George Harris Kennedy, Jr. (born February 18, 1925 – died February 28, 2016) is an American actor who has appeared in more than two hundred film and television productions. His wide variety of roles include "Dragline" in Cool Hand Luke, for which he won an Academy Award; as Joe Patroni in all four of the 1970s Airport disaster films; as Police Captain Ed Hocken in the Naked Gun series of comedy films; and as corrupt oil tycoon Carter McKay on the original Dallas television series.
Kennedy was born in New York City, into a show business family. His father, George Harris Kennedy, a musician and orchestra leader, died when Kennedy was 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, like the Phil Silvers Show.
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.
He died on the morning of Sunday, February 28, 2016, of a heart ailment at an assisted living facility in Midlleton, ID, at the age of 91. He had a history of heart disease.
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