Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Kennedy, Bill

Detroit television personality and actor Willard “Bill” Kennedy was born on June 27, 1908 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Bill Kennedy began his media career as a radio sports announcer in Cleveland in 1935 and in 1936 came to Detroit to join WWJ-AM as a Hollywood commentator. 

In 1941, he moved to Hollywood and signed a contract with Warner Brothers Studio appearing in about 64 movies. In 1953, he came back to Detroit and had a short run on WWJ-TV as “Your Hollywood Host.” He returned to Hollywood in 1954-55 for a second try in acting, but was unsuccessful and came back to Detroit in 1956. Over the years he accumulated about 103 film credits.

Upon his return, he was hired by CKLW in Windsor, Ontario to be the movie host for Bill Kennedy’s Showtime. In 1969, he moved to WKBD in Southfield, Michigan and hosted Bill Kennedy at the Movies, remaining with them until he retired in 1983. Bill Kennedy called upon his knowledge as a Hollywood actor during the 1940s to supplement his commentary about each days film and viewers found his honesty and deadpan style refreshing.

Between 1952 and 1958, Kennedy’s voice was heard announcing “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!” at the beginning of each episode of the television series Adventures of Superman.

Kennedy moved to Florida in 1982, where he continued to broadcast his weekly WKBD show until the last broadcast on December 4, 1983. He died on January 27, 1997 at age 88.



Bill Kennedy with Debbie Reynolds, c.1965 – 2017.154.045

Bill Kennedy and Adele Mara in “Web of Danger,” 1947 – 2017.154.153

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