Biography

Sandy-haired, tall and burly George Harris Kennedy, Jr. was born in New York City, to Helen A. (Kieselbach), a ballet dancer, and George Harris Kennedy, an orchestra leader and musician. He had German, Irish, and English ancestry. A World War II veteran, 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 notched up an impressive 200+ appearances in both TV and film, and was 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 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991), plus Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994).

Kennedy remained busy in Hollywood and lent his distinctive voice to the animated Cats Don't Dance (1997) and the children's action film Small Soldiers (1998). A Hollywood stalwart for nearly 50 years, he is one of the most enjoyable actors to watch on screen. His last role was in the film The Gambler (2014), as Mark Wahlberg's character's grandfather.

George Kennedy died on February 28, 2016 in Middleton, Idaho.

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Sandy-haired, tall and burly George Harris Kennedy, Jr. was born in New York City, to Helen A. (Kieselbach), a ballet dancer, and George Harris Kennedy, an orchestra leader and musician. He had German, Irish, and English ancestry. A World War II veteran, 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 notched up an impressive 200+ appearances in both TV and film, and was 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 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991), plus Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994).

Kennedy remained busy in Hollywood and lent his distinctive voice to the animated Cats Don't Dance (1997) and the children's action film Small Soldiers (1998). A Hollywood stalwart for nearly 50 years, he is one of the most enjoyable actors to watch on screen. His last role was in the film The Gambler (2014), as Mark Wahlberg's character's grandfather.

George Kennedy died on February 28, 2016 in Middleton, Idaho.

Personal Info

Gender Male

Known Credits 146

Birthday 1925-02-18

Day of Death 2016-02-28

Place of Birth New York City, New York, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • George Harris Kennedy Jr.

