Image of George Kennedy

George Kennedy

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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Feb 18, 1925 In New York City, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series The Oscars 1953-03-18
Latest Project:
Series Santo Bugito 2022
Known For
Poster of Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult
Poster of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
Poster of The Blue Knight
Poster of The Sons of Katie Elder
Series Santo Bugito 2022
Movie The Gambler Ed 2014-12-25
Movie Another Happy Day Joe Baker 2011-11-18
Movie The Boneyard Collection Professor Zebediah Jones (segment "The Devil's Due at Midnight") 2008-01-01
Movie The Man Who Came Back Judge Duke 2008-02-08
Movie Sands of Oblivion John Tevis 2007-07-28
Movie Armed and Deadly: The Making of 'The Dirty Dozen' Himself 2006-01-01
Movie Truce Dr. Peter Gannon 2005-01-01
Movie Three Bad Men Ed Fiske 2005-01-01
Movie Don't Come Knocking Director 2005-05-19
Movie View from the Top Passenger Requesting Vodka (uncredited) 2003-03-21
Movie Monster Makers Dexter Brisbane 2003-10-26
Movie Dallas - War of The Ewings Carter McKay 1998-04-23
Movie Small Soldiers Brick Bazooka 1998-07-10
Movie Men in White General Vice 1998-08-16
Movie Dennis the Menace Strikes Again! Mr. Johnson 1998-07-14
Movie Cats Don't Dance L.B. Mammoth (voice) 1997-03-26
Movie Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult Ed Hocken 1994-03-18
Movie WWE SummerSlam 1994 Himself 1994-08-29
Movie Distant Justice Tom Bradfield 1992-12-01
Movie Hangfire Unknown 1991-01-11
Movie Driving Me Crazy John McCready 1991-05-16
Movie The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear Captain Ed Hocken 1991-06-28
Movie Intensive Care Dr. Bruckner 1991-10-31
Series The Commish Unknown 1991-09-28
Movie Brain Dead Vance 1990-01-16
Series Wings Unknown 1990-04-19
Movie Mayumi: Virgin Terrorist Bahraini Investigator 1990-06-09
Movie The Cops Are Robbers Unknown 1990-12-09
Movie Hired to Kill Thomas 1990-11-10
Movie Esmeralda Bay Wilson 1989-05-18
Movie The Terror Within Hal 1989-01-20
Movie Ministry of Vengeance Rev. Hughes 1989-11-03
Movie Counterforce Unknown 1988-02-05
Movie Born to Race Vincent Duplain 1988-01-29
Movie What Price Victory Big Buck Brayton 1988-01-18
Series The Dirty Dozen Major Max Armbruster 1988-04-30
Movie Demonwarp Bill Crafton 1988-03-01
Movie Nightmare at Noon Sherrif Hanks 1988-09-28
Movie Private Road: No Trespassing Sam Milshaw 1988-06-15
Movie Uninvited Mike Harvey 1988-08-24
Movie Top Line Heinrich Holzmann 1988-08-16
Movie The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Capt. Ed Hocken 1988-12-02
Movie The Gunfighters Deke Turner 1987-01-01
Movie Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues General Nelson Miles 1987-11-22
Movie Creepshow 2 Ray Spruce 1987-05-01
Movie The Delta Force Father O'Malley 1986-02-14
Movie Radioactive Dreams Spade Chandler 1986-09-19
Movie Savage Dawn Tick Rand 1985-01-01
Movie Half Nelson Unknown 1985-03-24
Movie International Airport Rudy Van Leuven 1985-05-25
Movie Rigged Ben 1985-05-15
Movie Chattanooga Choo Choo Bert 1984-05-18
Movie The Jesse Owens Story Charles 'Charley' Riley 1984-07-09
Movie Bolero Cotton 1984-08-31
Movie Rare Breed Unknown 1984-10-10
Movie Wacko Mr. Doctor Graves 1982-11-12
Movie The Jupiter Menace Himself 1982-11-19
Movie Modern Romance Himself and Zeron 1981-03-13
Movie Just Before Dawn Roy McLean 1981-10-14
Movie The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire Brakus 1981-04-12
Movie Death Ship Captain Ashland 1980-03-07
Movie AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to James Stewart Himself 1980-03-16
Movie Hotwire Farley & Harley Fontenot 1980-09-01
Movie Virus Admiral Conway 1980-06-26
Movie The Double McGuffin Chief Talasek 1979-06-01
Movie Search and Destroy Anthony Fusqua 1979-07-05
Series Backstairs at the White House Pres. Warren G. Harding 1979-01-29
Movie The Concorde... Airport '79 Capt. Joe Patroni 1979-08-17
