CULT FACTION

For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Kene Holliday

Kene Holliday, a native of Amityville, has been writing, teaching, acting and performing on stages large and small for over forty years and now leads the Moto Theatre Works Company currently located in Hempstead. (Feb. 13, 2012) (Photo by Nancy Borowick)

Kenneth Earl “Kene” Holliday (born June 25, 1949) is an American character actor of stage, film, and television, best known for his role as Ben Matlock’s original private investigator, Tyler Hudson, on Andy Griffith’s hit television series Matlock and as Sgt Curtis Baker on Carter Country from 1977 until 1979. Yet it is as the voice of the character Roadblock in the 1980s cartoon series, G.I. Joe, and 1987’s G.I. Joe: The Movie that cements him in Cult Faction. Only ten characters in the original series had more lines than Roadblock. Though interestingly, although Holliday has a number of acting credits to his name has only this role, to date, on his voice over resume.

Roadblock was one of the first few Joes to run around in little more than a tank-top to show off his muscles. Course there’s Quick-Kick too, but that guy was nuts enough to run around fighting barefoot and shirtless so you can’t count his fashion sense against him. At that time, a bald black guy was a unique look so I think it’s safe to assume that Roadblock was the inspiration for The Rock.


gijoe 23
As you can see from the cover of comic book #23, Roadblock was a towering, intimidating guy. He had to be in order to carry the massive Browning .50 calibre machine gun he totes around like a pistol and Kene Holiiday’s voice fits him perfectly. According to his backstory the big muscle-man of the team primarily joined the team so he could be a chef.  It’s such a fun contradiction from what was the norm for a team’s black character at the time and helped to give Roadblock an outside the box personality. Although there wasn’t much hint of Roadblock as a black Gordon Ramsey in GI Joe: The movie, the characters outlandish personality did survive.

Roadblock had one of the more unique traits on the show as he typically spoke in rhymes. He was as far I am aware the first character in any cartoon to utter the phrase ‘I don’t need to see clear to fracture your rear.’

In G.I. Joe: The Movie, Roadblock has a prominent role. He leads a team of Joes in pursuit of the fleeing Cobra after their initial attack on G.I. Joe in an attempt to steal the Broadcast Energy Transmitter. Roadblock and Joes follow Cobra into Cobra-La, where they are captured. During an escape attempt the other Joes are re-captured, with only Roadblock managing to escape, but not before being temporarily blinded by Nemesis Enforcer. Aided by the slowly mutating Cobra Commander, Roadblock escapes Cobra-La and wanders through the snow with Cobra Commander before eventually being found by a G.I. Joe search party. With his vision restored, he is then able to lead the Joes back to Cobra-La’s ice dome, where the final battle between Cobra-La and G.I. Joe takes place.

In early 1986, while providing the voice of Roadblock, Kene Holliday received a phone call from producers Fred Silverman and Dean Hargrove for their first choice as Matlock’s original private investigator, Tyler Hudson, on Matlock, opposite TV veteran Andy Griffith.

“At 9 o’clock that morning I was another struggling guy trying to do voiceovers, and by 9 p.m. that evening I was well on my way to prosperity and fame again,”

Holliday, who knew all the characters from The Andy Griffith Show, but watched the sitcom occasionally, had accepted the role, which shot him to TV stardom. For his three seasons, he had a wonderful on- and off-screen chemistry with Griffith, when Griffith was too difficult to work with himself. Also, Holliday had travelled with Griffith, almost everywhere, while filming. Early in the third season, Holliday’s behaviour became erratic. In addition to arriving at work late, his drug and alcohol abuse had finally caught up with him, as Holliday was sent to rehab on an outpatient basis, which made his schedule more difficult, yet missed 7 episodes altogether. Even though he was 3 months sober, he left the show and was replaced by Clarence Gilyard, who played a similar role until he left in 1993.

FAME may be fleeting, but Kene Holliday didn’t give up easily. After a roller-coaster career that dipped with bouts of drug and alcohol abuse and swerved into an evangelical ministry, he earned the best-actor award from the Newport International Film Festival for his role in the independent film “Great World of Sound,” distributed by Magnolia Pictures.

In the partly unscripted movie, directed by Craig Zobel, Holliday plays Clarence, music producer-in-training. With his buddy Martin, played by Pat Healy, he travels the South, seeking to give undiscovered musicians a chance to realize their dreams in exchange for a small fee. But the company they work for is scamming everyone, including the producers, who are searching for their own moral compass.

