Publicity photo of George Kennedy, 1975
|Born||George Harris Kennedy, Jr.
February 18, 1925
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Eagle, Ada County, Idaho|
|Education||Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York|
|Alma mater||Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas|
|Years active||1927-1943, 1955–present|
|Home town||New York City, New York|
Norma Wurman (1959–1971; divorced)Joan McCarthy (1978–present)
George Harris Kennedy, Jr. (born February 18, 1925) is an American actor who has appeared in more than two hundred film and television productions. He is perhaps best known for four of his roles: as the convict "Dragline" in Cool Hand Luke, for which he won an Academy Award; as airline mechanic Joe Patroni in all four of the 1970s Airport disaster films; as Captain Ed Hocken in the Naked Gun series of comedy films; and as corrupt oil tycoon Carter McKay on the original Dallas television series.
Kennedy was born in New York City, into a show business family. His father, George Harris Kennedy, a musician and orchestra leader, died when Kennedy was four years old. He was raised by his mother, Helen A. (née Kieselbach), a ballet dancer. His maternal grandfather was a German immigrant; his ancestry also includes Irish and English.
Kennedy made his stage debut at the age of two, later becoming a radio performer. Kennedy put aside show business during World War II and served in the United States Army for sixteen years, having seen combat and working in the Armed Forces radio. He was involved with the opening of the first Army Information Office, which provided technical assistance to films and television shows. After retiring from the Army because of a back injury, Kennedy found his way back to the entertainment industry.
Kennedy became a technical adviser for the television series The Phil Silvers Show, where after encouragement from Silvers his acting career began with a few one-line parts. After a very brief appearance in the 1960 blockbuster Spartacus, his film career began in 1961 in The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come. He then appeared in several prominent Hollywood movies, including Charade (1963) opposite Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, and James Coburn; "Strait-Jacket" (1964) opposite Joan Crawford and Diane Baker, 1964's Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, opposite Bette Davis, and in such popular 1965 films as the crash-survivor drama The Flight of the Phoenix with James Stewart and the war story In Harm's Way with John Wayne.
He made numerous television appearances on such programs as The Andy Griffith Show, Peter Gunn, Bonanza, McHale's Navy and Gunsmoke. Kennedy played George Spangler in the 1963 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Greek Goddess." He portrayed the character "Blodgett" in a 1966 episode "Return to Lawrence" of the ABC western series The Legend of Jesse James, starring Christopher Jones in the title role. He also appeared on The Match Game as one of the panelists.
Then came a career-changing performance as Kennedy won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Cool Hand Luke (1967). He played "Dragline", a chain-gang convict who at first resents the new prisoner in camp played by Paul Newman, then comes to idolize the rebellious Luke.
He followed with films such as The Dirty Dozen, Bandolero! and The Boston Strangler. In 1970, he appeared in the Academy Award-winning disaster story Airport in which he played one of its key characters, airline troubleshooter Joe Patroni. He reprised this role in Airport 1975 and in two sequels.
Continuing to work with some of the biggest names in the business, Kennedy co-starred with Clint Eastwood in a pair of films, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and The Eiger Sanction and with an ensemble cast including Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner in the disaster film Earthquake. He was part of an all-star cast in the Agatha Christie mystery Death on the Nile in 1978, joining the likes of David Niven, Peter Ustinov, Angela Lansbury and Bette Davis.
In 1984, Kennedy starred opposite Bo Derek in the box-office bomb Bolero. He made other minor films including Savage Dawn, The Delta Force, and Creepshow 2 before connecting in the comedy hit The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! in 1988, playing Captain Ed Hocken opposite Leslie Nielsen's comical cop Frank Drebin. There were two sequels in which Kennedy co-starred.
On television, Kennedy starred as Carter McKay in the CBS prime time serial Dallas (1978–1991), appearing from 1988-1991. In the late 1990s, he promoted Breathasure tablets in television commercials with the quote, "I never go anywhere without my Breathasure." Around this time, he reprised his role as McKay in the television films Dallas: JR Returns and Dallas: War of the Ewings. In 1996, he played himself on Wings. He was asked to reprise his role from Airport (much to his annoyance) by Brian Hackett (Steven Weber).
In 1998, he voiced Brick Bazooka for the film Small Soldiers. He then made several independent films before making a 2003 comeback to television in the soap opera The Young and the Restless, playing the character Albert Miller, the biological father to legendary character Victor Newman. In 2005, he made a cameo appearance in the small film Don't Come Knocking, playing the director of an ill-fated western.
Kennedy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to motion pictures, located at 6352 Hollywood Blvd.