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2014 The Gambler as Ed
2011 Another Happy Day as Joe Baker
2008 The Man Who Came Back as Judge Duke
2007 Sands Of Oblivion as John Tevis
2006 Armed and Deadly: The Making of 'The Dirty Dozen' as Himself
2005 Truce as Dr. Peter Gannon
2005 Three Bad Men as Ed Fiske
2003 Monster Makers as Dexter Brisbane
2003 View from the Top as Passenger Requesting Vodka (uncredited)
1998 Men in White as General Vice
1998 Dennis the Menace Strikes Again! as Mr. Johnson
1998 Small Soldiers as Brick Bazooka
1998 Dallas - War of The Ewings as Carter McKay
1994 The Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult as Ed Hocken
1992 Distant Justice as Tom Bradfield
1991 Intensive Care as Dr. Bruckner
1991 The Commish(1 episode)
1991 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear as Captain Ed Hocken
1991 Driving Me Crazy as John McCready
1991 Hangfire
1990 Hired to Kill as Thomas
1990 Mayumi: Virgin Terrorist as Bahraini Investigator
1990 Wings(1 episode)
1990 Brain Dead as Vance
1989 Ministry of Vengeance as Rev. Hughes
1989 Esmeralda Bay as Wilson
1989 The Terror Within as Hal
1988 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! as Capt. Ed Hocken
1988 Nightmare at Noon as Sherrif Hanks
1988 Uninvited as Mike Harvey
1988 Top Line as Heinrich Holzmann
1988 Private Road: No Trespassing as Sam Milshaw
1988 Demonwarp as Bill Crafton
1988 Counterforce
1988 Born to Race as Vincent Duplain
1988 What Price Victory as Big Buck Brayton
1987 Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues as General Nelson Miles
1987 Creepshow 2 as Ray Spruce
1987 The Gunfighters as Deke Turner
1986 Radioactive Dreams as Spade Chandler
1986 Rigged as Ben
1986 The Delta Force as Father O'Malley
1985 International Airport as Rudy Van Leuven
1985 Half Nelson
1985 Savage Dawn as Tick Rand
1984 Bolero as Cotton
1984 The Jesse Owens Story as Charles 'Charley' Riley
1984 Chattanooga Choo Choo as Bert
1982 The Jupiter Menace as Himself
1982 Wacko as Mr. Doctor Graves
1981 Just Before Dawn as Roy McLean
1981 The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire as Brakus
1981 Modern Romance as Himself and Zeron
1980 Hotwire as Farley & Harley Fontenot
1980 Virus as Admiral Conway
1980 Death Ship as Captain Ashland
1979 Steel as Big Lew Cassidy
1979 The Concorde... Airport '79 as Capt. Joe Patroni
1979 Search and Destroy as Anthony Fusqua
1979 The Double McGuffin as Chief Talasek
1979 Backstairs at the White House as President Warren G. Harding
1979 Backstairs at the White House(4 episodes)
1978 Brass Target as Gen. George S. Patton
1978 Death on the Nile as Andrew Pennington
1978 Dallas(50 episodes) as Carter McKay
1978 Mean Dog Blues as Captain Omar Kinsman
1978 Death on the Nile: Making of Featurette as himself
1977 Proof of the Man as Ken Shuftan
1977 Airport '77 as Joe Patroni
1975 Saturday Night Live(1 episode)
1975 The Eiger Sanction as Ben Bowman
1975 The Blue Knight(24 episodes)
1975 The 'Human' Factor as John Kinsdale
1974 Earthquake as Sgt. Lew Slade
1974 Airport 1975 as Joe Patroni
1974 Thunderbolt and Lightfoot as Red Leary
1974 A Cry in the Wilderness as Sam Hadley
1973 Deliver Us from Evil as Walter 'Cowboy' McAdams
1973 Cahill U.S. Marshal as Fraser
1973 Lost Horizon as Sam Cornelius
1972 A Great American Tragedy as Brad Wilkes
1972 The Bull Of The West as 'Bear' Suchette
1971 Sarge(14 episodes) as Father Samuel Cavanaugh
1971 Fools' Parade as Dallas 'Doc' Council
1970 Dirty Dingus Magee as Herkimer 'Hoke' Birdsill
1970 Zig Zag as Paul R. Cameron
1970 Airport as Joe Patroni
1970 ...tick... tick... tick... as John Little
1969 Gaily, Gaily as Johanson
1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys as McKay
1969 Guns of the Magnificent Seven as Chris
1968 The Pink Jungle as Sammy Ryderbeit
1968 The Boston Strangler as Det. Phil DiNatale
1968 The Legend of Lylah Clare as Matt Burke (uncredited)
1968 Bandolero! as Sheriff July Johnson
1967 Cool Hand Luke as Dragline
1967 The Dirty Dozen as Major Max Armbruster
1967 Hurry Sundown as Sheriff Coombs
1967 The Ballad of Josie as Arch Ogden
1966 Tarzan(1 episode)
1965 The Sons of Katie Elder as Curley
1965 The Flight of the Phoenix as Bellamy
1965 Mirage as Willard
1965 Laredo(1 episode)
1965 The Big Valley(1 episode)
1965 The Legend of Jesse James(1 episode)
1965 Shenandoah as Col. Fairchild
1965 In Harm's Way as Colonel Gregory
1964 Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte as Foreman
1964 See How They Run as Rudy
1964 Daniel Boone(1 episode)
1964 Island of the Blue Dolphins as Aleut Captain
1964 McHale's Navy
1964 Strait-Jacket as Leo Krause
1963 Charade as Herman Scobie
1963 The Great Adventure(1 episode)
1963 Grindl(1 episode)
1963 The Man from the Diners' Club as George
1962 Going My Way(1 episode)
1962 The Virginian(3 episodes)
1962 Lonely Are the Brave as Deputy Sheriff Gutierrez
1961 Gunfight at Black Horses Canyon as Hawk
1961 Dr. Kildare(3 episodes)
1961 Kraft Mystery Theatre(1 episode)
1961 The Little Shepherd Of Kingdom Come as Nathan Dillon
1961 The Asphalt Jungle(2 episodes)
1960 Route 66(1 episode)
1960 Spartacus as Rebel Soldier (uncredited)
1960 Surfside 6(1 episode)
1960 The Andy Griffith Show(1 episode)
1960 Outlaws(1 episode)
1960 Thriller(1 episode)
1960 The Tall Man(2 episodes)
1959 Riverboat(1 episode)
1959 Rawhide(1 episode)
1958 77 Sunset Strip(1 episode)
1958 Bat Masterson(1 episode)
1958 Lawman(1 episode)
1958 Peter Gunn(1 episode)
1957 Maverick(1 episode)
1957 Perry Mason(1 episode)
1957 Have Gun – Will Travel(7 episodes)
1955 Cheyenne(1 episode)
1955 Gunsmoke(7 episodes)
1953 The Academy Awards(3 episodes)
1900 Santo Bugito(13 episodes)

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