Movie Steel Big Lew Cassidy 1979-10-21
Series Dallas Carter McKay 1978-04-02
Movie Death on the Nile: Making of Featurette himself 1978-01-01
Movie Mean Dog Blues Captain Omar Kinsman 1978-03-03
Movie Death on the Nile Andrew Pennington 1978-09-29
Movie Brass Target Gen. George S. Patton 1978-12-22
Movie Airport '77 Joe Patroni 1977-03-11
Movie Proof of the Man Ken Shuftan 1977-10-08
Movie The Lion Roars Again Himself 1975-01-01
Movie The 'Human' Factor John Kinsdale 1975-01-01
Series Saturday Night Live Unknown 1975-10-11
Series The Blue Knight Unknown 1975-05-09
Movie The Eiger Sanction Ben Bowman 1975-05-21
Movie Sonic Boom Ben Dover 1974-01-01
Movie Earthquake Sgt. Lew Slade 1974-01-01
Movie Thunderbolt and Lightfoot Red Leary 1974-05-23
Movie A Cry in the Wilderness Sam Hadley 1974-03-26
Movie Airport 1975 Joe Patroni 1974-10-18
Movie Lost Horizon Sam Cornelius 1973-03-17
Movie Deliver Us from Evil Walter 'Cowboy' McAdams 1973-09-11
Movie Cahill U.S. Marshal Fraser 1973-07-11
Movie The Bull Of The West 'Bear' Suchette 1972-05-04
Movie A Great American Tragedy Brad Wilkes 1972-10-18
Movie Fools' Parade Dallas 'Doc' Council 1971-08-18
Series Sarge Father Samuel Cavanaugh 1971-09-21
Movie … tick… tick… tick… John Little 1970-01-09
Movie Airport Joe Patroni 1970-03-05
Movie Dirty Dingus Magee Herkimer 'Hoke' Birdsill 1970-11-18
Movie Zig Zag Paul R. Cameron 1970-05-01
Movie Guns of the Magnificent Seven Chris 1969-07-14
Movie Gaily, Gaily Johanson 1969-12-16
Movie The Good Guys and the Bad Guys McKay 1969-11-19
Movie The Legend of Lylah Clare Matt Burke (uncredited) 1968-08-21
Movie Bandolero! Sheriff July Johnson 1968-06-01
Movie The Boston Strangler Det. Phil DiNatale 1968-10-08
Movie The Pink Jungle Sammy Ryderbeit 1968-10-16
Movie The Ballad of Josie Arch Ogden 1967-01-01
Movie Hurry Sundown Sheriff Coombs 1967-02-09
Movie Cool Hand Luke Dragline 1967-06-22
Movie The Dirty Dozen Major Max Armbruster 1967-06-15
Series Tarzan Unknown 1966-09-08
Movie The Sons of Katie Elder Curley 1965-06-23
Movie Shenandoah Col. Fairchild 1965-06-03
Series The Legend of Jesse James Unknown 1965-09-13
Movie In Harm's Way Colonel Gregory 1965-04-05
Series The Big Valley Unknown 1965-09-15
Movie The Flight of the Phoenix Bellamy 1965-12-15
Movie Mirage Willard 1965-10-29
Series Laredo Unknown 1965-09-16
Movie McHale's Navy 1964-06-25
Movie Island of the Blue Dolphins Aleut Captain 1964-09-10
Movie Strait-Jacket Leo Krause 1964-01-19
Series Daniel Boone Unknown 1964-09-24
Movie Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Foreman 1964-12-15
Movie See How They Run Rudy 1964-10-07
Series Grindl Unknown 1963-09-15
Movie The Man from the Diners' Club George 1963-04-17
Series The Great Adventure Unknown 1963-09-27
Movie Charade Herman Scobie 1963-12-05
Series The Virginian Unknown 1962-09-19
Movie Lonely Are the Brave Deputy Sheriff Gutierrez 1962-05-24
Series The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Unknown 1962-09-20
Series Going My Way Unknown 1962-10-03
Movie The Little Shepherd Of Kingdom Come Nathan Dillon 1961-06-01
Series The Asphalt Jungle Unknown 1961-04-02
Series Kraft Mystery Theatre Unknown 1961-06-14
Series Dr. Kildare Unknown 1961-09-27
Movie Gunfight at Black Horses Canyon Hawk 1961-10-17
Series Thriller Unknown 1960-09-13
Series The Tall Man Unknown 1960-09-10
Series Outlaws Unknown 1960-09-26
Series Surfside 6 Unknown 1960-10-06
Movie Spartacus Rebel Soldier (uncredited) 1960-10-13
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Series The Andy Griffith Show Unknown 1960-10-03
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Series Riverboat Unknown 1959-09-13
Series Peter Gunn Unknown 1958-09-22
Series Lawman Unknown 1958-10-05
Series Bat Masterson Unknown 1958-10-08
Series 77 Sunset Strip Unknown 1958-10-10
Series Have Gun, Will Travel Unknown 1957-09-14
Series Maverick Unknown 1957-09-22
Series Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21
Series Gunsmoke Unknown 1955-09-10
Series Cheyenne Unknown 1955-09-20
Series The Oscars Unknown 1953-03-18