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Actor
Date Of Birth:
18 February 1925
Date Of Death:
28 February 2016
Place Of Birth:
New York City, New York
Best Known As:
The con against Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke

Name at birth: George Harris Kennedy, Jr.

Character actor George Kennedy won an Oscar for his supporting role opposite Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke (1967), the pinnacle of a long on-screen career playing both ham-fisted thugs and trusted father figures. Despite being brought up in a theatrical family, Kennedy's first career was in the Army. He was an infantryman in Europe in World War II, then spent more than a decade with the Army, working in film and television productions. He retired and became an advisor to Phil Silvers's TV comedy Sgt. Bilko, which led to acting parts on television in the late 1950s. Big and burly, he played villains in Charade (1963, starring Cary Grant) and The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), but his turn in Cool Hand Luke proved he could elicit sympathy as well. He was a trusted figure in all four Airport movies in the 1970s, and on TV starred as a honorable cop in Sarge and The Blue Knight during the 1970s, and was a regular on Dallas in the late 1980s -- he also spent seven seasons on The Young and the Restless (2003-10). His other feature films include Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974, starring Jeff Bridges and Clint Eastwood), The Dirty Dozen (1967, starring Lee Marvin), and, as General George S. Patton, Brass Target (1978).
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