Local push for Kennedy statue

Stephen Curry, who played Graham Kennedy in telemovie The King, has backed a local council candidate’s pledge to commission a sculptor to honour the television star.

Curry says a current 20cm plaque outside Kennedy’s childhood home in Melbourne’s Balaclava, was not a big enough tribute for the king of television. He said the plaque was almost hidden behind a fence and the branches.

“(The house) is a huge part of Melbourne’s history,” Curry said. “It would be disappointing to see his memory disappear in the wave of development.”

Local candidate Rachel Powning said a statue would cost the council little and remind people about Kennedy’s time in the area.

Ms Powning said the house would probably be demolished soon, meaning memories of his time in Balaclava could be lost.

“Graham Kennedy is an Australian icon; this is where he grew up,” Ms Powning said. “It just reminds us that this is a place that fosters creativity.”

Kennedy lived in the Nelson St home from 1940-1957, attending school in St Kilda and Caulfield North. The council installed a plaque at the home in 2005, coincidentally in the same week Kennedy died.

But Kennedy was also a favourite son of Frankston, famously living on its clifftops overlooking the ocean. Curry even appeared in scenes set in the house for the TV1 telemovie. Frankston council recently bestowed a local Hall of Fame award on him, accepted by Bert Newton. Kennedy’s later years were spent in Bowral, NSW.

In fact there is already a  bronze statue to Kennedy at Melbourne’s Docklands. Seems everybody wants to claim him as their own, such was the impact of the King of Television.

Source / photo: leader.com.au

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