Kent McCord is an American film and television actor, most popular for his role in the NBC television series “Adam-12” as Officer Jim Reed. He is a long time member of the Screen Actors Guild and has served as its first vice president.

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Early Life and Educational Background

Kent Franklin McWhirter was born on the 26th September 1942, in Los Angeles, California USA to Laura and Bert McWhirter. He spent his childhood in the town of Baldwin Park, California. At the mere age of 8, he had to take care of his first horse, Toby and just two years later he began working at his father’s gas station. Thanks to the help of a family friend, Kent began working at the Brackett Field Airport in La Verne on weekends, and during the summer for a period of five years.

Kent McCord

Posted by Kent McCord on Saturday, November 23, 2013

Initially, he was too young to receive pay —just 12 years old— so they provided him with flying lessons instead.

After matriculating from Baldwin Park High School, Kent attended Citrus Junior College with plans of becoming a football coach and physical education instructor. A star football player at high school, he was offered a football scholarship at the University of Utah and accepted. In 1961, a friend asked if he would like to take part in a game of touch football. As luck would have it, Elvis Presley lead the opposing team, while Kent played on the team captained by Ricky Nelson, with whom he subsequently formed a close friendship, and kick-started his acting career.

Career

Actor

His friendship with Ricky Nelson lead to frequent guest roles on his television show, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”, appearing in 44 episodes of the series over the years. He also earned small roles in three of Elvis Presley’s films: “Girl Happy”, “Roustabout” and “Viva Las Vegas”. In 1965, he was signed by Universal Studios, and given more small roles as an extra or stunt double in “Message from Beyond”, “Virginian” and “McHale’s Navy” under the stage name Kent McCord. His appearances in Jack Webb’s “Dragnet” attracted the attention of the show’s producers and he was cast in one of the lead roles alongside Martin Milner in the cop drama “Adam-12”.

The show became one of the most internationally successful shows in television history, and constantly topped ratings. The series had a total of 174 episodes that are still aired today. He would continue to partner with Milner in films and television shows up until his demise in 2015 at the age of 83.

He subsequently appeared in television shows such as “Galactica 1980”,”Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “Unsub” and the films “Airplane II: The Sequel”, “Predator 2” and “Return of The Living Dead part III”. His most recent roles include “Woman’s Story”, “Megiddo – The Omega Man Code”, “Run Ronnie Run” and “Tides of War” in 2005.

He has had a largely successful acting career with over 100 appearances in films and television shows.

Racing

One of his favorite perks of being part of “Adam-12” was being a guest trackside at the Indianapolis 500 race. He went on to compete in various races and events, such as the 12 Hours of Sebring, Toyota Pro Celebrity Challenge in New York and California as well as IMSA and the Sports Car Club of America.

Association with Screen Actors Guild (SAG)

In 1972, Kent was elected to the National Board and ‘… have fought to keep our union open, inclusive and prepared for the future’. He served on The Board of Directors and became their first Vice President in 1979, and again in 1981. He was also the Chairman of the Children’s Committee, aiming to protect child actors globally, and the Chair of the Hollywood Division Board and treasurer.

Kent McCord

He ran for SAG presidency in 2003 but lost to Melissa Gilbert, 50% to 42%. A Hollywood Executive Director said, ‘… McCord’s formidable service and diverse experience continually improve the lives of working actors’.

Charities

The actor supports a number of foundations and charities, including the City of Hope National Medical Center, and Beckman Research Institute in Duarte, California, a center for the prevention, treatment and cure of various life-threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and diabetes, coupled with state-of-the-art patient care and cutting edge research. He was a member of the Celebrity All Stars Basketball team for ten years that played across Southern California to raise money for charities.

Relationships

Wife — Cynthia Lee Doty

The pair first met at Baldwin Park High School, and became high school sweethearts. Eventually they tied the knot on the 14th July 1962. They have three children together; two daughters and a son named Kristen, Megan and Michael respectively.

Who is Cynthia Lee Doty?

There is barely any information on Cynthia’s life before or after her marriage, as such details are kept extremely private. She stays out of the limelight unless supporting her husband on the red carpet at events and ceremonies.

Awards and Achievements

In 1999, Kent was rewarded by SAG with the Ralph Morgan Award in ‘honor of his devotion to the cause of actors’.

In 2000, Kent and Martin were rewarded with The Jack Webb Award by the Los Angeles Police Historical Society, for ‘their support of the LAPD and the community it serves’.

Hobbies, Favorite Things and Interesting Facts

  • Kent enjoys going for bike rides with his wife Cynthia, from their home to the Santa Monica Pier.
  • His star sign is Libra.
  • He is a huge fan of motor racing, and he’s participated in a number of races.
  • One of his most memorable moments on the sets of “Adam-12” was a visit from film director John Ford, who was a big fan of the show. McCord was in awe of the talented director he grew up admiring.
  • By the end of his airport job, Kent had logged more than 100 hours of flying time.
  • He was offered 20 football scholarships, post high school matriculation.
  • McCord and his co-star Milner hosted countless telethons nationwide, such as the Variety Club Telethon in Tennessee that featured icons such as Roger Miller, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. They also hosted the annual NBC Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Appearance and Clothing Style

McCord is a male of Caucasian ethnicity and American nationality who has a height of 6ft 1in (1.86m). At the age of 78 years, he has maintained his fit body by regular cycling with his wife. He has green eyes, was once a natural brunette, and has no tattoos on his body. As to his clothing style, Kent prefers casual yet trendy clothing, varying from a simple shorts and shirt to dark suits and dress shoes.

Net Worth and Salary

As mentioned, McCord has had a lengthy career as an actor. Celebritynetworth.com estimates that Kent’s net worth is over $1.3 million, while his salary or income varies according to his commitments each year. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife.

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