George Kennedy (Actor) - Naked Gun
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Updated: 5/19/11

Name: George Kennedy

Born: February 18, 1925, New York City, New York

Claim To Fame: Some of his best-known roles include the convict Dragline in Cool Hand Luke, airline troubleshooter Joe Patroni in the Airport movie series, and as Captain Ed Hocken in the Naked Gun series of comedy films.

Family Life: He is married to Joan McCarthy and has a daughter, Shaunna.

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Info: Kennedy was born into a show business family, and made his stage debut at the age of two in a touring company of Bringing up Father.

He took a long hiatus from acting to join the military during World War II, and ended up spending 16 years in the army.

A back injury in the late 1950s forced him to leave the military and rejoin the world of acting. He won the role of a military advisor on the Sergeant Bilko TV series.

He didn't have much luck in earlier films he made, but found success with his Academy Award win for his portrayal of Dragline in Cool Hand Luke (1967).

Cool Hand Luke was his big break, and led to many more box-office hits, including the Airport series and the comedic Naked Gun movies.

On TV, Kennedy starred in the weekly series Sarge (1971) and The Blue Knight (1978), and was seen as President Warren G. Harding in the 1979 miniseries Backstairs at the White House.

During the 1990s, he was a commercial spokesman for a series of breath-freshener advertisements. He has also been the voice of L.B. Mammoth in the animated musical Cats Don't Dance (1997), and as one of the toys-gone-bad in Small Soldiers (1998).

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Trivia: Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to motion pictures.

His father, George Harris Kennedy, a musician and orchestra leader, died when Kennedy was four years old.

Was raised by his mother, Helen A. (n?e Kieselbach), a ballet dancer.

He and his wife adopted their granddaughter in 1998, after their daughter was ruled unfit.

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Where Are They Now: After working on several independent films, Kennedy made a television comeback in 2003 in the soap opera The Young and the Restless, playing the character Albert Miller, the biological father to legendary character Victor Newman. He made a cameo appearance in the 2005 film Don't Come Knocking. He currently resides in Eagle, Idaho with his wife.

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George Kennedy
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