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Christopher Lawford
Born March 29, 1955 (1955-03-29) (age 54)
Santa Monica, California

Christopher Kennedy Lawford (born March 29, 1955) is an American author, actor and activist and member of the prominent Kennedy family.


Life and career

Lawford was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of actor Peter Lawford and Patricia "Pat" Kennedy. He is a nephew of John F. Kennedy, cousin-in-law of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (appearing in two of his films, including Terminator 3). He holds a Bachelors of Arts from Tufts University, a J.D.from Boston College Law School, and a Masters Certification in Clinical Psychology from Harvard Medical School where he gained an academic appointment as a Lecturer on Psychiatry.



In September 2005, Harper Collins Publishers released Lawford’s memoir Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption (William Morrow 2005, ISBN 0-06-073248-2), which immediately became a New York Times Bestseller. He hopes that his memoir illuminates the extraordinary circumstances of his life and brings to others a cohesive message of survival, hope and finding one’s integrity in a sea of ego and depravity. His next book, Moments of Clarity: Voices from the Front Lines of Addiction and Recovery, released in 2009, is a moving series of essays by public figures, athletes and entertainers who have struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol, and about the very moment they realized that their addiction had taken over their life, and that that was about to change, and that they would stop using drugs, including booze. Almost every person interviewed sought help from Narcotics Anonymous or another spiritually based means of support for recovery.


Lawford spent over fifteen years in the film and television business as an actor, lawyer, executive, and producer. He began his career in Universal Studios’ Independent Film Acquisitions where he was responsible for the acquisition of American Graffiti, one of the highest grossing films of the early 1970s. As an independent producer Lawford arranged financing for and produced films including Kiss Me Guido & Drunks, both films were selections in the Sundance Film Festival.

Lawford’s acting credits include Eavesdrop, Slipstream, The World's Fastest Indian, Terminator 3, Blankman, The Doors, The Russia House, Thirteen Days, and many others. His credits also include a three-year tenure on the popular soap opera All My Children and a role on General Hospital.


Lawford has worked extensively in politics, government and the non-profit sector holding executive staff positions with The Democratic National Committee, The Community Action for Legal Services Agency and in the Washington office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. He has held staff positions on numerous national, state and local political campaigns, as well as with The Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, Special Olympics and The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. He is presently a Public Advocacy Consultant for Caron Treatment Centers, and was recently appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the California Department of Public Health Advisory Board.

Awards and honors

Lawford supports Women in Recovery, Inc., a non-profit organization offering a live-in, 12-step program of rehabilitation for women in need, based in Venice, CA. This charity, which was founded by a longtime resident of Venice, Sister Ada Geraghty, annually honors those who've made a difference in helping women overcome substance abuse problems. Lawford was the 2006 honoree for Women in Recovery at their Gala; past honorees have included Jamie Lee Curtis, Angela Lansbury, and Anthony Hopkins.

Insight on Castro

Lawford told Australian interviewers that he has been trying to make a film about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis from Cuba's perspective but that he has been stymied by the U.S. blockade.

Lawford told the Australian newspaper that he sat next to Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana during a 2001 screening of Thirteen Days, a film about the missile crisis. "It was incredible," he told the newspaper. "I went there and sat next to the guy my uncles were trying to kill. But President Castro believes if President Kennedy had lived, the embargo would have been lifted and they would have normalized relations." In a separate interview with the ABC, Lawford said Castro "got up at the end of the film and he said, 'You've made a great film, but you've ignored Cuba, now you have to make a film of what was happening here in Cuba during those thirteen days." Lawford said that he had returned to Cuba six times in an effort to do just that "but as you know we have an embargo against Cuba, which is one of the greatest foreign policy tragedies in the history of the United States."[1]


  1. ^ Source: News Story from IMDB news briefings.

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