George Kennedy

George Kennedy

91 (passed away Feb. 28th, 2016)
Feb. 18th, 1925
Born in
New York City, New York, USA
6' 3

George Kennedy's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Laredo TV Show
The Blue Knight TV Show
The Blue Knight

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


A World War II veteran, sandy-haired, tall and burly George Kennedy at one stage in his career cornered the market at playing tough, no-nonsense characters who were either quite crooked or possessed hearts of gold. Kennedy has notched up an impressive 200+ appearances in both TV and film, and is well respected within the Hollywood community. He started out in TV westerns in the late 1950s and early 1960s ("Have Gun - Will Travel" (1957), "Rawhide" (1959), "Maverick" (1957), "Colt .45" (1957), among others) before scoring minor roles in films including Lonely Are the Brave (1962), The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) and The Flight of the Phoenix (1965). The late 1960s was a very busy period for Kennedy, and he was strongly in favor with casting agents, appearing in Hurry Sundown (1967), The Dirty Dozen (1967) and scoring an Oscar win as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Cool Hand Luke (1967). The disaster film boom of the 1970s was kind to Kennedy, too, and his talents were in demand for Airport (1970) and the three subsequent sequels, as a grizzled cop in Earthquake (1974), plus the buddy/road film Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) as vicious bank robber Red Leary.

The 1980s saw Kennedy appear in a mishmash of roles, playing various characters; however, Kennedy and Leslie Nielsen surprised everyone with their comedic talents in the hugely successful The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988), and the two screen veterans hammed it up again in, The Naked Gun 2�: The Smell of Fear (1991), plus Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994).

Kennedy has remained busy in Hollywood and has lent his distinctive voice to the animated Cats Don't Dance (1997) and the children's action film Small Soldiers (1998). A Hollywod stalwart for nearly 50 years, he is one of the most enjoyable actors to watch on screen.

  • He enlisted in the Army during World War II and went on to serve 16 years, both in combat, and in his later years, as an Armed Forces Radio and Television officer.
  • As a US Army officer in WW2, he served under Gen. 'George S. Patton' (qv), and later went on to portray Patton in _Brass Target (1978)_ (qv).
  • In the early 1970s, Paramount had plans that were unrealized to remake _Double Indemnity (1944)_ (qv) with Kennedy in the 'Edward G. Robinson (I)' (qv) role.
  • Recently hosted the creation of a driving safety video.
  • He is the only actor to appear in all four of the "Airport" movie series.
  • One of his first roles in film was that of a slave in _Spartacus (1960)_ (qv). When the crowd was asked for Spartacus, he was the last close-up of a slave yelling "I am Spartacus".
  • Has 4 adopted children
  • Was considered for the role of Lex Luthor in _Superman (1978)_ (qv).

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