It was announced today that actor George Kennedy died on Sunday morning:
Kennedy was probably most famous for his role in Cool Hand Luke, where he played a prisoner who at first bullied and then befriended the title character played by Paul Newman in 1967. He later appeared in the Airport series in the 70's, and then in the Naked Gun movies in the 80's and 90's.
I had forgotten about Kennedy, but upon seeing him again, I was struck by how much he looked like some of the forensic artists' recreations of Neanderthal man:
Kennedy had the same brow ridge, the prominent nose, and the somewhat receding chin. Plus he was a big, strong guy:
He wasn't jacked by the standards of today's stars, but remember, he came of age in an era when real men didn't work out, and steroids didn't exist.
Kennedy was often cast as a bully -- he certainly looked like one -- but he was reportedly a nice guy in real life. He must have been, because he worked until his 80's, and it's hard to sustain that sort of longevity as an actor if you have a reputation for being difficult.