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Harold Wesley Kenney, Jr. (January 3, 1926 – January 13, 2015) was an American television producer and director whose career extended from the medium's formative years in the early 1950s, into the 2000s, and included thousands of episodes, both primetime and daytime, as well as five Emmy wins and eight nominations. He was frequently billed as Wes Kenney.

H. Wesley Kenney
Harold Wesley Kenney, Jr.

(1926-01-03)January 3, 1926
DiedJanuary 13, 2015(2015-01-13) (aged 89)
Other namesWes Kenney
OccupationTelevision producer, director
Years active1952–2000s
Heather North
(m. 1971; died 2015)

Early yearsEdit

Shortly after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering in 1951, Kenney was hired by the DuMont Television Network. According to the 2004 book The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television, Kenney directed up to twelve different broadcasts each day during his career at the network and its flagship station WABD.[1] This was because most of DuMont's programs were broadcast live, and were often done on small budgets. Kenney continued to direct many programs after DuMont's dissolution in 1956.

Daytime dramasEdit

He is best known for his work on soap operas, producing and directing Days of Our Lives from 1968 to 1979, and then becoming Co-Executive Producer of The Young and the Restless, a spot he held from 1982 to 1987. Under Kenney's run as Y&R's Co-Executive Producer, he helped the show win three daytime emmy's for outstanding drama series in 1983, 1985, and 1986. From 1987 to 1989, Kenney replaced the legendary Gloria Monty as Executive Producer of General Hospital. He became General Hospital 's Head Writer during the 1988 WGA strike.

Kenney's directing credits include All In The Family, Big John, Little John, Inside Detective, and Flo.

Personal lifeEdit

He married actress Heather North in 1971, after meeting her on the set of Days of Our Lives, where she was playing the part of Sandy Horton.

After Kenney retired from directing, he was a professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He died of cardiac arrest at Saint John's Health Center on January 13, 2015, at the age of 89.[2]

Selected filmographyEdit



  • Weinstein, D. (2004). The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ISBN 1-59213-499-8

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Ann Marcus
Norma Monty
Head writer of General Hospital (during the 1988 WGA strike)
Succeeded by
Gene Palumbo
Preceded by
Betty Corday
Executive producer of Days of Our Lives
(with Betty Corday)

April 20, 1977–January 18, 1980
Succeeded by
Betty Corday
Al Rabin
Preceded by
William J. Bell
John Conboy
Executive producer of The Young and the Restless
(with William J. Bell)

February 1982–1986
Succeeded by
William J. Bell
Edward J. Scott
Preceded by
Gloria Monty
Executive producer of General Hospital
January 1987–November 30, 1989
Succeeded by
Joseph Hardy