George Kennedy, star of Cool Hand Luke and The Naked Gun, dies aged 91

The Oscar-winning actor was equally skilled in comedies and drama

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George Kennedy has died at the age of 91, his grandson has announced.

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A decorated soldier in World War 2, the six foot four Kennedy had a natural authority that made his turns of silliness all the more effective. In Police Squad and the following movie series The Naked Gun he played the bumbling police chief, but he was also adept in more serious roles. He won the Academy Award for best supporting actor playing opposite Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke.

Kennedy was born on 18th February 1925 in New York to a show business family: his father was a musician, his mother a dancer.

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“To all who were able to spend time with him I’m sure you will remember all the stories he told and the dumb jokes he loved to tell,” his daughter Sharon said on Facebook. “He could always get a laugh and I will miss those but will cherish the little strips of paper he use to write them on when the family would go out to dinner. I love you Pop always and forever.”