Arthur Kennedy

Arthur Kennedy
Warner Brothers


Arthur Kennedy
Film: North side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Arthur Kennedy
TV: East side of the 1600 block of Vine Street
Born John Arthur Kennedy on Feb. 17, 1914 in Worcester, MA
Died Jan. 5, 1990 of cancer in Branford, Conn.

Veteran character actor Arthur Kennedy played roles ranging from the dreamy idealist to the cynical heel in more than 70 movies.

Although he never won an Academy Award, Kennedy's five nominations were seen as a tribute to his devotion to the craft of acting.

He won a Tony Award in 1949 for the Broadway production of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and a New York Film Critics Award for best actor in the 1951 film "Bright Victory."

Among his film credits were "The Glass Menagerie," "A Summer Place," "Elmer Gantry," "High Sierra" and "They Died With Their Boots On."

One of Kennedy's most memorable roles was that of crusty foreign correspondent Jackson Bentley, who chronicled the life of T.E. Lawrence in the 1962 film classic "Lawrence of Arabia."

At the start of the David Lean film, which won seven Oscars, Bentley is seen giving a wry two-line eulogy of Lawrence: "He was a poet, a scholar and a mighty warrior," he said. "He was also the most shameless exhibitionist since Barnum & Bailey."

In addition to an Oscar nomination for "Bright Victory," Kennedy's other Academy Award nominations were for his roles in "Champion" in 1950, "Trial" in 1956, "Peyton Place" in 1958 and "Some Came Running" in 1959.

During his heyday, Kennedy was a tireless worker who believed an actor must always practice his trade. At one point, he started a theater workshop in Hollywood so actors could polish their talents.

"Actors need this," he told legendary gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. "Painters paint alone, musicians play or sing alone, but what can an actor do when he isn't working?"

He also said he had no great admiration for present-day screen idols saying that, for the most part, they do not work at expanding their range.

"I think they're accomplishing nothing, playing the same part over and over again, generally speaking," he said. "It has nothing to do with acting and it doesn't add up to much. They don't gamble with their careers."

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1949 Best Supporting Actor Champion Nomination
    1951 Best Actor Bright Victory Nomination
    1955 Best Supporting Actor Trial Nomination
    1957 Best Supporting Actor Peyton Place Nomination
    1958 Best Supporting Actor Some Came Running Nomination

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