George Kennedy Dead: ‘Naked Gun’ Actor Dies At 91

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George Kennedy Dead

By Andrew Shuster |

George Kennedy Dead

(Getty Images)

George Kennedy, an Oscar-winning character actor best known for roles in such movies as Cool Hand Luke and the Naked Gun franchise, died in Boise, Idaho on Sunday morning. He was 91-years-old.

Kennedy, who began falling ill a little more than a year ago, had been under hospice care for the past month. The actor, born in New York City, appeared in more than 200 films and television series. He won the Best Supporting Actor award at the 1968 Oscars for his role in Cool Hand Luke, in which he played a convict who befriends Paul Newman’s character.

The imposing actor with the booming voice began his acting career in westerns, including on the TV shows “Rawhide” and “Maverick,” and in the film The Dirty Dozen. He also starred in the 1970s disaster film Airport and its sequel. Although often portraying bad guys, Kennedy later surprised audiences by displaying his comedic chops as a foolish police captain in the Naked Gun series. His last onscreen role was alongside Mark Wahlberg in 2014’s The Gambler.

Kennedy is survived by his three daughters Taylor, Shaunna, and Betty, as well as several grandchildren. His wife, Joan McCarthy, died a little over a year ago.


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