Kent McCord is an American-born retired actor, who is possibly best known for his portrayal of Officer Jim Reed in the TV series “Adam-12.”
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
McCord was born Kent Franklin McWhirter under the Libra zodiac sign on 26 September 1942, in Los Angeles, California, which makes him 81 years old as of 2023. The son of Laura and Bert McWhirter, McCord grew up a very hardworking child, and when he was 10 years old, he began working at his dad’s gas station, where he reportedly earned 50 cents per hour. He thereafter started working at the La Verne, California-based Brackett Field Airport in 1954, when still a minor (12 years old), and couldn’t be paid, so as a result, he received aviation training in exchange for his work, which continued for five years.
McCord attended Baldwin Park High School, where he began playing football, and thereafter matriculated to Citrus Junior College. In 1961, he transferred to the University of Southern California (USC) with the dream of becoming either a football coach or a physical education instructor. At USC, McCord met the late actor and musician, Eric Hilliard Nelson aka Ricky Nelson, during a football match and they became very good friends. He also became friends with Elvis Presley, who was the captain of one of the opposing teams, and shortly afterwards began his acting career, Presley offered Kent minor roles in five of his films, including “Roustabout” and “Viva Las Vegas.”
Facts and Hobbies
In the final season of the series “Adam-12,” Kent’s best friend Ricky Nelson’s wife, Kristin Harmon, played his on-screen wife.
McCord shared the same birthday with the late American actress and singer, Julie London, who was 16 years older than him.
Together with his “Adam-12” co-star Marin Milner, McCord received the Jack Webb Award from the Los Angeles Police Historical Society in October 2000.
Kent is a very sociable person who enjoys interacting with his fans and inviting them for chats on the virtual Meet and Greet with GalaxyCon.
During his youth, Kent enjoyed riding bicycles, especially along Route 66 highway, Santa Monica, eventually together with his wife.
McCord made his TV debut as Kent in the ABC TV sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” in 1961. He was offered the role by his college friend, Ricky Nelson, and appeared for four years until 1965. He went on to appear in an episode or two of seven more series before his big break came in 1968, when he was offered the role of Officer James A. Reed in the NBC police procedural crime drama, “Adam-12,” which revolves around the careers of the LAPD officers, Jim Reed and Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) as they patrol the city of Los Angeles. The show aired for seven seasons and had various recurring co-stars, including Gary Crosby and William Boyett. Kent appeared in all 174 episodes during his eight-year stint in the show.
McCord appeared in several series throughout the late-70s and early ‘80s and one of his notable roles was in the ABC sci-fi, “Galactica 1980” in 1980. He was next seen in the NBC series “UNSUB” (1989), Rockne S. O’Bannon’s sci-fi “SeaQuest DSV” (1993-1996), the crime drama “Silk Stalkings” (1996-1998), and the Australian-American sci-fi “Farscape” (1999-2003). Kent made his last TV appearance as a contestant in the 25 February 2004 episode of the game show “Hollywood Squares.”
McCord made his film debut with an uncredited role in the 1964 political thriller, “Seven Days in May.” Between 1964 and 1968, he assumed minor roles in ten more films, including the musical “Viva Las Vegas.” In 1968, he appeared in the mystery film “Jigsaw” and in 1977, he starred in the drama “Pine Canyon Is Burning.”
His next notable film appearances were in the second installment of the 1980 movie “Airplane!” entitled “Airplane II: The Sequel” (1982), the sci-fi action, “Predator 2” (1990), the horror comedy “Return of the Living Dead Part III” (1993), and the thriller “Accidental Meeting” (1994). McCord appeared in four films n the 2000s, including the 2001 religious sci-fi “Meggido: The Omega Code 2”, and the 2002 satirical comedy “Run Ronnie Run!”- his last film appearance was in “Tides of War” in 2005.
McCord has served for 11 years as a member of the board of directors, and for four years as Vice President of the Screen Actors Guild. In 1999, he received the Ralph Morgan Award, given to SAG-AFTRA union staff and members in honor of their devotion to the film industry.
Kent exchanged vows with his Cynthia Lee Doty, who was his high school sweetheart, on 14 July 1962. On 28 February 1963, the couple welcomed daughter Kristen McCord, and on 21 April 1971, Kent and Doty’s family expanded when they welcomed another daughter, Megan McCord. Both Kristen and Megan are actresses – the former appeared with her father in the series “Adam-12” and the films “Glamazon: A Different Kind of Girl” and “Desperate”, and Megan alongside Kent in two films, “Pine Canyon Is Burning” in 1977 and 2000’s “Woman’s Story.” A few days before the last episode of “Adam-12” aired, Doty bore McCord a son named Michael McCord, which took his attention from the show’s finale, and for the next 12 months, his priority was to make sure that his family was well taken care of, and he even turned down various acting offers to ensure that he fully met his obligations. Previously, Kent revealed during an interview, ‘Before and after that big event (birth of his son), I tackled projects that had piled up at home. Remodeling, painting, and landscaping. I hadn’t had time to do half the things I wanted to do around the house.’
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Kent is of Caucasian ethnicity, has a pair of brown eyes, and gray hair. He weighs approximately 160lbs (73kgs) and is 6ft 2ins (1.88m) tall.
Kent made a name for himself and accumulated a good sum through his acting career, which spanned over four decades. He’s reputedly worth approximately $1.3 million as of 2023.