Peter Sydney Ernest Lawford (September 7, 1923 – December 24, 1984) was an English actor. He married to Patricia Kennedy in 1954 and therefore became an member of the extended Kennedy family during John F. Kennedy's time as President of the United States.
Born in London, Lawford was the product of an affair between Sir Sydney Turing Barlow Lawford, KBE and May Sommerville Bunny - who were both married to others at the time. Both of their spouses divorced them and Lawford's parents soon married. The family moved to France and eventually to the United States. An accident at the age of 14 in which Lawford's right arm went through a glass plate caused irreparable damage to the arm, and made him ineligible for military service in World War II. Lawford decided instead to become an actor and in the late 1930s signed a contract with MGM. Lawford gained acclaim for several movies he performed in the 1940s and early 1950s.
Lawford became part of the group of entertainers known as "The Rat Pack" along with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Joey Bishop. He was ejected from the group after an incident in 1962 in which Sinatra blamed Lawford for President Kennedy choosing to stay at the home of rival singer Bing Crosby rather than Sinatra's during a presidential visit to California. Sinatra reportedly believed that Lawford failed to use his family connection to change Kennedy's mind, and Sinatra and Lawford never reconciled.
By the 1970s Lawford's career was in decline. Patricia Kennedy had divorced him in 1966 and he had married and divorced two more times by 1977. He mostly worked in television and small movie roles.
The effects of substance abuse had begun to take their toll on Lawford, who died of cardiac arrest on Christmas Eve 1984. At the time of his death, he was suffering from both kidney and liver failure due to his drug and alcohol abuse. Lawford was cremated and his ashes were interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. After disputes over payment between the cemetery and his widow his ashes were removed and scattered off the coast of California.