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Arthur Kennedy

Kennedy in Champion (1949)
Born John Arthur Kennedy
February 17, 1914(1914-02-17)
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died January 5, 1990 (aged 75)
Branford, Connecticut, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1940–1990
Spouse(s) Mary Cheffrey (1938-1975; her death)

Arthur Kennedy (February 17, 1914 – January 5, 1990) was an American stage and film actor best known for his performances in Westerns.

Contents

Early life

Kennedy was born John Arthur Kennedy in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Helen (née Thompson) and J.T. Kennedy, a doctor. [1] Kennedy graduated from Worcester Academy and Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. An award in Kennedy's honor is now presented every year to a deserving actor at Carnegie Mellon.

Career

Kennedy got his break when he was discovered by James Cagney. His first film role was of Cagney's younger brother in City for Conquest in 1940. He portrayed heroic and villainous characters equally, appearing in Western films and police dramas. He also portrayed a surgeon in 1966's Fantastic Voyage.

He starred in several well-received films from the late 1940s to the 1960s, including High Sierra, They Died with Their Boots On, Boomerang, Champion, The Window, The Glass Menagerie, Bright Victory, Bend of the River, The Lusty Men, Rancho Notorious, The Desperate Hours, Lawrence of Arabia, The Man from Laramie, Trial, Peyton Place, Some Came Running, A Summer Place and Elmer Gantry.[2]

He appeared both on the stage and screen, receiving a Tony Award for the role of Biff Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (1949). Kennedy also inaugurated three other major characters in Miller plays: Chris Keller in All My Sons (1947), John Proctor in The Crucible (1953), and Walter Franz in The Price (1968).

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Oscar nominations

He and Claude Rains share the record of four losing nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[2] He also received a nomination for Best Actor, in Bright Victory (1951).

Year Award Film Winner
1949 Best Supporting Actor Champion Dean JaggerTwelve O'Clock High
1951 Best Actor Bright Victory Humphrey BogartThe African Queen
1955 Best Supporting Actor Trial Jack LemmonMister Roberts
1957 Best Supporting Actor Peyton Place Red ButtonsSayonara
1958 Best Supporting Actor Some Came Running Burl IvesThe Big Country

Personal life

Kennedy was married to Mary Cheffrey from 1938 until her death in 1975. They had two children, Terrence Kennedy and Laurie Kennedy. Laurie followed in the footsteps of her parents and became an actress. Both Mary and Arthur Kennedy are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Nova Scotia, Canada.

References

External links


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