Leon Isaac Kennedy
|Born||[ citation needed ]June 1, 1948|
or January 1, 1949
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Known for||Martel "Too Sweet" Gordone – Penitentiary , Penitentiary II , Penitentiary III |
Leon "The Lover" Johnson – Body and Soul
(m. 1971;div. 1982)
Leon Isaac Kennedy (born June 1, 1948[ citation needed ] or January 1, 1949 ) (sources differ) is an American actor, disc jockey, film producer and playwright. Kennedy's acting roles include Martel "Too Sweet" Gordone in Jamaa Fanaka's Penitentiary (1979), Penitentiary II (1982), Lone Wolf McQuade (1983) and Penitentiary III (1987), and Leon "The Lover" Johnson in the 1981 film Body and Soul alongside his then-wife Jayne Kennedy.
Born in Cleveland, Kennedy first began his career as a disc jockey and nightclub promoter.Kennedy headed to Los Angeles, California to seek success in his career in June 1971. Once in California, Kennedy became a DJ on the FM rock station and also worked as a coordinator for a variety show. In 1972, Kennedy had a part in Fred Williamson's action film Hammer . In 1976, Kennedy appeared in another Fred Williamson film, Mean Johnny Barrows . Kennedy later appeared in the 1978 film Death Force with his then-wife Jayne Kennedy and with James Iglehart.
In 1981, Body and Soul was released. The film featured Kennedy in the lead role as Leon Johnson, an up-and-coming boxer, and was written by him as well. A remake of 1947's Body and Soul , the film also starred Jayne Kennedy and Peter Lawford.In 1988, Kennedy appeared with Ernest Borgnine, Herbert Lom, Oliver Reed, Robert Vaughn and Arnold Vosloo in Skeleton Coast . In 1991, Kennedy appeared in Damages which was an episode of Against the Law playing the part of Spider.
Kennedy has been married three times. In June 1971, Kennedy, then 22, married Jayne Harrison, a 19–year old beauty pageant contestant who was from Wickliffe, Ohio; they divorced in 1982. [ citation needed ] In August 2005, Kennedy married actress Maureen LaVette.[ citation needed ] Kennedy became a Christian evangelist during the early 1990s. In 2014, Kennedy sued Ebony magazine and Johnson Publishing Company; claiming in an article for their March 2013 "Scandal" issue the magazine falsely identified him as the person who leaked the infamous 1970s sextape of him with his then–wife Jayne Kennedy during their 1981 divorce proceedings.In 1995, Kennedy married Lolita Armbrister.
Body and Soul may refer to:
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Body and Soul is a 1981 American sports drama film written by and starring Leon Isaac Kennedy and co-starring Jayne Kennedy. Directed by George Bowers, it is a remake of the 1947 film of the same name.
Penitentiary is a 1979 American blaxploitation drama film written, produced, and directed by Jamaa Fanaka, and starring Leon Isaac Kennedy as Martel "Too Sweet" Gordone, a man who deals with his wrongful imprisonment as a black youth. The film was released on November 21, 1979.
Penitentiary II is a 1982 American Blaxploitation drama film, directed by Jamaa Fanaka. Released on April 2, 1982, the film is the sequel to 1979's Penitentiary. It was followed by another sequel, Penitentiary III, which was released in August 1987.
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Death Force is a 1978 martial arts exploitation film directed by Cirio H. Santiago and written by Howard R. Cohen. The film is an international co-production of the Philippines and the United States, and stars blaxploitation actor James Iglehart alongside Carmen Argenziano, Leon Isaac Kennedy, and Jayne Kennedy. Iglehart plays Doug Russell, a veteran of the Vietnam War turned gold smuggler who is left for dead by his partners and, after being trained to wield a samurai sword by a Japanese soldier, seeks revenge on those who betrayed him.
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