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  • Holliday Kene


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Kene Holliday

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Kenneth Earl "Kene" Holliday is a prolific American character actor of stage, film, and television, best known for his role as Ben Matlock's original private investigator, Tyler Hudson, on Andy Griffith's hit television series Matlock.


Holliday, a product of Long Island's area of Copiague, Suffolk County, New York, was raised in a Christian home, to a Baptist family. At age 12, he lost his father, when he was sent to summer camp, with the encouragement of his mother, with whom he lived. He attended Copiague High School, where he participated in track, where he was part of the Fantastic Four Relay Team, and was the star of his football team. He was nicknamed as Mr. Hotshot, and was a scoring machine on the football field. He graduated in 1967, and attended University of Maryland on a scholarship. As he recalled, times were turbulent, and the football team was preparing to strike against the NCAA over a change in coaches.

He was “jazzed” by a class in the history of theater, and acting became his new passion. In 1969, as an undergraduate, he played Yank in The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill. He was the first black to perform in a leading role on the state school’s main stage.

After graduation from college, his first work was with the inaugual theater group at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., where he conducted workshops as a founding member of the D.C. Black Repertory Company. In 1975, he was fired from his job because of his problem with drugs and alcohol. His dependency continued for the next 14 years. However, despite his dependency problems, he starred as Carlyle in David Rabe's Vietnam War-era play Streamers at the Lincoln Theatre.

That play led him to Los Angeles in 1976, when he guest-starred in several shows such as: Kojak, What's Happening!!, The Incredible Hulk, Quincy, M.E., Lou Grant, Soap, its spin-off series, Benson, The Jeffersons, The Fall Guy, Hart to Hart, and Doogie Howser, M.D., among many others. His first television series was Carter Country where he co-starred, with Victor French, as Sgt. Curtis Baker from 1977 until 1979. He also was featured in Roots: The Next Generations, and starred in a series of pilots that failed to make it on the air. Kene provided the voice of the character Roadblock in the 1980s cartoon series, G.I. Joe, and 1987's G.I. Joe: The Movie.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Kene Holliday", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.