born c. 1964; has struggled with substance abuse; incarcerated in Southern California as a chronic offender.
granddaughter:
Taylor Kennedy. Born c. 1994; adopted by Kennedy and his wife Joan.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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