George Kennedy has died, the actor passing away yesterday at the age of 91 according to a Facebook post from his grandson Cory Schenkel.
Kennedy mostly played gruff characters in various genres. He appeared in all four of the 1970s “Airport” films, he’s known to a whole generation as Frank Drebin’s boss Ed in “The Naked Gun” films, and he won an Oscar for co-starring with Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke”.
Other notable film credits include the original “The Flight of the Phoenix” and the war time classic “The Dirty Dozen,” the disaster epic “Earthquake,” the Clint Eastwood mountain climbing spy thriller “The Eiger Sanction,” westerns such as “Bandolero” and “The Sons of Katie Elder”, the all-star Agatha Christie adaptation “Death on the Nile,” Otto Preminger’s post-Pearl Harbor tale “In Harm’s Way,” and Michael Ciminio’s “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”.
He also had roles in TV series such as “Dallas, “Bonanza,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Gunsmoke,” “Dr. Kildare,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “The Asphalt Jungle” and was the lead in the short lived series “Sarge” and “The Blue Knight”. His final onscreen appearance was in the Mark Wahlberg-led “The Gambler” remake in 2014.
Kennedy is survived by two children and several grandchildren.