George Kennedy dead at 91

George Kennedy as Joe Patroni in Airport 79.
George Kennedy as Joe Patroni in Airport 79.

R.I.P. Joe Patroni.

On 28 February 2016, actor George Kennedy passed away at the age of 91.

While Kennedy is probably most famous for his Oscar-winning role in Cool Hand Luke, or for his turns as Captain Ed Hocken in the Naked Gun comedies, disaster movie fans will always remember him as the ever reliable Joe Patroni in the Airport series. In fact, George Kennedy was the only actor to appear in all four Airport films.

And further cementing his status as an icon of disaster cinema, George Kennedy also appeared along Charlton Heston in genre classic Earthquake (the second Kennedy/Heston team-up of 1974 along with Airport 1975).

Other notable films from Kennedy’s 60 years in movies and telefision include The Dirty Dozen, Flight of the Phoenix, The Boston Strangler, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, and the recurring role as Carter McKay in Dallas.

So long, George, and thanks for the thrills.

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