Arthur Kennedy Biography (1914-1990)

Full name, John Arthur Kennedy; born February 17, 1914, in Worcester, MA; died of a brain tumor, January 5, 1990, in Branford, CT; son of J. T. (a doctor)and Helen (Thompson) Kennedy; married Mary Cheffey (an actress; died, 1975);children: Laurie, Terence.

Birth Details
February 17, 1914
Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Death Details
Branford, Connecticut, United States

Famous Works

  • Credits; Stage Appearances
  • (As John Kennedy; Broadway debut) Bushy, Richard II (also see below), St. James Theatre, New York City, 1937.
  • (As John Kennedy) Sir Richard Vernon, Henry IV, Part I, St. JamesTheatre, 1939.
  • (As J. Arthur Kennedy) Jerry Dorgan, Life and Death of an American, Maxine Elliott Theatre, New York City, 1939.
  • Smithers, International Incident, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1940.
  • Chris Keller, All My Sons, Coronet Theatre, New York City, 1947.
  • Biff, Death of a Salesman, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1949-50.
  • Dave Rickes, See the Jaguar, Cort Theatre, New York City, 1952.
  • John Proctor, The Crucible, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City 1953.
  • Lieutenant Colonel William F. Edwards, Time Limit!, Booth Theatre,New York City, 1956.
  • Patrick Flannigan, The Loud Red Patrick, Ambassador Theatre, New York City, 1956.
  • Title role, Becket (also see below), Hudson Theatre, New York City, 1961.
  • Walter Franz, The Price, Morosco Theatre, 1968.
  • Man, Veronica's Room, Music Box Theatre, New York City, 1973.
  • Credits; Major Tours
  • Thomas Becket, Becket, national tour, opening Colonial Theatre, Boston, MA, then U.S. cities, 1961.
  • Also toured Midwest with Globe Theatre, 1936; toured as Bushy, RichardII, 1937.
  • Credits; Film Appearances
  • (Film debut) Eddie Kenny, City for Conquest, Warner Brothers, 1940.
  • Jim Younger, Bad Men of Missouri, Warner Bros., 1941.
  • Red Hattery, High Sierra, Warner Bros., 1941.
  • George Foster, Highway West, Warner Bros., 1941.
  • Johnny Rocket, Knockout, First National/Warner Bros., 1941.
  • Joe Geary, Strange Alibi, Warner Bros., 1941.
  • Flying Officer, Jed Forrest, Desperate Journey, Warner Bros., 1942.
  • Ned Sharp, They Died with Their Boots On, Warner Bros., 1942.
  • Lieutenant Tommy McMartin, Air Force, Warner Bros., 1943.
  • Branwell Bronte, Devotion, Warner Bros., 1946.
  • John Waldron, Boomerang, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1947.
  • Sundance Kid, Cheyenne, (also known as The Wyoming Kid), Warner Bros., 1947.
  • Connie Kelly, Champion, United Artists (UA), 1949.
  • Tommy Ditinan, Chicago Deadline, Paramount, 1949.
  • Alan Palmer, Too Late for Tears, UA, 1949.
  • Chalk, The Walking Hills, Columbia, 1949.
  • Mr. Woodry, The Window, RKO Radio Pictures, 1949.
  • Tom Wingfield, The Glass Menagerie, Warner Bros., 1950.
  • Larry Nevins, Bright Victory (also known as Lights Out), Universal, 1951.
  • Land Waldron, Red Mountain, Paramount, 1951.
  • Cole Garret, Bend of the River (also known as Where the River Bends), Universal, 1952.
  • Dr. Ben Barringer, The Girl in White (also known as So Bright the Flame), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), 1952.
  • Wes Merritt, The Lusty Men, RKO Radio Pictures, 1952.
  • Vern Haskeoo, Rancho Notorious, RKO Radio Pictures, 1952.
  • Joe Quinn, Crash Out, Filmakers, 1955.
  • Jesse Bard, The Desperate Hours, Paramount, 1955.
  • Alan Curtis, Impulse, Eros, 1955.
  • Vic Hansbro, The Man From Laramie, Columbia, 1955.
  • Santiago, The Naked Dawn, Universal, 1955.
  • Barney Castle, Trial, MGM, 1955.
  • Rick Harpe, The Rawhide Years, Universal, 1956.
  • Lucas Cross, Peyton Place, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1957.
  • First Mate Ramsay, Twilight for the Gods, Universal, 1958.
  • Frank Hirsh, Some Came Running, MGM, 1958.
