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Author Composer Writer Performer : Gene Kelly

Famous Person Best Love Rating :

Famous Person: Eugene Curran Kelly

Famous For: Actor

Movie - Television Titles:

Christmas at the Movies (1991) (TV) .... Host
"Sins" (1986) (mini) TV Series .... Eric Hovland
"North and South" (1985) (mini) TV Series .... Sen. Charles Edwards
"The Love Boat" 
    - Polly's Poker Palace/Shop Ahoy/Double Date/The Hong Kong Affair/-
	Two Tails of a City: Part 1 (1984) TV Episode 
    - Polly's Poker Palace/Shop Ahoy/Double Date/The Hong Kong Affair/-
	Two Tales of a City: Part 2 (1984) TV Episode 
"Great Performances: Dance in America" 
... aka Dance in America (USA: short title) 
    - San Francisco Ballet: The Tempest (1981) TV Episode .... Host
Xanadu (1980) .... Danny McGuire
"The Big Show" 
    - Episode #1.9 (1980) TV Episode .... Host
"The Mary Tyler Moore Hour" 
    - Episode #1.5 (1979) TV Episode 
Viva Knievel! (1977) .... Will Atkins
... aka Seconds to Live 
America Salutes Richard Rodgers: The Sound of His Music (1976) (TV) -
.... Host/Oscar Hammerstein II
The Dorothy Hamill Special (1976) (TV) 
"The Sandy Duncan Show" 
    - Episode dated 13 November 1974 (1974) TV Episode 
40 Carats (1973) .... Billy Boylan
"The Funny Side" (1971) TV Series .... Host
Demoiselles de Rochefort, Les (1967) .... Andy Miller
... aka The Young Girls of Rochefort (USA) 
Jack and the Beanstalk (1967) (TV) .... Jeremy Keen, Proprietor (Peddler)
What a Way to Go! (1964) .... Pinky Benson
"Going My Way" (1962) TV Series .... Father Chuck O'Malley
Inherit the Wind (1960) .... E. K. Hornbeck
Marjorie Morningstar (1958) .... Noel Airman
Something for the Girls (1958) 
Les Girls (1957) .... Barry Nichols
... aka Cole Porter's Les Girls (USA: complete title) 
The Happy Road (1957) .... Mike Andrews
... aka Route joyeuse, La (France) 
"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" 
... aka Herald Playhouse (USA: syndication title) 
... aka Schlitz Playhouse (USA: new title) 
... aka The Playhouse (USA: syndication title) 
    - The Life You Save (1957) TV Episode .... Tom T. Triplet
Invitation to the Dance (1956) .... Host/Pierrot/The Marine/Sinbad
The Magic Lamp (1956) (voice) .... Sinbad
It's Always Fair Weather (1955) .... Ted Riley
Deep in My Heart (1954) .... Specialty in 'Dancing Around'
Brigadoon (1954) .... Tommy Albright
Seagulls Over Sorrento (1954) .... Lt. 'Brad' Bradville (USN)
... aka Crest of the Wave (USA) 
The Devil Makes Three (1952) .... Captain Jeff Eliot
Singin' in the Rain (1952) .... Don Lockwood
It's a Big Country (1951) .... Icarus Xenophon
An American in Paris (1951) .... Jerry Mulligan
Summer Stock (1950) .... Joe D. Ross
... aka If You Feel Like Singing (UK) 
Black Hand (1950) .... Giovanni E. 'Johnny' Columbo
On the Town (1949) .... Gabey
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) .... Eddie O'Brien
... aka Everybody's Cheering (UK) 
    - To Find Help (1949) TV Episode 
The Three Musketeers (1948) .... D'Artagnan
... aka Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (USA: complete title) 
The Pirate (1948) .... Serafin
Living in a Big Way (1947) .... Leo Gogarty
Ziegfeld Follies (1946) .... Gentleman in 'The Babbit and the Bromide'
... aka Ziegfeld Follies of 1946 (USA: poster title) 
Anchors Aweigh (1945) .... Joseph Brady
Christmas Holiday (1944) .... Robert Monette
Cover Girl (1944) .... Danny McGuire
The Cross of Lorraine (1943) .... Victor La Biche
Thousands Cheer (1943) .... Private Eddie Marsh
Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) .... Alec Howe/Black Arrow
Pilot #5 (1943) .... Vito S. Alessandro
... aka Pilot No. 5 
For Me and My Gal (1942) .... Harry Palmer
... aka For Me and My Girl (UK)

