Actor George Kennedy passed away yesterday of natural causes. He was 91.
Kennedy is known to movie audiences for several notable roles. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman. In the 1970’s, Kennedy also starred in Airport! and three of its sequels. In the 1990’s, Kennedy became known to a new generation for his role as LeslieNielsen’s boss in The Naked Gun movies.
Kennedy’s acting career began during his childhood, but would be interrupted by WWII. He would spend 16 years in the military rising to the rank of Captain. After fighting in combat in The Battle of the Bulge, Kennedy would become part of Armed Forces Radio and make his way back into acting as an adviser on The Phil Silvers Show.
Given that we are 24 hours removed from the Oscars, I thought I would post the video of Kennedy winning his Oscar. These were the days when Bob Hope was hosting the show. Patty Duke presented the award. Among those nominated with Kennedy in the Best Supporting Actor category was a young Gene Hackman for Bonnie & Clyde as well as John Cassavettes in The Dirty Dozen. But Kennedy would prevail. His speech is short but sweet.