Kennedy launched her producing career via a successful association with Steven Spielberg, which began when she served as his production assistant on the film 1941. She went to become his associate on RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, associate producer of POLTERGEIST, and producer of E.T. THE EXTA TERRESTRIAL. While E.T. was becoming an international phenomenon, Spielberg, Kennedy, and Marshall were already in production on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, which she and Marshall produced with Lucas.
In 1982 Kennedy co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Spielberg and Marshall. While at Amblin, she produced and guided two of the most successful franchises in film history: the JURASSIC PARK series and THE BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy. In add Kennedy produced or executive-produced a slew of critical and box-office hits including TWISTER, BALTO, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, THE FLINSTONES SCHINDLER’S LIST, WE’RE BACK! A DINOSAURS STORY, NOISES OFF, HOOK, AN AMERICAN TAIL: FIEVEL GOES WEST, CAPE FEAR, GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH, JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO, ALWAYS, GREMLINS, THE LAND BEFORE TIME, WHO FRAMMED RODGER RABBIT?, BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, INNERSPACE, AN AMERICAN TAIL, THE MONEY PIT, THE COLOR PURPLE, YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES, THE GOONIES, AND FRANK MARSHALL’S DIRECTING DEBUT ARACHNOPHOBIA. Other collaborations with Spielberg include MUNICH, WAR OF THE WORLDS, and A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
Kennedy recently completed her tenure as President of Producers Guild of America, which bestowed upon her its highest honor, the Charles Fitzsimmons Service Award in 2006. In 2008, she and Marshall received the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Award for Career Achievement.
Raised in small Northern California towns of Weaverville and Redding, Kennedy graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in telecommunications and film. While still a student she began working at a San Diego, CA television station. Following jobs as a camera operator, video editor, floor director, and news production coordinator, Kennedy produced the station’s talk show YOU’RE ON. She then relocated to Los Angeles and worked with director John Milius prior to beginning her association with Spielberg.