Authors Description: Eugene Curran Kelly was born on August 23, 1912 in Pittsburgh, PA, the third of five children. James Kelly, a phonograph salesman, provided a modest living for his family, and Harriet Curran Kelly introduced her children to the arts. By the time Gene was eight, “The Five Kellys” -- Jay, Jim, Gene, Louise, and Fred -- were performing dance routines at amateur vaudeville nights. But Gene preferred sports to dancing. Adept at gymnastics, ice hockey, swimming, football, and baseball, he truly hoped to one day play professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gene's athletic prowess later proved beneficial in a way he probably did not expect - in dancing. Years later in a television special entitled “Dancing: A Man's Game,” Gene demonstrated that dance is merely an extension of movements used in sports. As a boy, however, Gene's athleticism also helped win the fights he and brother Fred endured on the way home from dancing lessons. Originally Gene despised the lessons, which began as soon as he could walk. In high school it became apparent that dancing made him popular with girls, and he began to enjoy it. Gene and brother Fred began to appear at amateur nights as “The Kelly Brothers,” and once even danced to the music of Cab Calloway himself. They also made sure they saw any vaudeville dancer who came to town, whereby they would quickly memorize the steps and make them their own. In 1932, The Gene Kelly Studio of the Dance was founded, with one studio in Pittsburgh and one in Johnstown. It was a family affair with mom Harriet as manager, dad Jim as the bookkeeper, and Gene, Louise, and Fred as teachers. One of their many students recalls that as a teacher Gene was always enthusiastic, always energetic. This former student always remembered that Gene took the time with each student to make sure they did not fall behind, and he never gave up on anyone, no matter how unlikely a dancer they may have been. Gene taught at the studios part time while attending school. He also choreographed and directed shows at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and “Cap and Gown” shows at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1933 Gene graduated from the University of Pittsburgh as an economics major. By this time the Depression had hit the family hard. Gene worked at many jobs to put himself through school, including ditch-digging and working as a soda jerk. The one he enjoyed the most, however, was dancing. After college Gene attended the University of Pittsburgh to study law, but his heart belonged to dance. By 1938 Gene had achieved all he could as a teacher, and Broadway beckoned. His first Broadway job was as a dancer in Leave It to Me, which is best remembered today as Mary Martin's debut, not as Gene's. This was followed by a slightly larger role in One for the Money in 1939. Gene's big break came starring as Harry the Hoofer in William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life. The play ran for 22 weeks and won the Drama Critic's Award that year. When the show began to tour, Fred Kelly replaced Gene as the lead on the road and won a Donaldson Award (precursor of the Tony Award) for his performance. Next Gene worked as a choreographer for Diamond Horseshoe. There Gene met a 16 year old dancer named Betsy Blair, who quickly developed a crush on her dance instructor. Early in 1940, Gene was chosen to star in Pal Joey as Joey Evans, a sleazy nightclub owner who stops at nothing to get what he wants. The show, and Gene, became an instant hit. Pal Joey ran for 270 performances before breaking for the summer. During the break, Gene choreographed George Abbott's Best Foot Forward. Gene then returned to Pal Joey for two more weeks, but because of his successful performance, Hollywood had offered a contract. Gene decided he couldn't leave without Betsy, and they were married in Philadelphia in September, 1941. Gene Kelly was in Hollywood for nearly five months under contract with David Selznick, but the studio wasn't sure what to do with him since no musicals were planned. Producer Arthur Freed persuaded Louis B. Mayer to buy the contract from Mayer's son-in-law Selznick, and the rest, as they say, is history. Gene Kelly's Hollywood debut was in For Me and My Gal with Judy Garland. The role was not too far removed from his Joey Evans, but Gene learned that dancing on film was quite different than dancing live on stage to a live audience. The film was successful, and Gene credits Judy with helping him learn about the movies. By the reviews it was apparent that Gene Kelly had a future in Hollywood, but at the time the studio did not know what to do with him. Gene was cast some minor musicals and “B” war films, and he