Veteran character actor George Kennedy, best known for his role in Cool Hand Luke but also beloved in roles ranging from the Airport franchise to the Naked Gun franchise, has passed away at 91.
Kennedy's first screen role was sixty years ago on The Phil Silvers Show, and his last was in 2014's The Gambler. In between, he had regular roles on Dallas, The Young and the Restless, and in dozens of films and TV shows ranging from Bonanza to Creepshow 2. He also provided voices for animated shows like Ahh! Real Monsters and movies like Small Soldiers.
Kennedy played Dragline in 1967's Cool Hand Luke, widely regarded as one of the best American films ever made. He also appeared in The Dirty Dozen, Bonanza and Dr. Kildaire. For a time, if you needed a heavy-hitting, imposing cop, soldier or cowboy, Kennedy was one of the handful of actors you'd turn to.
In the '90s, Kennedy was discovered by a new generation of moviegoers as the police chief in Leslie Nielsen's blockbuster The Naked Gun franchise, based on the TV series Police Squad!.
Kennedy, besides appearing onstage and performing on the radio, also wrote three books: the 1983 murder mystery Murder on Location, 1984's Murder on High, published the following year, and his 2011 autobiography, Trust Me.