George Harris Kennedy, Jr. (born February 18, 1925) is an American actor who has appeared in over 200 film and television productions. He is perhaps most familiar as the convict Dragline in Cool Hand Luke (for which he won an Academy Award), airline troubleshooter Joe Patroni in the Airport series of disaster movies from the 1970s (The only actor to star in all four movies) and as Captain Ed Hocken in the Naked Gun series of comedy films.
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. He 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 16 years, seeing combat and working in the Armed Forces radio. He was involved with the opening of the first Army Information Office, which provided technical assistance to films and TV shows. After retiring from the military (reportedly because of a back injury), Kennedy found his way back to the entertainment industry.
Kennedy became a...
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