Kick Kennedy: Fights For The Animals
By Christopher A. Pape
Photos by Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Hair by Ivy Camacho for Angelo David Salon | ELCHIM
Makeup by Houda Casablanca for Angelo David Salon | NARS
Thanks to The Humane Society of New York for two adorable puppies & The OUT Hotel for use of their space
Although young, the accolades for the talented Kick Kennedy are many and growing. As granddaughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and daughter of environmental activist, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the urge to contribute positively to society is strong. As you will come to find out in our interview with her, the legacy of the Kennedys' – to give back and fight for the underdog – is well represented in the latest generation, of which Kick is a major figure.
Known as "Kick," Kathleen Kennedy is named after her great aunt, Kathleen Agnes Kennedy Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, a sister of both Robert F. Kennedy and the late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Born in 1920, she was presented to Queen Elizabeth while her father, Joseph P. Kennedy, served as Ambassador to the Court of St. James and married a British aristocrat. She tragically died in a plane crash in 1948. Like the Marchioness, Kick was presented at the Bal de Debutantes in Paris in 2006.
One of six children of RFK, Jr., Kick and her brother, Bobby Kennedy III, were born during his first marriage to Emily Black. The four others, Conor -who famously dated Taylor Swift, Kyra, Aiden and Finn were born during his second marriage to Mary Richardson Kennedy, who tragically died in 2012. Kennedy recently married actress Cheryl Hines, who has a daughter from a previous marriage as well.
As Kick was growing up, one of the areas that her father instilled was a love for animals and the environment. A graduate of Harvard and the University of Virginia Law School, RFK, Jr. serves as chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper —a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. The organization has served as the model for the growing Waterkeeper movement that includes nearly 200 "keeper" programs across the country and around the globe.
In 2008, Kick and her father made an IMAX 3-D film, called "Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk" which featured the two embarking on a whitewater rafting adventure down the Colorado River in hopes of raising awareness of the world water crisis.
Kick, in her own right, is a graduate of Stanford University. Currently pursuing a career in acting, she has also studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute and appeared in such television shows as "Gossip Girl," an Aaron Sorkin HBO pilot called "More as this Story Develops," and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," in which, of course, her step-mother stars.
We recently caught up with Kick co-hosting an event for Animal Zone International with pals including pop singer Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Ralph Lauren model Morgan O'Connor, and vegan designer Cornelia Guest, where philanthropist Jean Shafiroff was honored. Here's what she had to say…
Resident: With all your support of animal charities over the year, you clearly have a love for our furry friends. What kinds of animals did you have growing up with? What was your first pet? Are any of your pets rescue animals? Do you have a pet now? What is it? Which animal charities do you support?
Kick: We were lucky to have to so many animals at our home growing up. We had dogs and cats and chickens and alligators. We had a snapping turtle swimming around in the swimming pool. That was a bit scary. Of course, we had falcons too as my dad is a master falconer. We did that every weekend in the woods around our home in the falls and winters.
I thought it was pretty normal to run around the woods building forts with my crow that was trained to say "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy" or have an alligator wound, etcetera. My classmates were quick to correct me. I think they were a little off-put.
Resident: We hear your dad is a master falconer? What does that entail? Is it true he once gave Anne Hearst an emu?
Kick: Yes– his name is Elvis. We have one, too, called Toby. He looks like a dinosaur and comes and nips at you sometimes while you're sleeping. He is friends with our Gordon Setter, Ronan.
Resident: Tell us about the film you made with your dad about the world water crisis…why was this so important to you?
Kick: I've been really connected to water issues since I can remember, as my father made it his passion. We knew what PCPs were before we knew how to tie our shoes. I've also spent so much time on the water, whether it's sailing with friends and family or doing a river cleanup on the Hudson. Being on the water (or in it– capsizing happens…) is where I'm the happiest.
Resident: You are also an actor…Where did you study? What have you appeared in? What are you working on?
Kick: I studied at school and continued my studies– both comedic and dramatic– in New York and LA. I played the lead role in the Storm Theatre's production of "Antigone" which really gave me the bug for live theatre and I hope to do more of that in the future, but for now I'm just loving living in New York.
Resident: What do you love about living in New York?
Kick: Just being able to anonymously walk into a bar with a bunch of friends and shoot a round of pool.