Burt Kennedy

Director, Screenwriter, Radio writer
Coming to film from radio Westerns, Kennedy penned "Seven Men from Now" (1956), the first of four collaborations with director Budd Boetticher and the first of three with producer-director Andrew V. McLaglen. Moving ... Read more »
Born: 09/02/1922 in Muskegon, Michigan, USA

Filmography

Director (39)

Suburban Commando 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Big Bad John 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Combat 1962 - 1967, 1976 - 1979, 1981 - 1990 (Tv Show)

Director

How the West Was Won 1976 - 1979, 1989 - 1990 (Tv Show)

Director

Magnum, P.I. 1958 - 1967, 1976 - 1990 (Tv Show)

Director

Simon & Simon 1976 - 1979, 1981 - 1990 (Tv Show)

Director

Snoops 1989 - 1990 (Tv Show)

Director

The Lawman 1958 - 1967, 1976 - 1979, 1981 - 1990 (Tv Show)

Director

The Rhinemann Exchange 1976 - 1979, 1989 - 1990 (Tv Show)

Director

The Yellow Rose 1976 - 1979, 1981 - 1990 (Tv Show)

Director

Louis L'Amour's Down the Long Hills 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Director

The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Director

The Trouble With Spies 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Rowdies 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Director

Wolf Lake 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

The Killer Inside Me 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Sidekicks 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Director

The Train Robbers 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Hannie Caulder 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

Support Your Local Gunfighter 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

Dirty Dingus Magee 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

La Spina Dorsale del Diavola 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Support Your Local Sheriff 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

The Good Guys and the Bad Guys 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Young Billy Young 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Welcome to Hard Times 1967 (Movie)

(Director)

Return of the Seven 1966 (Movie)

(Director)

The War Wagon 1966 (Movie)

(Director)

The Money Trap 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

The Rounders 1964 (Movie)

(Director)

Mail Order Bride 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

All the Kind Strangers (TV Show)

Director

More Wild Wild West (TV Show)

Director

Once Upon a Texas Train (TV Show)

Director

Shootout in a One-Dog Town (TV Show)

Director

The Concrete Cowboys (TV Show)

Director

The Wild Wild West Revisited (TV Show)

Director

Where the Hell's That Gold?! (TV Show)

Director
Writer (18)

White Hunter, Black Heart 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Trouble With Spies 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Wolf Lake 1981 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Escape From The Dark 1975 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Train Robbers 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Young Billy Young 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Welcome to Hard Times 1967 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Rounders 1964 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Mail Order Bride 1963 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Six Black Horses 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Comanche Station 1960 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Ride Lonesome 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Yellowstone Kelly 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Tall T 1957 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Gun the Man Down 1956 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Seven Men From Now 1956 (Movie)

(From Story)

Seven Men From Now 1956 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Return of the Gunfighter (TV Show)

From Story
Producer (3)

The Trouble With Spies 1987 (Movie)

(Producer)

Support Your Local Gunfighter 1971 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Dirty Dingus Magee 1970 (Movie)

(Producer)
Actor (2)

Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

James Cagney: Top of the World 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Coming to film from radio Westerns, Kennedy penned "Seven Men from Now" (1956), the first of four collaborations with director Budd Boetticher and the first of three with producer-director Andrew V. McLaglen. Moving from the typewriter to the director's chair by the early 1960s, Kennedy continued for a time creating lean, leathery B's and TV Westerns. He also received acclaim for his gritty WWII action drama, "Combat" (ABC, 1962-67).

Kennedy's traditional action fare brandished occasional laconic comic touches, but it was really with "The Rounders" (1965) and its spin-off TV series that comedy came to the fore in his work. "The War Wagon" (1967) basked in the by-play between John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, and by the time Kennedy made the popular "Support Your Local Sheriff" (1969) and its enjoyable sequel, "Support Your Local Gunfighter" (1971) he had firmly moved into spoof territory.

TV-movies dominated Kennedy's credits from the 70s on; "Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid" (1978) and "More Wild, Wild West" (1980) are typical of the light touch he brought to the small screen during this period. The broadly handled Hulk Hogan action feature "Suburban Commando" (1991) played up Kennedy's jokey side, but his elegiac TV-saga "Once Upon a Texas Train" (1988), with Willie Nelson as an aging outlaw and Richard Widmark as a former Texas ranger, showed that Kennedy's earlier affectionate sobriety had not left him entirely.

Relationships

Sheila Foster

Wife
married on July 11, 1973

Thomas Kennedy

Father
half of "The Dancing Kennedys"

Gertrude Kennedy

Mother
half of "The Dancing Kennedys"

Bridget Kennedy

Daughter
survived him

Susan Kennedy-McNutt

Daughter
survived him

Nancy Pendelton

Companion
survived him

EDUCATION

graduated from high school in Ravenna, Michigan

Milestones

1992

Appeared as one of the interviewees on the TV biographical documentary, "James Cagney: Top of the World"

1990

Co-wrote (with James Bridges) the screenplay for the Clint Eastwood film, "White Hunter, Black Heart"

1989

Directed the premiere episode of the sophisticated comedy-mystery series, "Snoops"

1987

First feature producing credit for over 15 years, "The Trouble with Spies"

1977

Directed the three-part miniseries, "The Rhineman Exchange", a war and espionage drama

1969

First feature producing credit, "Dirty Dingus Magee"

1961

Feature directorial debut, "The Canadians"

1956

First feature writing credit, "Seven Men from Now"

1941

Served with the US Army; awarded Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster

Directed episodes of the popular CBS detective drama, "Magnum, P.I." During the 80s

Directed episodes of the NBC Western drama "The Virginian" during the 60s

Directed the popular Western comedy, "Support Your Local Sheriff" (1969) and its sequel, "Support Your Local Gunfighter" (1971)

Began as a radio writer after WWII, specializing in Westerns with an often comic flavor

Wrote and directed for the ABC Western series, "Lawman"

First TV producing credit, as executive producer of the short-lived Western-flavored sitcom, "The Rounders"

Wrote and directed for the ABC WWII drama series, "Combat"

Was one of five directors who worked on the short-lived NBC primetime serial drama "Yellow Rose"

Bonus Trivia

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"I think Burt Kennedy is the best western screenwriter there ever was," said [Budd] Boetticher in a phone interview. "Burt is so carefully authentic in everything he does." --From The Hollywood Reporter, January 12, 1993.

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