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Edgar Kennedy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (22)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (5)

Born in Lake San Antonio, Monterey County, California, USA
Died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (throat cancer)
Birth NameEdgar Livingstone Kennedy
Nicknames King of the Slow Burn
Master of the Slow Burn
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Edgar Kennedy, who was born on April 26, 1890, near Monterey, California, hit the road as a young man and traveled across the country, working in a succession of jobs. He became a professional boxer, claiming to have gone 14 rounds against The Manassas Mauler, Jack Dempsey.

In addition to his knowledge of the "Sweet Science", Kennedy possessed a good musical voice, and wound up singing in musical shows in the Midwest, his first taste of show business. During his cross-country peregrinations he wound up in Los Angeles, and found himself hired as an actor by comedy producer Mack Sennett. At the Sennett Studios he was allegedly one of the original Keystone Kops, but soon graduated from bit parts to supporting roles in Keystone comedies, including Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914) with Charles Chaplin. Kennedy had good roles in other Chaplin movies, but when his contract expired in 1921 he went freelance, though he did occasionally return to Sennett.

After leaving Sennett Kennedy established himself as a first-rate supporting comic, and made a career out of playing harassed businessmen, next-door neighbors, cops, etc. By the late 1920s his craft was most prominently featured in comedies for Hal Roach, Sennett's arch-rival, where he flourished in support of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. It was with Roach that he developed his mastery of the "slow burn", a routine for which he became famous. He often played a none-too-bright policeman brought to the boiling point by the absurdities of Laurel and Hardy. He also directed the two in From Soup to Nuts (1928) and You're Darn Tootin' (1928).

RKO hired Kennedy to appear in a series of comedy shorts called "The Average Man," in which he played the head of a family. The shorts had very tight shooting schedules, often as few as three days, but Kennedy was always a pro and delighted the audience by giving them his all. He made over 200 short subjects and appeared in over 100 feature films, still in demand right up to the day he died of cancer on November 9, 1948.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Patricia Violet Allyn (21 August 1924 - 9 November 1948) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

'The Slow Burn" - he would show great comic frustration by drawing the palm of his hand down his face before exploding.
Usually played a short-tempered man who often suffered at the hands of his family or whoever his on-screen partner to be
Towering height, bald head and gruff voice

Trivia (22)

Comedian acknowledged as master of the "slow burn" when antagonized.
An example of Kennedy in his prime is as the lemonade vendor who has the dubious pleasure of encountering Harpo Marx in Duck Soup (1933).
Interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, USA, Section D, Sacred Heart, Grave 7, Lot 193.
Children: daughter Colleen, son Larry.
Had two children, Colleen and Larry. Colleen Kennedy married Ivan Deach and had four daughters: Wendy, Linda, Teresa, and Robin. Larry Kennedy had four offspring, 2 sons and 2 daughters: Mark, Glenn, Erin, and Donna.
His agent, for most of his career, was Fralick Management, owned by Freddie Fralick, whose associate was Mike Connolly. Kennedy's business and financial adviser was Bo Roos. Fellow silent screen comedian Chester Conklin was not only Kennedy's close friend, he also served as his career adviser and manager.
His most regular golfing partner was Mickey Rooney.
He was part of a card-playing quartet whose other members were Charles Coburn, Lewis Stone and director W.S. Van Dyke.
As a character actor he rarely smiled on-screen, but in real life he was jovial and friendly and would talk to fans as though they were best friends.
Died on November 9, 1948, two days before a scheduled testimonial dinner planned in his honor by his fellow actors wishing to toast his career.
One of the original Keystone Kops.
He was not, as is often reported, the brother of actor Tom Kennedy.
Was in three Oscar Best Picture nominees: San Francisco (1936), A Star Is Born (1937) and Anchors Aweigh (1945).
His career culminated as the star of a series of comedies as 'The Average Man' spanning 17 years.
He was one of the first entertainers to be honoured , posthumously, by a star on Hollywoods Walk of Fame.
He had a distinguished career as a prize boxer before turning to films becoming a noted director and then as an actor.
His 'slow burn' was a gradual boiling over of anger culminated by slowly drawing his handover his face.
Reputedly held out for 14 rounds in a boxing match with Jack Dempsey.
Renowned as an expert scene stealer.
Kennedy died on November 8, 1948... just 36 hours before he was to attend a testimonial dinner in his honor.
Kennedy claimed to have been one of the original Keystone Cops early in In his career and was repeatedly cast as policemen throughout his career. He played cops almost exclusively for Hal Roach. His last cop role was in "Anchors Away" in 1945.
Kennedy's "The Average Man" shorts were always filmed in three days. Although they were very low budget, they were on RKO's schedule for 24 years as they were even rereleased even after the comedian's 1948 death until the studio closed its doors in the late 50's.

Personal Quotes (2)

It's a cinch to steal a scene or crab an act if you know the trick in the trade, but it isn't done any more and for very good reasons -- the director is wise to you and reshoots the scene, or it spoils the scene, and nobody goes anywhere. But it's a marvelous stunt to get back at a guy if you don't like him, or you think he's double-crossing you.
Strictly speaking, I'm not a comedian now. I'm just a character actor in comedies

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