George Kennedy was an awarded actor born on 18th February 1925, in New York City, USA, and is probably best remembered for his role of “Dragline” in “Cool Hand Luke”(1967), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and was nominated for the matching Golden Globe.
Have you ever wondered how rich George Kennedy was? According to sources, it has been estimated that George Kennedy’s overall net worth was over $5 million, acquired during his successful acting career, which lasted for over 50 years.
George Kennedy Net Worth $5 Million
George was raised by his mother, as his father died when he was only four years old. As his maternal grandfather was a German immigrant, Kennedy is of German, but also Irish and English descent. When it comes to acting, he made his stage debut when he was only two in a touring company staging “Bringing Up Father”, and five years later he had already become a New York City radio DJ. With the arrival of World War II, George joined the U.S. military, staying in this profession until the late ‘50s, and reaching a rank of captain, before an injury persuaded him to find a different occupation. This was when he turned towards acting, and got his first notable role in the TV sitcom “The Phil Silvers Show”. However, his film career started in 1961 in “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come”, soon followed many other roles such as in Kirk Douglas’s western “Lonely Are the Brave”(1962), “Charade”(1963), “Strait-Jacket”(1964) , and including four films in just a year – “Mirage”, “The Flight of the Phoenix”, “In Harm’s Way” and “The Sons of Katie Elder” all filmed in 1965. His net worth was growing steadily.
A year later, he appeared in the ABC western series “The Legend of Jesse James”, portraying the role of “Blodgett”, and then was cast in probably his best known role in the prison drama film “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), in which he played a convict next to Paul Newman; this part brought him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and a Laurel Award for Male Supporting Performance, plus being nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.
Kennedy continued his career with films such as “The Dirty Dozen”, “Bandolero!”, “The Boston Strangler”, the Academy Award-winning film “Airport” and its three sequels, and many others. George also appeared on television, mainly in TV series such as “Sarge”, “The Blue Knight” and “Dallas”. When it comes to his last activity, Kennedy made his final film appearance as Ed in “The Gambler”(2014), in which he had a cameo role in the film’s opening scene. George received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to motion pictures.
In his personal life, Kennedy was married four times. His first marriage was in the 1940s to Dorothy Gillooly with whom he had a son. His second marriage was to Norma Wurman, whom he divorced for the first time in 1971, remarried two years later and finally divorced in 1978. The couple had two children. After divorcing from his second wife, George married Joan McCarthy with whom he remained until her death in September 2015, raising three adopted children. died on 28th February 2016 in Middleton, Ohio, USA
He underwent emergency triple heart bypass surgery in 2002.
After World War II, a bizarre medical condition - his left leg was shorter than his right by three inches - left him in traction for two years.
Following high school graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army in 1943 with the hope to become a fighter pilot in the Army Air Corps. Instead, he wound up in the infantry, served under General George S. Patton and distinguished himself in valor. He won two Bronze Stars and four rows of combat and service ribbons.
His father was a pianist and a composer/conductor at the Proctor's Theater in Manhattan, and his mother danced with vaudeville's "Le Ballet Classique".
His daughter Betty is also an actress. He also has a son, George Harris Kennedy III.
Attended and graduated from Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York (1943).
Attended and graduated from John Tarleton Agricultural College (now Tarleton State University at Stephenville, Texas).
Before his acting career really took off, he served as a military consultant on The Phil Silvers Show (1955).
As a United States Army officer in World War II, he served under General George S. Patton, and later went on to portray Patton in Brass Target (1978).
Due to his tall, enormously broad frame, Kennedy was frequently cast in the 1960s and 1970s as bullies and thugs, and had the distinction of brutalizing stars like Cary Grant, Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood on-screen while gaining a reputation off-screen as one of the nicest actors around. By his 60s, he finally got the chance to play friendlier characters, such as lovable Captain Ed Hocken in the "Naked Gun" movies.
Recently hosted the creation of a driving safety video.
He was the only actor to appear in all four of the "Airport" movie series.
Kennedy is often mistakenly credited with a bit part in Spartacus (1960). Stuntman Bob Morgan resembles Kennedy closely, and it is he who is seen saying "I'm Spartacus!" in the famous scene. Kennedy had nothing to do with the film.
He and Joan McCarthy adopted their granddaughter in 1998, after their daughter was ruled unfit.
He enlisted in the United States Army during World War II and went on to serve 16 years, both in combat, and in his later years, as an Armed Forces Radio and Television officer.
He and his wife Joan McCarthy adopted four children, including his granddaughter Taylor, whose mother, also adopted by Kennedy, had become addicted to drugs and alcohol.
[on being cast in bad guy roles on television Westerns at the start of his acting career] The big guys were on television and they needed big lumps to eat up. All I had to do was show up on the set, and I got beaten up.
[on his role as Dragline in Cool Hand Luke (1967)] The marvelous thing about that movie was that as my part progresses, I changed from a bad guy to a good guy. The moguls in Hollywood must have said, "Hey, this fellow can do something besides be a bad guy.".
I had the good fortune of speaking with Orson Welles many decades ago and he said "Success is primarily luck anyway." And I have been very lucky. Of course, Orson Welles was enormously talented and brilliant - so who am I to argue with him!
I have been so fortunate and I really am appreciative of the success I've had.
My father died when I was 4 years old, so I can't really say anything about his hearing.
Of course, I also attribute some of my hearing loss to being in the infantry in World War II. It's probably a combination of heredity and noise exposure.
When you think of a movie, most people imagine a two hour finished, polished product. But to get to that two hour product, it can take hundreds or thousands of people many months of full time work.