Over the past few days, the film industry lost three great actors who showcased their talents over the years.
We start with George Kennedy, who passed away on February 28 at the age of 91. Kennedy started out in TV westerns in the 1950’s and had minor roles in films. In 1967, he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Cool Hand Luke. He appeared in the Airport series of films in the 1970’s, but one of his most prominent roles was that of Ed Hocken, the straight-laced partner of bumbling LAPD detective Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun series of films. He and Leslie Nielsen even got to spoof their roles from that film at the 1994 WWE Summer Slam event, attempting to solve the mystery of The Undertaker.
Kennedy’s last film role was that of Mark Wahlberg’s grandfather in the 2014 drama film The Gambler.
Next, we have Gil Hill. If you have seen the Beverly Hills Cop films, you know this man! As Inspector Todd, the boss of our hero Axel Foley, Hill brought his experience as a former Detroit police officer to the role of the foul-mouthed superior. Who can forget his first line in the film, “Is that fxxkin’ Foley in there?” The Beverly Hills Cop films would be Hill’s only foray in acting as he would become President of the Detroit City Council.
Hill passed away on February 29 in his native Detroit at the age of 84.
The Hong Kong film industry lost one of its greats in Fung Hark-On. Fans in the West may not be familiar with the name, but if you’ve seen this face watching the good ol’ classic martial arts films of the 1970’s, then you know this predominately villain actor. Fung was a second generation actor and filmmaker alongside his little sister Petrina Fung Bo-Bo, who was deemed the “Shirley Temple of Hong Kong”. A protege of Cantonese opera director Madam Fan Fok-Fa, Fung rose his way into playing mainly villains and was one of the original members of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team upon its creation in 1979. One of his best showcases was in 1978’s Warriors Two, where he played the deadly Mantis Fist expert who took on Sammo Hung and Casanova Wong. Fung continued to act and work as an action director, with his final performance in the 2015 action-comedy Undercover Duet.
Fung passed away on March 2 at the age of 65.
World Film Geek wishes to send its condolences to the families of George Kennedy, Gil Hill, and Fung Hark-On. May they Rest In Peace.