H. Wesley Kenney
|H. Wesley Kenney|
|Born||Harold Wesley Kenney, Jr.
January 3, 1926
|Died||January 13, 2015
Santa Monica, California
|Cause of death||Cardiac Arrest|
|Other names||Wes Kenney|
|Occupation||Television producer, director|
|Spouse(s)||Heather North (m. 1971; d. 2015)|
Harold Wesley Kenney, Jr. (January 3, 1926 – January 13, 2015), was an American television producer and director whose career extended from the medium's formative years in the early 1950s, into the 2000s, and included thousands of episodes, both primetime and daytime, as well as five Emmy wins and eight nominations. He was frequently billed as Wes Kenney.
Shortly after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering in 1951, Kenney was hired by the DuMont Television Network. According to the 2004 book The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television, Kenney directed up to twelve different broadcasts each day during his career at the network and its flagship station WABD. This was because most of DuMont's programs were broadcast live, and were often done on small budgets. Kenney continued to direct many programs after DuMont's dissolution in 1956.
He is best known for his work on soap operas, producing and directing Days of Our Lives from 1968 to 1979, and then becoming Co-Executive Producer of The Young and the Restless, a spot he held from 1982 to 1987. Under Kenney's run as Y&R's Co-Executive Producer, he helped the show win three daytime emmy's for outstanding drama series in 1983, 1985, and 1986. From 1987 to 1989, Kenney replaced the legendary Gloria Monty as Executive Producer of General Hospital. He became General Hospital 's Head Writer during the 1988 WGA strike.
After Kenney retired from directing, he was a professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He died of cardiac arrest at Saint John's Health Center on January 13, 2015, at the age of 89.
- Filthy Rich (1982) TV series
- Big John, Little John (1976) TV series
- Far Out Space Nuts (1975) TV series
- All in the Family TV series (6 episodes, 1974–1975)
- Distant Early Warning (1975) (TV Movie)
- Murder in the First Person Singular (1974) (TV Movie)
- Days of Our Lives (1965) TV series
- My Favorite Martian TV series (2 episodes, 1965)
- Your First Impression (1962) TV series
- Rocky King, Inside Detective (The Forgotten Network says he directed most of the episodes produced during its 1950-1954 run)
"One day, a baby elephant was going to appear on Manhattan Spotlight. Meanwhile, Captain Video was on the air. Suddenly, the elephant started trumpeting...On the air, Captain Video stood up and said, 'What the hell is that?' And the Ranger said, 'I don't know, Captain, but get down, it might be dangerous!'".
Head writing tenure
|Head Writer of General Hospital (during the 1988 WGA strike)
Executive Producing Tenure
|Executive Producer of Days of Our Lives
(with Betty Corday)
April 20, 1977 – January 18, 1980
William J. Bell
|Executive Producer of The Young and the Restless
(with William J. Bell)
February 1982 – 1986
William J. Bell
Edward J. Scott
|Executive Producer of General Hospital
January 1987 – November 30, 1989
- Weinstein, D. (2004). The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ISBN 1-59213-499-8