Byron Kennedy

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Byron Kennedy
Born 18 August 1949
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died 17 July 1983(1983-07-17) (aged 33)
Warragamba Dam, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Occupation Film producer, cinematographer

Byron Eric Kennedy (18 August 1949 – 17 July 1983) was an Australian film producer known for the Mad Max series of films.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Kennedy was born in Melbourne. At the age of 18, Kennedy formed his own company named "Warlok Films" and produced many amateur short films under this logo.

In 1970, at the age of 21, he won The Kodak Trophy, Australia's Ten Best on Eight, for the short film "Hobson's Bay", a short documentary film about the Melbourne port suburb of Williamstown.

This award enabled him to travel overseas and gain invaluable knowledge of the international film/television industry. Upon his return he embarked upon a television and film course at the University of NSW, where he met George Miller. The first mini-film made by both was Violence in the Cinema, filmed in Yarraville, Melbourne. The film won international acclaim and this led to the formation of the new film company "Kennedy Miller", which was incorporated in 1975 with both George Miller and Byron Kennedy as co-directors.

Their first major movie together was the international smash hit Mad Max (1979). This film set a record for the highest grossing film relative to budget, a record which was only broken with the advent of The Blair Witch Project (1999).

In 1982, Kennedy produced the film The Road Warrior, the sequel to Mad Max, which grossed over a $100 million worldwide.[1]

In 1983, at the age of 33, Kennedy was killed at Warragamba Dam in New South Wales, Australia, when the helicopter he was piloting crashed into a lake. Kennedy was seriously injured in the crash and died that night.[1] In his honour, the Australian Film Institute, with George Miller as a panel member, established the Byron Kennedy Award. This award is bestowed upon those whose work is marked by their pursuit of excellence within the film and television industry and is sponsored by Kennedy Miller, Warner Bros., Village Roadshow, Greater Union, Cinemedia and Steven Spielberg.

The film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is dedicated to him.[2]

His original production company, Kennedy Miller, is now Kennedy Miller Mitchell Pty Ltd.[3]


Motion pictures[edit]

Mini series[edit]

  • Dirtwater Dynasty
  • Cowra Breakout
  • Vietnam
  • Bodyline
  • Bangkok Hilton
  • The Dismissal-mini series produced for Network 10 Australia.


  1. ^ a b c UPI (July 20, 1983). "BYRON KENNEDY, 33, PRODUCER OF FILM, 'THE ROAD WARRIOR'". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Brew, Simon (1 April 2015). "Dedications at the end of movies, and what they mean". Den of Geek. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Kennedy Miller Mitchell Filmography". InBaseline. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 

External links[edit]