  • Willie O'Reilly, Home is the Hero, British Lion/Showcorporation, 1959.
  • Bart Hunter, A Summer Place, Warner Bros., 1959.
  • Jim Lefferts, Elmer Gantry, UA, 1960.
  • Clyde Inglish, Claudelle Inglish (also known as Young and Eager), Warner Bros., 1961.
  • Dr. Quimper, Murder She Said (also known as Meet Miss Marple), MGM, 1961.
  • Dr. Adams, Adventures of a Young Man (also known as Hemingway'sAdventures of a Young Man), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1962.
  • Pontius Pilate, Barabbas, Columbia, 1962.
  • Jackson Bently, Lawrence of Arabia, Columbia, 1962.
  • Doc Holliday, Cheyenne Autumn, Warner Bros., 1964.
  • Ferro Maria Ferri, Italiano brava gente (also known as Italianibrava gente, Oni shli na vostok, and Attack and Retreat), Embassy, 1965.
  • Patrick Brown, Joy in the Morning, MGM, 1965.
  • Captain Love, Murieta (also known as Vendetta and Joaquino Murrieta), Warner Bros., 1965.
  • Dr. Duval, Fantastic Voyage (also known as Microscopia andStrange Journey), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1966.
  • Bill Bowdre, Nevada Smith, Paramount, 1966.
  • Monday's Child (also known as Il chica del Lunes), Andre DuRona, 1967.
  • Stay Away Joe, MGM, 1968.
  • General Lesly, Anzio (also known as The Battle for Anzio),Columbia, 1968.
  • Forbes, Days of the Evil Gun, MGM, 1968.
  • Roy Colby, A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die (also known as Unminuto per pregari, uni stante pe morire and Dead or Alive), Cinerama, 1968.
  • Albert Dixon, Hail, Hero, National General, 1969.
  • Doc, Shark (also known as Un arma de dos filos and Maneaters), Fuller, 1970.
  • Walter Pell, Glory Boy, (also known as My Old Man's Place),Cinerama, 1971.
  • Inspector McCormack, Don't Open the Window (also known as Non si seve profanare ol sonne die morte, Breakfast at Manchester Morgue, andThe Living Dead at Manchester Morgue), Hallmark, 1974.
  • Franchino, The Sentinel, Universal, 1977.
  • Bishop, The Tempter (also known as L'Anti Cristo), Avco/Embassy, 1978.
  • Owen Coughlin, Signs of Life, Avenue Pictures, 1989.
  • Also appeared in Santa Fe Trail, 1940; Bacciamo le mani (also known as Ferrente, Kiss My Hand and Mafia War), 1973; Ricco, 1973; La polizia ha le mani legate (also known as The Police Can't Move and Killer Cop), 1974; Roma a mano armato (also known as Rome Armed to the Teeth and Brutal Justice), 1976; La spiaggia del desiderio (also known as Emmanuelle on Taboo Island), 1976; Novi ospiti per un delitto (also known as Nine Guests for Crime), 1976; Ab Morgen sind wir reich und ehrlich (also knownas Rich and Respectable), 1977; Gli ultimi angeli (also known as L'avventurosa fuga and Last Angels), 1977; Ciclon (also known as Cyclone), 1977; Sono stato un'agente CIA (also knownas Covert Action), 1978; Bermuda: La fossa maledetta (also known as La cueva de los tiburones, The Sharks Cave, and Cave of Sharks), 1978; Porco mondo, 1978; and Grandpa, 1990. Appeared asnarrator, The Brave Rifles, 1966.
  • Credits; Television Appearances; Episodic
  • "People Need People," Alcoa Premiere, ABC, 1961.
  • Dupont Show of the Week, NBC, 1963.
  • Espionage, NBC, 1964.
  • Also appeared in Kraft Suspense Theatre, NBC; The Ethel Barrymore Theatre; General Electric Theatre; and Playhouse 90.
  • Credits; Other Television Appearances
  • Narrator, F. D. R. (special), ABC, 1965.
  • Angus MacGregor, The Movie Murderer (movie), NBC, 1970.
  • Marvin Hirsh, A Death of Innocence (movie), CBS, 1971.
  • Albert Graves, Crawlspace (movie), CBS, 1972.
  • Gunther Damon, The President's Plane Is Missing (movie), ABC, 1973.
  • Sheriff Sam Jericho, Nakia (series), ABC, 1974.
  • Also appeared in The Third Commandment.

Further Reference


  • New York Times, April 30, 1989, p. H24; January 7, 1990. Variety, January 10, 1990.*

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