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George Kennedy: Life, Death, and Legacy of an American Actor

Uncover the life of George Kennedy, the American actor who died at 91 years old due to heart disease. Read about his ancestry, height, weight, and net worth of $5 million.

George Kennedy’s Public and Personal Lives

George Harris Kennedy Jr was an actor who appeared in more than 100 TV and film productions. Before that, however,  Kennedy joined the US Army in 1943. Although he longed to become a pilot, he served in the infantry under General George Patton. Captain Kennedy achieved a distinguished service record, and earned two Bronze Stars, alongside a plethora of combat and service ribbons.

Born into a showbiz family – his father, another George Kennedy, was a musician and orchestra leader who died when George Jr was only four years old, the boy was raised by his mother Helen who was a ballet dancer. So it was only natural that he would perform on screen.

Kennedy’s movie career began in 1961 with the film The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, followed by several Hollywood films, including Lonely Are the Brave in 1962, Charade in 1963, and Cool Hand Luke in 1967. With his career going from strength to strength, he continued to appear in front of the cameras, even starring in two Japanese productions – the 1977 film Proof of the Man and Virus in 1980. The small screen received his attention, too, with roles in series such as Have Gun – Will Travel, The Legend of Jesse James, Tarzan, and the ever-popular Saturday Night Live.

Kennedy was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards and Male Supporting Performance at the Laurel Awards in 1968 and 1971. He went on to be nominated at the Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.

He was 91 years old at the time of his death in Middleton, Idaho on the 28th of February 2016.


When did George Kennedy pass away and what was the cause?

George Kennedy kicked the bucket on February 28, 2016. His death certificate revealed that he died of natural causes, with heart disease being a major contributing factor.

What was George Kennedy’s nationality?

George Harris Kennedy Jr., the American actor, was born on February 18, 1925, in New York City. His roots can be traced back to Britain and Ireland.

How old was George Kennedy when he passed away?

At the time of his demise, he was 91 years old. He had been battling heart disease for years, and it was reported as the cause of his death. Being an Aquarius, he was probably confident and skilled as an actor.

How tall and heavy was George Kennedy?

George Kennedy was a towering figure, standing at six feet four inches and weighing 230 pounds. We suspect that his size may have contributed to the heart problems that plagued him for years.

What was George Kennedy’s net worth?

George Kennedy’s net worth was a cool $5 million, earned from his numerous film roles and a successful TV career. He may be gone, but his legacy lives on.


Is George Kennedy married or single?

George Kennedy was married four times to three different women. His first wife was Dorothy Theresa Gillooly, they got married in 1946 and divorced in 1959. His second wife was obviously a fave as he married her twice!  Norma Jean Wurman also known as Revel Wurman, became his wife from 1959 to 1971, remarrying in 1973, before divorcing again in 1978. His last wife was Joan McCarthy and they were married in 1978 remaining wed until her passing in 2015.

Does George Kennedy have any children?

George Kennedy and Gillooly have a son, Kevin Kennedy, while he had two children – a son, Christopher and daughter Karianna with Wurman. He and McCarthy adopted Shaunna Kennedy, who went on to develop a serious drug habit making her unfit to raise her daughter. She, too, was then adopted by George and his wife in 1998.



George Kennedy’s Photo Gallery


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