George Kennedy, best known for starring in films like “Cool Hand Luke” and the “Naked Gun” movies, passed away on Sunday. He was 91.
Kennedy’s demise was reported by his grandson, Cory Schenkel. He said that Kennedy, who died in Boise, Idaho, had been suffering from declining health since his wife’s death a year ago. Since the last month, he had been in hospice care.
Kennedy was awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1968 for “Cool Hand Luke.” Some of his film credits include the Naked Gun movies, “Airport 1975” and “Earthquake.” “The Gambler” (2014) was the last movie he starred in, TMZ reports.
He once said his most memorable movie in which he appeared was “Charade.” Speaking about the film in 1995, he said, “It had Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, music by Henry Mancini; it was shot entirely in Paris. I have nothing but wonderful memories.”
Born in 1924 in New York to a father who worked as a musician and a mother who was a dancer, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II, BBC reports. Prior to beginning his career as an actor in Hollywood, he also worked for Armed Forces Radio and Television. Once he entered Hollywood, the 6-feet 4-inch actor became renowned for playing tough-guy characters.
In 2002, Kennedy underwent emergency triple bypass surgery. He moved to Idaho with his late wife to be close to their daughter.
According to the Guardian, Kennedy said he wanted to be an actor since he was young. In 1995, he said, “I remember listening to a radio program when I was young and it made me feel good and I remember telling my mom that I wanted to make people feel the way this radio program made me feel. I got some great breaks, and I wound up being an actor.”