Hollywood actor George Kennedy has died aged 91. Across he career he appeared in over two hundred movies and became a regular on supersoap Dallas in the 1980s.
George is perhaps best remembered for starring opposite Paul Newman in the 1967 released film Cool Hand Luke, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as character Dragline. For this role as a tough prison leader he was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture. He later co-starred with Clint Eastwood in a pair of films, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and The Eiger Sanction.
Other movie credits include the ‘Airport‘ string of ‘action/disaster’ films from the first in 1970, and the follow ups in 1975, 1977 and 1979. (Pictured top: as Joe Patroni in Airport 77 – Universal Pictures) As well as popular outings such as The Dirty Dozen, Bandolero!, Earthquake, The Boston Strangler and the Agatha Christie mystery Death on the Nile.
In later years he became well known for his comedy performances in The Naked Gun movie franchise playing Captain Ed Hocken opposite Leslie Nielsen’s far from serious police officer Frank Drebin.
In 1988 he joined the cast of long running primetime CBS ‘supersoap’ Dallas where he appeared as Carter McKay until the series ended in 1991. He would reprise the role of the rancher from Colorado in two spin-off movies Dallas: J.R. Returns (1996) and Dallas: War of the Ewings (1998). Kennedy also was known as an author having written three books during his time as an actor. The first, in 1983, was the murder mystery novel Murder On Location, which revolved around a killing on the set of a movie studio. His second novel, Murder on High, was released in 1984 while it was factual in 2011 as he wrote his autobiography, Trust Me.
George’s grandson Cory Schenkel announced that George Kennedy died Sunday morning at 4:30am in Boise, ID. Cory noted that his grandfather had been in failing health following the death of his 4th wife Joan a little over a year ago. George had been under hospice care since late January.
For his contributions to motion pictures, Kennedy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6352 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.