George Kennedy passes

| March 1, 2016


The news comes to us that actor George Kennedy has passed at the tender age of 91. The Hollywood tough guy joined the Army in 1942 during World War II at the age of 17. He offered technical support to movies and the media of the day. He served for 16 years leaving the service as a captain. His first civilian job was as military technical adviser to “The Phil Silvers Show” which launched him into movie acting. His first movie role was in Spartacus and the photo above is from “The Dirty Dozen”. He is probably best remembered for his comedic roles in Airplane! and the Naked Gun series. For me, the first time I noticed him was as Ben Bowman in the Clint Eastwood movie, The Eiger Sanction.

According to Fox News, in later life, he became an advocate for adopted children, adopting four himself.

Category: Blue Skies

Comments (28)

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  1. GDContractor says:

    “But year after year their numbers get fewer. Some day no one will march there at all.”

    RIP Dragline. Say hi to Luke.

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    They’re slowly slipping away from us. RIP, George, see you next time.

  3. Silentium Est Aureum says:

    God bless, George. RIP.

    • desert says:

      I liked him a lot…91, at least he had a full life, but we are losing all the good ones…sad!

  4. Old Trooper says:

    RIP, Patroni.

  5. ChipNASA says:

    With apologies to the fine ladies at TAH.

    “Puttin’ em on here Boss” (and a minute or so later…) “TAKIN’ EM OFF HERE BOSS!!”


    • Hondo says:

      An interesting historical footnote here.

      The movie “Cool Hand Luke” was nominated for 4 Oscars – Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay (Adaptation), and Best Original Score.

      It won only one. And that one wasn’t Best Actor, for Paul Newman’s portrayal of the title character.

      The Oscar was for Best Supporting Actor – for Kennedy’s portrayal of Dragline.

      Rest in peace, CPT Kennedy. Rest in peace.

      • jonp says:

        Yup, I was going to mention that. I had no idea he was a vet but I’m not surprised. It seems most of my favorite actors of that time were and never made a big deal of it.

  6. HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

    Just saw George on Sunday night in “The Sons of Katie Elder” with John Wayne. Very good actor in both dramatic and comedy roles.

    RIP Capt. Kennedy…

  7. JacktheJarhead says:

    One of my favorite Eastwood movies that he was in was Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Loved the scenes with him and Jeff Bridges.

  8. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Thanks, George, both for your service and the entertainment you provided to millions over the years. “Lu-cile”

    Here’s a decent list of Hollywooders who served in the WW II era. It seems to be w/o hype b/c it clearly was not put together by a Hollywooder.

  9. Sparks says:

    RIP Captain Kennedy. Thank you for your service to our country and many, many great hours of entertainment. Take it easy Dragline.

  10. OWB says:

    Another of the good guys is gone from us. Thanks for your service, and for the many hours of entertainment, sir.

  11. Dustoff says:

    One of my favorite roles he played was in the original (and best) movie “Airport” (1970) as Joe Patroni, a USAF vet and chief mechanic.

    • c says:

      I always said if I see George getting on my flight, I was getting off……

      • nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

        When I worked on Johnston Island, the Aloha Airlines 737 that shuttled us between JI and Honolulu always had a mechanic with toolbox on board. Kinda wondered what he was going to fix on that 800+ mile trip over the big blue ocean.

  12. David says:

    First time I ever noticed him was in “Charade”. Lots of appearances on TV Westerns like “Have Gun, Will Travel”.

    In a Hondo moment – in the movie “Spartacus”, he is the last slave pictured yelling “I am Spartacus!” Just learned that.

  13. Carlton G Long says:

    He even managed to make it onto The Andy Griffith Show. RIP.

  14. Al T. says:

    We are diminished…

  15. Storyteller says:

    Read his auto biography, the did not have an easy childhood. Got to meet him on” the beat ” once in 75. He’s at the table of heros.

  16. SFC D says:

    See you at fiddler’s green, CPT Kennedy. Goddamn, are we gonna drink a lot of beer!

  17. OlafTheTanker says:

    Fwiw.. According to my memory and IMDB, The late/great Mr Kennedy was not in the comedy ‘Airplane!’, he was however in several of the “Airport” movie franchise productions as Joe Patroni.