HELLO AMERICA!—It’s always a fantastic, overwhelming experience when watching one of our iconic entertainers, whether it be in film or theatre, rock an audience with a level of dramatic excellence not expected. Film actor, radio headliner Leon Isacc Kennedy does exactly that; escalating his public image to the level as another Cagney or Bogart. The potential is riveting!
His electrifying performance as Martel “Too Sweet” Gordone, in (1,2,3) various installments of “Penitentiary” films, which banked millions for everyone concerned. The films dealt with the wrongful imprisonment of a black youth which, obviously, the nation identified within every way. Again, Leon proved what he could do once given an opportunity, as he did years before when beginning his career in Detroit, Michigan as a young DJ.
Kennedy, as a disc jockey during the late 60s was known as “Leon the Lover.” His following exploded among, not only among the young, but musicians and people involved seriously in every facet of the entertainment business. The powers-that-be realized that this young 19 year-old with a rather magic, contagious smile affecting everyone around him had something different, and marketable that was very fresh and special. In other words, the kid was considered a “find” in the business, one that could easily be sold. Leon had everything going for him: good looks, charm, articulate and when sitting or standing before a microphone proved to be a kind of magnet, attracting millions of listeners to his smooth sounding voice and teasing showbiz banter.
When Leon arrived in Hollywood, he married Jane Kennedy, 1970s “Miss Ohio.” They both took the town by storm. Leon with many of his Motown buddies in the business as well as locked on to new powerful forces in Tinseltown. It became obvious very quickly that this guy meant business. Not wasting time, along with helping to build his wife Jane’s career, he also did more radio and participated in many Hollywood specials and humanitarian projects. It was long before he was approached to star in such screen projects as “Body and Soul” and eventually to star in the films “Penitentiary” 1, 2 & 3; powerful, timely “Penitentiary” films, produced by Jamaa Fanaka and others which quickly became box office winners.
Leon is currently married to Lolita Ambrister, former Bahamas 1978 beauty queen; they reside in Burbank. Leon is in a business partnership with a close friend, Smokey Robinson. Kennedy created a Brand Company for the legendary Smokey. The successful SMOKEY ROBINSON FOODS was placed in over 3,500 stores. It was the first minority food company to be taken nationally by the billion-dollar food chains, Albertsons and Safeway. He not only came up with the idea & star, but raised the million plus dollars and most importantly, found the distributors for marketing the product. One has to admit, this is quite a guy, indeed.
It is easy to predict when the world sees him as the devastating frustrated ex-boxer in the Pre-Broadway with music from “I FEEL SIN COMIN’ ON,” scheduled to open in Atlanta, and run from July 12 thru July 26 at the Rialto Theater Center and then off to Washington, D.C., Philly, Boston and the New York City, it will serve as a treat for everyone involved.