Christopher Lawford Dies: Actor, Author & JFK’s Nephew Was 63

Christopher Lawford, a veteran actor and activist whose uncles were Ted, Robert and President John Kennedy and was the son of Peter Lawford, has died. He was 63. His cousin Kerry Kennedy announced the news on social media but gave no details:

Lawford had dozens of film and TV credits during a 30-year acting career. He appeared in features ranging from Impulse and The Doors to Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Thirteen Days — a Cuban Missile Crisis tale that featured his uncles JFK and RFK as characters. He also guested on such popular TV series as Frasier, Silk Stalkings, Chicago Hope and The O.C. He also appeared on the daytime soaps All My Children and General Hospital.

Lawford was born on March 29, 1955, in Santa Monica, son of the popular actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy. He had public battles with substance abuse in the 1970s and ’80s but later while in recovery worked for Ted Kennedy and founded and was CEO of Global Recovery Initiative, described as a social enterprise to help transform social attitudes and policy to remove barriers and create more opportunities for recovery from drug and alcohol problems.

He also worked with the United Nations, the White House Office on Drug Control Policy, the World Health Organization and the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse. He was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Public Health Advisory Committee in 2009 and two years later was named Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime.

Lawford also authored books including Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption, Moments of Clarity and Healing Hepatitis C and was a lecturer in psychology at Harvard Medical School.

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