Kennedy has written three books. In 1983, he wrote the murder mystery Murder On Location, set on a film shoot. A second novel, Murder on High, was released in 1984. In 2011, he wrote his autobiography, Trust Me.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2012)|
Kennedy resides in Eagle in Ada County in southwestern Idaho. He is married to Joan McCarthy and has a daughter, Shaunna. The couple adopted their granddaughter, Taylor, after the incarceration of the child's mother.
|1961||The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come||Nathan Dillon|
|1962||Lonely are the Brave||Deputy Sheriff Gutierrez|
|1963||The Silent Witness||Gus Jordan|
|The Man from the Diner's Club||George|
|1964||McHale's Navy||Henri Le Clerc|
|Island of the Blue Dolphins||Aleut Captain|
|Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte||Foreman|
|In Harm's Way||Colonel Gregory|
|The Flight of the Phoenix||Mike Bellamy|
|The Sons of Katie Elder||Curley|
|1967||The Dirty Dozen||Major Max Armbruster|
|Hurry Sundown||Sheriff Coombs|
|Cool Hand Luke||Dragline||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Laurel Award for Male Supporting Performance
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
|The Ballad of Josie||Arch Ogden|
|1968||The Pink Jungle||Sammy Ryderbeit|
|The Legend of Lylah Clare||Matt Burke||uncredited|
|The Boston Strangler||Phil DiNatale|
|1969||The Good Guys and the Bad Guys||Big John McKay|
|Guns of the Magnificent Seven||Chris|
|Airport||Joe Patroni||Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated - Laurel Award for Male Supporting Performance
|Zigzag||Paul R. Cameron|
|Dirty Dingus Magee||Herkimer 'Hoke' Birdsill|
|1971||Fools' Parade||'Doc' Council|
|1973||Lost Horizon||Sam Cornelius|
|Cahill U.S. Marshal||Abe Fraser|
|1974||Sonic Boom||A Man In The Wilderness||Short Film|
|A Cry in the Wilderness||Sam Hadley||TV movie|
|Thunderbolt and Lightfoot||Red Leary|
|Airport 1975||Joe Patroni|
|Earthquake||Sgt. Lew Slade|
|1975||The Eiger Sanction||Ben Bowman|
|The 'Human' Factor||John Kinsdale|
|1977||Airport '77||Joe Patroni|
|Ningen no shōmei||Ken Shuftan|
|1978||Mean Dog Blues||Captain Omar Kinsman|
|Brass Target||Gen. George S. Patton|
|Death on the Nile||Andrew Pennington|
|1979||The Concorde ... Airport '79||Capt. Joe Patroni|
|The Double McGuffin||Chief Talasek|
|Search and Destroy||Anthony Fusqua|
|Steel||Big Lew Cassidy|
|Hotwire||Farley & Harley Fontenot|
|1981||Just Before Dawn||Roy McLean|
|1983||Wacko||Mr. Doctor Graves|
|1984||A Rare Breed||Nathan Hill|
|Chattanooga Choo Choo||Bert|
|1985||Radioactive Dreams||Spade Chandler|
|Savage Dawn||Tick Rand|
|1986||The Delta Force||Father O'Malley|
|1987||Creepshow 2||Ray Spruce||segment "Old Chief Wood'nhead"|
|1988||Top Line||Heinrich Holzmann||released as Alien Terminator|
|Born to Race||Vincent Duplain|
|Nightmare at Noon||Sheriff Hanks|
|The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||Capt. Ed Hocken|
|1989||Ministry of Vengeance||Rev. Hughes|
|La Bahía esmeralda||Wilson|
|The Terror Within||Hal|
|Hired to Kill||Thomas|
|1991||Intensive Care||Dr. Bruckner|
|Driving Me Crazy||McCready|
|The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear||Captain Ed Hocken|
|1992||Distant Justice||Tom Bradfield|
|1994||River of Stone|
|Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult||Captain Ed Hocken|
|1997||Bayou Ghost||Officer Lowe|
|Cats Don't Dance||L.B. Mammoth||voice|
|1998||Small Soldiers||Brick Bazooka||voice|
|Dennis the Menace Strikes Again||Grandpa Johnson|
|2003||View from the Top||Passenger Requesting Vodka||uncredited|
|2005||Three Bad Men||Ed Fiske|
|Truce||Dr. Peter Gannon|
|Don't Come Knocking||Director|
|2007||Sands of Oblivion||John Tevis|
|2008||The Man Who Came Back||Judge Duke|
|2011||Another Happy Day||Joe|
|1960||"Gunsmoke" The Blacksmith||Emil||S06E02|
|1961||Bat Masterson||Sherriff||Episode: The Fourth Man|
|1961||Have Gun Will Travel||Tarnitzer||Episode: THE LEGACY|
|1962||The Tall Man||Hyram Killgore||"One for All"|
|1962||Going My Way||Mike||"A Man for Mary"|
|1963||Perry Mason||George Spangler||"The Case of the Greek Goddess"|
|1963||The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters||Angus||"The Day of the Long Night"|
|1964||Bonanza||Waldo||1 episode "The Scapegoat"|
|1964||Gunsmoke||Warden Stryker||1 episode "The Warden"|
|1966||Gunsmoke||Ben Payson||1 episode|
|1971||Sarge||Father Samuel Patrick "Sarge" Cavanaugh (Swanson)||16 episodes|
|1975||The Blue Knight||Bumper Morgan||24 episodes|
|1979||Backstairs at the White House||President Warren G. Harding||1 episode|
|1988–1991; 1996; 1998||Dallas||Carter McKay||67 episodes + 2 TV Movies|
|2003||The Young and the Restless||Albert Miller||3 episodes|
|2010||The Young and the Restless||Albert Miller (ghost)||1 episode|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Kennedy.|