George Kennedy
George Kennedy at the 2003 Academy Awards
George Kennedy
General Information
Birth Name: George Harris Kennedy, Jr.
Born: (1925-02-18)February 18, 1925
Birthplace: New York City, NY, U.S.
Died: February 28, 2016(2016-02-28) (aged 91)
Deathplace: Middleton, Idaho, U.S.
Appeared on/in
(or involved with):
  • Dallas (first series)
  • Dallas:J.R. Returns (1996 TV movie)
  • Dallas:War of the Ewings (1998 TV movie)
  • Episodes appeared in
    /involved with:
    74 in TV series

    George Kennedy (February 18, 1925 - February 28, 2016) appeared in the recurring role of Carter McKay, founder and former CEO of WestStar Oil, who proved to be a constant thorn in the side of J.R. Ewing, in the final two seasons of the CBS-TV series Dallas, appearing in a total of 74 episodes of the series. George reprised his role for the two CBS-TV movies, Dallas:J.R. Returns in 1996 and Dallas:War of the Ewings in 1998.

    Life and careerEdit

    Born in New York City, into a show business family, George's father, George Harris Kennedy Sr., a musician and orchestra leader, died when Kennedy was just 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.

    George 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 Armed Forces radio. He was involved with the opening of the first Army Information Office, which provided technical assistance to films and television shows such as The Phil Silvers Show.

    After a brief appearance in the 1960 film Spartacus, his film career began in 1961 in The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come. He appeared in several Hollywood movies, including Charade (1963), Strait-Jacket (1964), ed the character "Blodgett" in a 1966 episode "Return to Lawrence" of the ABC western series The Legend of Jesse James.

    Gegrge's film appearances include Spartacus, Lonely Are the Brave, McHale's Navy (1964, based on the 1962-66 ABC-TV series of the same name), Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, In Harm's Way, Shenandoah, The Sons of Katie Elder (1965, wiht John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Earl Holliman), The Flight of the Phoenix, The Dirty Dozen (1967), Cool Hand Luke (1967, for which he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Bandolero! (1968), Guns of the Magnicent Seven, The Good Guys and the Bad Guys, The Boston Strangler (1970, with Tony Curtis), Airport, Dirty Dingus Magee, Lost Horizon, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974, with Clint Eastwood), Airport 1975, Earthquake, The Eiger Sanction, Airport '77, Death on the Nile, The Concorde...Airport '79, The Delta Force, Creepshow 2.

    Perhaps the most notable of George's most comical film roles was in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) , where he played the role of Captain Ed Hocken opposite Leslie Nielsen's comical cop Frank Drebin. He would reprise his role as Ed Hocken in the film's two similarly high-grossing sequels, The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991), and The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994). Other notable film appearances included: Cats Don't Dance, Small Soldiers, View from the Top, Another Happy Day and The Gambler. He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    Personal lifeEdit

    Kennedy resided in Eagle in Ada County in southwestern Idaho. He was married to Joan McCarthy and they have a daughter, Shaunna. The couple adopted their granddaughter, Taylor, after the incarceration of the child's mother.

    He was also good friends with James Stewart and his voice is featured in a TCM commercial commemorating Stewart.

    Kennedy was also a licensed pilot who enjoyed flying and owned a Cessna 210 and Beechcraft Bonanza.

    Death Edit

    Kennedy resided in Eagle, Idaho, at the time of his death. He died on the morning of Sunday, February 28, 2016, of a heart ailment[1] at an assisted living facility in Middleton, Idaho, at the age of 91.[2] He had a history of heart disease.[3][2]

    At the time of his death, Kennedy was the oldest living Oscar winner in the Best Supporting Actor category. Ironically, he died the day of the 88th Academy Awards ceremony.


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