Kathleen Kennedy (born June 5, 1953) is an American film Producer. In 1981 she co-founded Amblin Entertainment with her husband, Frank Marshall, and Steven Spielberg. Kennedy is the second-most successful film producer of all time (after Speilberg) in terms of domestic box office receipts with totals at just over $5 billion.
Kennedy was born in Berkeley, California. Kennedy graduated from Shasta High School in Redding, California, in 1971. She continued her education at San Diego State University where she graduated, majoring in telecommunications and film. In her final year, Kennedy got a job at a local San Diego TV station, KCST, taking on various roles and posts including camera operator, video editor, floor director and finally KCST news production coordinator.
After her employment with KCST, she then went on to produce a local talk show, entitled You’re On, for the station for four years before moving to Los Angeles where she secured her first film production job working with John Milius who at the time was making Spielberg’s 1941 (1979). The credits list her as a production assistant. During the production of 1941, while working for Milius, Kennedy came to the attention of Steven Spielberg who hired her as his secretary, but both she and he reported that she was a terrible typist who was only kept on because of her good production ideas.
Kennedy went on to executive producer credit on Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and then co-produce Spielberg’s project of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist (1982) and received her first full producer’s credit on the box-office smash E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Following her work on the Indiana Jones films, especially Raiders of the Lost Ark , she rose to become one of Hollywood’s leading producers. Although working on a variety of projects, she continued her business relationship with Spielberg and became executive producer for both the blockbuster Jurassic Park and the historically dramatic Schindler’s List (both 1993). She went on to collaborate with a large and important group of filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemekis, Barry Levinson, and Clint Eastwood.
A truncated list of some of her other work includes, Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Gremlins (1984), Back to the Future (1985), The Goonies (1985), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Twister (1996), The Sixth Sense (1999), A. I. (2001), Munich (2005), War of the Worlds (2005), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and War Horse (2011).
In 1981 she helped co-found and run the hugely successful production company Amblin Entertainemnt, with Spielberg and her husband Frank Marshall. Kennedy took over a large portion of the running of Amblin and served as president of the Amblin company until 1992, when she decided to form her own film company with her husband. She became and still is a partner with Frank Marshall in The Kennedy/Marshall Company, a Santa-Monica-based film-production company with a deal at Sony Pictures.
She is also a Governor on the Board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1995, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry. Marshall and Kennedy were the producers for the US versions of two Studio Ghibli animated features, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea released in 2009 and The Secret World of Arrietty, released in 2012.
This entry was posted on June 5, 2012 by Geordie. It was filed under Biography and was tagged with A. I. (2001), Back to the Future (1985), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Gremlins (1984), Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Munich (2005), Poltergeist, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Adventures of Tintin (2011), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Goonies (1985), The Lost World, The Sixth Sense (1999), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Twister (1996), War Horse (2011)., War of the Worlds (2005), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).