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Bill Kennedy (actor)

Bill Kennedy (actor)
Bill Kennedy as the racetrack announcer in Adventures of Superman, Ep. 66, "Joey"
Personal information
Birth dateJune 27, 1908
Place of birthCleveland Heights, Ohio
Date of deathJanuary 27, 1997(age 88)
Death placePalm Beach, Florida

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Willard "Bill" Kennedy (June 27, 1908 January 27, 1997) was an American actor, voice artist, and host of the long-running Detroit based television show Bill Kennedy at the Movies. Kennedy's voice is heard doing the opening narration of the television series Adventures of Superman.

Kennedy had been a Warner Bros. contract player in the 1940s and appeared in dozens of Hollywood movies from 1941 through 1955. He was often cast as a police officer or detective. He played the character who sets fire to Joan (played by Ingrid Bergman) in Joan of Arc, and played opposite Cary Grant in Destination Tokyo.

In the Superman series, he also appeared off-screen (uncredited) as the wrestling announcer in the 1952 episode called No Holds Barred and on-screen, as one of the radio announcers (uncredited) in the 1953 episode called Crime Wave, and as the racetrack announcer in the 1955 episode called Joey. He also appears to have provided the voice on the phone for the 1954 episode called Beware the Wrecker, although Denver Pyle played the part on-screen and had a couple of spoken lines.

Prior to his career in movies, Kennedy had been a staff announcer at WWJ, The Detroit News. In 1956 Kennedy returned to the Detroit area as host of Bill Kennedy's Showtime at CKLW-TV, directly across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario. The musical standard, "Just in Time" was his theme song, and was continually associated with his on air personality. In 1969 he moved to WKBD and continued hosting the show retitled Bill Kennedy at the Movies until retiring to Florida in 1983. On his afternoon TV program, he showed old movies, and provided anecdotes about the actors and about the production of the movies he showed derived in large part from his own Hollywood experience. He had a deadpan, sardonic style which many found refreshing, somewhat in like manner to Ed Sullivan. He did not hide his feelings about the movies he hosted, frequently saying such things as "We have a moderately good picture for you today". Once he introduced the day's featured film, 1946's Dragonwyck, by saying, "Today we have one of the most boring movies ever made." He would take on air calls from viewers which was a highlight of his daily shows. When he showed a film in which he had a part, he would talk at every break about his part in the movie, but always with a wink and good humor over his often very small roles.

Kennedy was born June 27, 1908 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and died January 27, 1997 in Palm Beach, Florida of emphysema.

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