Douglas Kennedy

Active - 1940 - 2011  |   Born - Sep 14, 1915   |   Died - Aug 10, 1973   |   Genres - Western, Drama, Action, Adventure, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American general-purpose actor Douglas Kennedy attended Deerfield Academy before trying his luck in Hollywood, using both his own name and his studio-imposed name Keith Douglas. He was able to secure contract-player status, first at Paramount and later at Warner Bros. Kennedy's Paramount years weren't what one could call distinguished, consisting mainly of unbilled bits (The Ghost Breakers [1940]) and supporting roles way down the cast list (Northwest Mounted Police [1940]); possibly he was handicapped by his close resemblance to Paramount leading man Fred MacMurray. Warner Bros., which picked up Kennedy after his war service with the OSS and Army Intelligence, gave the actor some better breaks with secondary roles in such A pictures as Nora Prentiss (1947), Dark Passage (1948), and The Adventures of Don Juan (1949). Still, Kennedy did not fill a role as much as he filled the room in the company of bigger stars. Chances are film buffs would have forgotten Kennedy altogether had it not been for his frequent appearances in such horror/fantasy features as Invaders from Mars (1953), The Alligator People (1959) and The Amazing Transparent Man (1960), playing the title role in the latter. Douglas Kennedy gain a modicum of fame and a fan following for his starring role in the well-circulated TV western series Steve Donovan, Western Marshal, which was filmed in 1952 and still posting a profit into the '60s.

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