A versatile character actor for over five decades, Academy Award winner George Kennedy brought both gravity and boundless energy to a considerable list of memorable pictures ranging from "Cool Hand Luke" (1967) and "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) to the campy "Airport" pictures and the "Naked Gun" franchise. A near two-decade stint in the military preceded his acting pursuits, where he logged numerous appearances as heavies and rough-hewn types in pictures like "Charade" (1963) and "The Sons of Katie Elder" (1964). However, his turn as a tough Southern prisoner who becomes Paul Newman's disciple of sorts in "Cool Hand Luke" brought him both an Oscar and a career boost that included heroic turns in all four "Airport" films, "The Boston Strangler" (1968) and "The Eiger Sanction" (1975). Kennedy's career went into decline in the mid-1970s, though there were occasional flashes of offbeat brilliance; most notably the slapstick "Naked Gun" series. Kennedy's long and impressive body of work surpassed any career dips, and he remained one of Hollywood's most dependable and well-regarded talents.