These days he is a spokesman for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, does storytelling, mentors school groups and still goes on auditions. He was now been sober for 24 years.

Related Posts
Wolfgang Reitherman

Wolfgang Reitherman is the definition of an unsung hero. He is not widely known and yet hast directed six of the biggest-grossing, most popular movies of the 1960s and 1970s, not Read more

What ever happened to Bill and Ted’s Excellent History Presentation?

Back in 1989 two dudes known as Bill S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) - together they were known as Wyld Stalyns -  needed to Read more

Tom “Tiny” Lister

Tom "Tiny" Lister (born Thomas Lister Jr.) was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on June 24th 1958. Lister was born blind with a detached and deformed retina in his right eye. When Lister Read more

Theresa Saldana passes away aged 61

It is Cult Faction's sad duty to report that actress Theresa Saldana has passed away aged 61 years old.  She had been hospitalized in Los Angeles, but no cause of death was given. Read more

Terry O’Quinn

Terry O'Quinn (Born Terrance Quinn - the 'O' was added after another registered actor already had the name Terrance Quinn) was born on July 15th 1952 in Michigan, USA and was one Read more

Patricia McPherson

Patricia McPherson was born November 27th 1954 in Oak Harbor, Washington. Her father was a high ranking naval officer. She spent several years in France when her father was sent to Read more

Morgan Woodward

Thomas Morgan Woodward was born on 16th September 1925 in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, and grew up in Arlington, Texas, graduating from high school in 1944. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbRpdVD7Y-M Woodward was a Read more

Mickey Jones

Mickey Jones (born June 10, 1941) was an American musician and actor; you will have seen Mickey Jones even if you just do not realise it! His career as a Read more

Michael Rooker

"I don't approach a role by saying I'll be unsavory or unlikable. I think all the roles I've done have been very passionate people who go to absolute extremes to Read more

Ken Foree

There are not many actors as distinctive as Ken Foree. His on screen presence has helped define many a movie especially those in the horror genre. "I've had a varied Read more

Jack Nance

Few images in contemporary cinema resonate as the startling poster for the director David Lynch's equally startling feature debut, the 1977 film Eraserhead. Back-lit, hair resembling an uncontrollable lavatory brush Read more

Guy Pearce

Never one to hog the limelight, the past few years have been a remarkably fertile time for Guy Pearce. He's appeared in two films that claimed Oscars for Best Picture – Read more

G.I.Joe – Cobra: Son of the Snake

A New Era Begins Here! With the G.I. Joe team fragmented, somebody's got to handle the dirty work. G.I. Joe goes underground! Armed with secret knowledge of Cobra's inner workings, Read more

G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor (1992)

G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor is the title of a Nintendo Entertainment System video game developed by KID and published by Capcom in the United States in 1992. The Read more

G.I. Joe: Target Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes should have stayed dead! G.I. Joe has mobilized to hunt down their most dangerous quarry ever: one of their own. Has the silent commando gone over to the Read more

G.I. Joe: Tales from the Cobra War

GI Joe: Tales from the Cobra Wars is an action-packed collection of all-original prose stories. Flint, Scarlett, Destro, the Baroness, they're all here as the ongoing war between GI Joe Read more

G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes Volume 1

The deadliest Joe featured in his own title at last! Seeking justice for the deaths of his fellow Joes, Snake Eyes heads to the top of the world and the Read more

G.I. Joe: Hearts And Minds

Max Brooks, writer of World War Z, brings his gut-wrenching storytelling approach to G.I. Joe. Partnered with critically-acclaimed artists Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso, Brooks cracks open ten G.I. Joe Read more

G.I. Joe: Deep Terror

Cobra is digging a miles-deep shaft in the Patagonian wilderness and what they're digging for could change the world forever and Not in a good way. G.I. Joe is looking Read more

G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike (1983)

G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike is the title of a video game released for the Atari 2600 in 1983. The game was developed and published by Parker Brothers and involves three Read more

Stephen Pryde-Jarman is a Cult TV and Film journalist, award winning short story writer, playwright and screenwriter. A natural hoarder, second hand shopping fulfils his basic human need for hunter-gathering; but rummaging through a charity shop’s bric-a-brac shelf also brought him the inspiration for his novel Rubble Girl having seen a picture of a Blitz survivor sat amongst the rubble of her house with a cup and saucer. Rubble Girl has been described as " thought-provoking" and "fast paced ... with plenty of twists and turns." Amazon.

%d bloggers like this: