Edmond O'Brien was originally cast as Jackson Bentley in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). After O'Brien filmed several scenes, he suffered a heart attack and had to be replaced. Kennedy was recommended to director David Lean by Anthony Quinn, whom Kennedy had replaced on Broadway in the role of King Henry II in the play "Beckett" (1960).
Four of Kennedy's five Oscar-nominated performances were directed by Mark Robson: Champion (1949), Bright Victory (1951), Trial (1955), and Peyton Place (1957). His fifth nod, for Some Came Running (1958) was directed by Vincente Minnelli.
Interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Lequille, Nova Scotia, Canada.