Tom Kennedy, Veteran Creative Advertising Exec, Dies at 63

He worked on campaigns for such films as "Return of the Jedi," "Basic Instinct," "Tomorrow Never Dies" and four "Star Trek" films.

Tom Kennedy, a creative executive who wrote, produced and directed trailers and spearheaded the advertising campaigns for hundreds of films, died Dec. 7 at West Hills (Calif.) Hospital & Medical Center. He was 63.

After winning an Emmy Award as an editor on PBS' The Big Blue Marble, Kennedy moved to Los Angeles in 1977 and became senior editor/producer/project director at Kaleidoscope Films. He worked there for 15 years and wrote and produced trailers, TV spots and product reels for all the major studios and their films, including The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi, The Terminator, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Year of Living Dangerously and the first four Star Trek movies.

During his stay at Kaleidoscope, he took a short leave to direct the feature Time Walker (1982) for Roger Corman's New World Entertainment.

In 1992, he became an executive producer and a partner at Cimarron/Bacon/O'Brien in 1992, where he oversaw ad campaigns for such hits as Basic Instinct, the first two Home Alone films, Unforgiven, The Mask, Get Shorty, True Lies, Broken Arrow, Mrs. Doubtfire and Casino.

Kennedy joined MGM/UA in 1997 as senior vp creative advertising and helped with the revamp of the James Bond franchise on Tomorrow Never Dies. He left two years later for a co-president post at film marketing ad house Creative Domain, then launched Technical Knock Out Pictures in 2000. 

The Bronx native also was a prolific voiceover talent, lending his talents to promos for ABC and Showtime as well as dozens of trailers and teasers. 

Kennedy is survived by children Jesse, Shane and Samantha and three grandchildren.