Kathleen Kennedy is an American film producer, film maker, and business woman who is the current head of Lucasfilm for the Walt Disney Company. She has had a long career in Hollywood Producing movies for Steven Spielberg and other film makers, most notably with the company Amblin. Kennedy was the producer of the original Jurassic Park Trilogy and co-founder of Amblin Entertainment and The Kennedy/Marshall Company. In 2012 with the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, Kennedy moved away from Amblin to manage the company in place of George Lucas and her producing duties for the Jurassic franchise were given to her husband, film producer Frank Marshall .
Kathleen Kennedy was born in Berkeley, California to Dione Marie "Dede" Kennedy and Donald R. Kennedy. She has two sisters who also work in film and television. She graduated from Shasta High School in Redding, California before moving on to San Diego where she attended and graduated from San Diego State University.
In San Diego she spent years working for a local San Diego station KCST where she was a camera operator, video editor, floor director, and a KCST news production coordinator.
She produced a local talk show "You're On" for four years after leaving KCST before she left for Los Angeles, California. In LA she secured her first job as the assistant to John Milius who at the time was producing Steven Spielberg's film 1941.
While working as Milius' assistant on 1941, Kennedy came to the attention of Steven Spielberg, the film's director who then hired her as his assistant. She and Spielberg mutually agreed she was a "terrible typist" but kept on due to her good production ideas for movies. Kennedy would go on to produce Raiders of the Lost Ark (credited as an associate) and began a career further producing his films.
Starting with E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Kennedy acted as producer on Spielberg's films for the next three decades. in 1981 Kennedy co-founded and acted as a leading producer for Amblin Entertainment which was created with Steven Spielberg and her future husband Frank Marshall. She would go on to produce the Indiana Jones series of films and the Back to the Future Trilogy directed by Robert Zemeckis. She acted as president of Amblin Entertainment until 1991 when she and Frank Marshall created the "Kennedy/Marshall Company". However Kennedy continued to produce films for Amblin in the 1990s and the 2000s.
Some of Kennedy's most notable producing credits of the 1980s are classics such as the Indiana Jones Trilogy, The Goonies, the Back to the Future series, and Young Sherlock Holmes. In the 1990s Kennedy produced films such as Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Congo, Twister, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and The Sixth Sense amongst others.
Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park which became a critical and financial success beyond expectations and was the highest grossing film of 1993. The film was followed up by the Kennedy produced The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III. The later two recieved less praise than the first but the trilogy was successful financial wise and further led to a rise in Kennedy's career.
In the 2000s and 2010s, Kennedy produced more films for Amblin Entertainment and Kennedy/Marshall Company. In 2012, Kennedy was made the President of Lucasfilm when the company was sold to the Walt Disney Corporation. Kennedy was chosen by George Lucas, the former president and longtime collaborator of Kennedy. Under Disney, Kennedy went on to create and produce brand new films for the Star Wars franchise including the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. She is expected to continue her role as Lucasfilm President until the year 2021.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
- Back to the Future (1985)
- The Color Purple (1985)
- Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
- The Goonies (1985)
- Back to the Future: Part II (1989)
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
- Back to the Future Part III (1990)
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- Schindler's List (1993)
- Congo (1995)
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
- Jurassic Park III (2001)
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
- Lincoln (2012)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
- The Mandalorian (2019)
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
- Kennedy is married to fellow film producer and frequent colleague / collaborator Frank Marshall . Marshall would later go on to take Kennedy's place as producer of the Jurassic World movies when she was made president of Lucasfilm.
- Kennedy appears at the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as one of the dancers in the Shanghai Nightclub.
- It can be said that Kathleen Kennedy has had a hand creative wise in media that has influenced several generations, with her collaborative work with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, Clint Eastwood, and many other directors and their films.
- With producing many classic films and producing several major franchises that became widely renown in popular culture, Kathleen Kennedy has been noted as one of the most influential women in the film industry.