Who is Kathleen Kennedy?
Kathleen Kennedy is an American film producer, who has worked with some of the most successful directors of Hollywood. She has produced many of the biggest blockbusters of all time. These include the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘The Color Purple’, ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Jurassic Park’, and ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’. She has also been the executive producer of critically acclaimed movies like ‘Munich’, ‘Lincoln’, and ‘The Girl on the Train’, etc. Kathleen Kennedy has also cemented her legacy in the world of pop-culture by producing some of the biggest ‘Star Wars’ movies. These include ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, and ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, etc. She has also earned eight ‘Academy Award’ nominations. She is undoubtedly one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. However, she prefers to live an anonymous life outside it.
Childhood & Early Life
Kathleen Kennedy was born on June 5, 1953, in Berkeley, California, USA. Her father was Donald R. Kennedy and her mother was Dione “Dede” Marie. Her older sister is Dana Middleton-Silberstein. Her twin sister is named Connie Kennedy.
She went to the ‘Shasta High School’, Redding, California, in 1971. She went on to complete her education at the ‘San Diego State University’. She majored in telecommunications and film.
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Kathleen Kennedy gained her first work experience during her final year at ‘San Diego State University’. She joined the local San Diego TV station, ‘KCST’ and worked as a camera operator, video editor, production coordinator, etc.
She later produced a local talk show named ‘You’re On’ for four years. Then she moved to Los Angeles and served as a production assistant to John Milius., who was working on Stephen Spielberg’s ‘1941’ (1979). This was her first working experience in Hollywood.
She was then hired by Spielberg for her production ideas. Spielberg who was directing ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (1981) credited her as an associate. In 1982, she co-founded ‘Amblin Entertainment’ with Spielberg and Frank Marshall.&In 1982, she was asked by Spielberg to produce ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’. The blockbuster made more than US $792 at the box-office. It also earned Kennedy, her first ‘Oscar’ nomination.
Kathleen Kennedy rejoined Spielberg as an associate producer for ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ (1984). The movie generated more than US $333 million.
Her next major blockbuster as an executive producer was the sci-fi classic ‘Back to the Future’ (1985). Made on a budget of US $99 million it made more than US $389 million.
In 1986, she earned her second ‘Academy Award’ nomination for producing ‘The Color Purple’ (1985). In the next few years, Kennedy had moderate success with movies.
She was the executive producer for the hit ‘Back to the Future Part III’ in 1990. She was involved with other movies before producing the ‘Academy Award’ winning ‘Schindler’s List’ (1993).
In 1993, she was the executive producer for Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’. The movie generated more than US $1 billion against a budget of US $63 million.
Kathleen Kennedy’s next two major critical and commercial hits as an executive producer were ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ (1995) and ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ (1997).
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In 1999, she produced ‘The Sixth Sense’. It earned her a third ‘Oscar’ nomination. In 2001, she produced ‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence’ and ‘Jurassic Park III’.
‘Sea Biscuit’ (2003) and ‘Munich’ (2005) earned her two more ‘Academy Award’ nominations as an executive producer. She followed that up by earning another ‘Oscar’ nomination for producing ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ (2008).
Her next production venture was ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ (2008). It was critically panned but dominated the box-office, making more than US $786 million.
Kathleen Kennedy earned her seventh ‘Oscar’ nomination for ‘War Horse’ (2011). Her last ‘Academy Award’ nomination came for executive-producing ‘Lincoln’ (2012).
On October 30, 2012, she assumed the position of president of ‘Lucasfilm’. Since then she has produced three of the biggest ‘Star Wars’ movies. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (2015) made more than US $2 billion.
She produced ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (2016) which made more than US $1 million at the box office. ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi’ (2017) made more than US $1.3 billion as well.
Thereafter, she produced ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ (2018), which made nearly US $392 million against a budget of US $300 million. Her upcoming production venture is the highly anticipated ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ (2019).
Awards & Achievements
On October 17, 2019, she was made an honorary ‘Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ for her achievements.
Family & Personal Life
Kathleen Kennedy has been married to film producer Frank Marshall since 1987. They met on the sets of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. They have two daughter, Lili Marshall and Meghan Marshall.