Seven-time Academy Award nominated Kathleen Kennedy is one of the most successful and respected producers and executives in the film industry today. As a testament to her standing in the film community, she previously held the position of governor and officer of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and currently serves as a member of the board of trustees. She is also a recent inductee of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Among her credits are three of the highest grossing films in motion picture history: E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, JURASSIC PARK, and THE SIXTH SENSE..
In addition to her work in the film industry, Kennedy is also an active philanthropist. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Westmark School, The Archer School for Girls, and the American Film Institute. She served as an Honorary Board Chair of Workplace Hollywood, to provide opportunities for the best-trained and most diverse individuals within the entertainment industry. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, for which she has done extensive fundraising, and a member of the Library of America.
Kennedy heads The Kennedy/Marshall Company, which she founded in 1992 with director/producer Frank Marshall. The Company is currently in post production on Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN, to be released in late 2012. Most recently released, at the end of 2011, is the animated feature THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, another Kennedy/Marshall and Spielberg collaboration, this time with the added producing talents of Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson. The film is based on the iconic character created by Belgian artist Georges Remi, better known to the world by his pen name Hergé. Also in 2011, Kennedy/Marshall debuted another Spielberg-helmed film, WAR HORSE, based on the book by Michael Morpurgo, A theatrical adaptation of Morpurgo’s novel is currently running in both London’s West End and on Broadway; the New York show recently won 6 Tony Awards including Best Play and Best Direction of a play.
In 2010, Kennedy/Marshall produced Clint Eastwood’s HEREAFTER, a somber look at life and death and what lies beyond, starring Matt Damon. In recent years the Company has produced THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, an epic love story written by Oscar-winner Eric Roth and starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, and THE SPIDER CHRONICLES, based on the popular children’s books about the unseen world of fairies. Kennedy also executive produced (with George Lucas) the long awaited fourth installment of Indian Jones series, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Frank Marshall.
Under the Kennedy/Marshall banner the company has produced such films as THE SIXTH SENSE, (six Academy Award nominations including best picture), SEABISCUIT (seven academy award nominations including best picture), SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS, and THE BOURNE series, which collectively reinvented the spy thriller. With the 2007 release of THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, the films became the only motion picture series to demonstrate a consistent upward trend in both box office and DVD sales. That same year saw the release of the indie hits PERSEPOLIS (Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature) and THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (Golden Globe winner for best foreign Language Film and Best Director).
Kennedy launched her producing career via a successful association with Steven Spielberg, which began when she served as his production assistant on the film 1941. She went to become his associate on RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, associate producer of POLTERGEIST, and producer of E.T. THE EXTA TERRESTRIAL. While E.T. was becoming an international phenomenon, Spielberg, Kennedy, and Marshall were already in production on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, which she and Marshall produced with Lucas.
In 1982 Kennedy co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Spielberg and Marshall. While at Amblin, she produced and guided two of the most successful franchises in film history: the JURASSIC PARK series and THE BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy. In add Kennedy produced or executive-produced a slew of critical and box-office hits including TWISTER, BALTO, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, THE FLINSTONES SCHINDLER’S LIST, WE’RE BACK! A DINOSAURS STORY, NOISES OFF, HOOK, AN AMERICAN TAIL: FIEVEL GOES WEST, CAPE FEAR, GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH, JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO, ALWAYS, GREMLINS, THE LAND BEFORE TIME, WHO FRAMMED RODGER RABBIT?, BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, INNERSPACE, AN AMERICAN TAIL, THE MONEY PIT, THE COLOR PURPLE, YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES, THE GOONIES, AND FRANK MARSHALL’S DIRECTING DEBUT ARACHNOPHOBIA. Other collaborations with Spielberg include MUNICH, WAR OF THE WORLDS, and A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
Kennedy recently completed her tenure as President of Producers Guild of America, which bestowed upon her its highest honor, the Charles Fitzsimmons Service Award in 2006. In 2008, she and Marshall received the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Award for Career Achievement.
Raised in small Northern California towns of Weaverville and Redding, Kennedy graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in telecommunications and film. While still a student she began working at a San Diego, CA television station. Following jobs as a camera operator, video editor, floor director, and news production coordinator, Kennedy produced the station’s talk show YOU’RE ON. She then relocated to Los Angeles and worked with director John Milius prior to beginning her association with Spielberg.