A personal note. Frank recalls that some 15 years ago, he visited a sleek new pharmacy in his newly adopted Arizona neighborhood, and was astonished to discover — George Kennedy in person.
Turns out that the actor, who died last month at 91, was starring in a ribbon-cutting ceremony surrounded by executives from the pharmacy chain’s owner. Seeing Kennedy made Frank’s day.
Ok, let’s find out how much you knew about Kennedy and his busy career as a screen and tv actor. Without further reminiscences, let’s get to the answers to this week’s Monday Quiz. As usual, scroll down to the blog below to review the questions. Here we go:
1) Answer: c) 1967’s Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman. Kennedy played “Dragline,” a grizzled Florida chain gang prisoner who gradually comes to admire Newman’s tormented fellow convict.
2) Answer: b) False. Whatever his private religious views, Kennedy was much married — to four different wives. He and last spouse, Joan McCarthy, adopted his granddaughter, whose mother, also adopted by Kennedy, suffered through various substance abuse problems.
3) Answer: d) Marlene Dietrich.
4) Answer: a) and c), the two Lees.
5) Answer: The tv series was titled Sarge, and it lasted for one season (1971-2) on NBC. The title character Kennedy played was a San Diego detective sergeant who enters the priesthood after the murder of his wife.
6) Answer: a) True. From detective sergeant to the first family. Backstairs at the White House was an acclaimed nine-hour NBC mini-series that ran in 1979, covering first family private lives from the Tafts to the Eisenhowers. Kennedy was part of a large cast of stage and tv luminaries.
7) Answer: The Blue Knight was aired in two formats — initially as a four-hour NBC miniseries in 1973 starring William Holden. Then, as a weekly series on CBS in 1976-77 starring Kennedy. Holden was there first.
8) Answer: b) 1963’s Charade in which Kennedy plays a super-nasty villain who scares the hell out of Audrey Hepburn by brandishing formidable steel claws extending from what was once a right arm.
9) Answer: The original disaster epic was 1970’s Airport, followed by three sequels: Airport ’75, Airport ’77 and The Concorde… Airport 79. Kennedy was the only cast member aboard all four flights.
10) Answer: It’s all a) True. Kennedy was born in New York City in 1925, and his father was a musician and bandleader. But after high school, he joined the Army and fought in the infantry in Europe during World War II. He stayed on, in all putting in a 16-year Army career before edging into show business (as an advisor to The Phil Silvers Show) in the late 1950’s.