Tuesday, February 18, 2014

George Kennedy turns 89

George Kennedy won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Cool Hand Luke

Today is the 89th birthday of actor George Kennedy, who made a career out of playing supporting roles, including the one in Cool Hand Luke that won him an Oscar. His career seems to have included all sorts of genres, from a straight-up drama like Cool Hand Luke, to comedy, as Leslie Nielsen's boss in the Naked Gun movies. (To be fair, I think more of the humor comes from Nielsen, with everybody else reacting to him.)

I haven't mentioned Kennedy too often, although when I have, it's been for a broad range of genres. Bandolero! for example has Kennedy as a sheriff chasing James Stewart and Dean Martin into Mexico. Kennedy was also a police detective in The Boston Strangler, but this one was a docudrama instead of a western or comedy.

And then there's the horror. There's Kennedy above in Strait-Jacket, about to chop the head of a chicken, much to the horror of Joan Crawford, whose character had a thing about axes. A more gothic horror that I think was trying to be more serious than Strait-Jacket is Hush, Hush... Sweet Charlotte.

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