generally received good reviews for his performances. Betsy and he settled in to Hollywood life, and they welcomed the addition of daughter Kerry in 1942. In 1944, MGM lent Gene's services to Columbia Pictures for a little musical with Rita Hayworth called Cover Girl. MGM never let him out of their sight again. Cover Girl was extremely successful and represented the first time that Gene did major choreography. Also, it was the first to showcase his ability to create a dance that was uniquely cinematic--the “alter ego” dance in which he dances with himself. Realizing Gene's talent for musicals, MGM placed him in the Pasternak vehicle Anchors Aweigh. Gene, costarring with Kathryn Grayson, Frank Sinatra, Jose Iturbi, and a young Dean Stockwell, earned an Academy Award nomination for best actor. Once again he created dances unique to film, specifically his “Worry Song” dance with the animated Jerry the Mouse. MGM initially rejected the far-fetched idea, but Gene and assistant Stanley Donen took their idea to an expert to see if it could be done. The expert, Walt Disney, was very interested in the idea, but his studio was busy on another project. However, his reception was enough to convince MGM that it could be done, and the number is a cinematic achievement to this day, even despite modern computer enhanced exploits. The movie proved beneficial to Sinatra as well, who learned how to dance in 6 short weeks from Teacher Kelly. Although his career was at a new high, more than anything Gene wanted to serve his country in World War II. Under MGM's protests, Gene joined the Navy. Earning the rank of lieutenant j.g., he worked in the photographic division of the naval air force until May, 1946. Returning from the war Gene was placed in mostly musicals, including Living in a Big Way, The Pirate, and Take Me Out to the Ball Game. The latter, with Sinatra, Jules Munshin, Betty Garrett, and Stanley Donen as choreographic helper, proved to be a trial run for On the Town, the directorial debut of both Kelly and Donen. On the Town proved to be the first of several major musical successes. The movie broke new cinematic ground as the first to film outdoors instead of in the studio. Although it is only the opening montage that was shot amid the hustle of New York, it was a first. On the Town is a roller coaster ride of sheer exuberance from beginning to end. Quickly on the heels of that success came An American in Paris, winner of the 1951 Academy Award for Best Picture. The film won six other Oscars as well, including one to Gene Kelly for his “extreme versatility as an actor, singer, director, and dancer, but specifically for his brilliant achievement in the art of choreography on film.” The film, directed by Minnelli, introduced Leslie Caron and used the wonderful music of George and Ira Gershwin. Gene immediately followed the success of An American in Paris with the wonderful spoof of early movie-making, Singin' in the Rain. While it was a bit overshadowed by An American in Paris at the time, Singin' in the Rain has since become one of America's most popular musicals. The film also starred Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, and Cyd Charisse. Gene's most remembered and most loved number seems to be the title dance. To quote Will Friedwald, “it's not only the four most rapturous minutes in the history of cinema, but everything that dance should be--a glorious affirmation of everything that it means to be alive.” After Singin' in the Rain, Gene moved to Europe for eighteen months to take advantage of a new income tax law. Unfortunately for Gene, it was the beginning of a series of unlucky events. While in Europe Gene worked on Crest of the Wave and Devil Makes Three, two unsuccessful dramatic roles. Gene also began work on what he hoped would be the highlight of his career--a film called Invitation to the Dance, an all-dancing film directed and choreographed by Gene. MGM delayed distribution of the film for nearly five years, and while it did well for an “art” film, it did not achieve the success that Gene had hoped for. Upon Gene's return to the United States, he appeared in two musicals that received little acclaim or respect in their day--Brigadoon and It's Always Fair Weather (co-directed with Stanley Donen). Brigadoon's downfall was primarily the insistence of the studio that it be made on the soundstage instead of the heather-filled hills of Scotland. While the movie is charming, it suffers from this choice. Also, several of the better numbers from the Broadway show were cut from the film. It's Always Fair Weather was the last film co-directed by Kelly and Donen, and the last time the friends would speak for nearly forty years. What had once been a good working relationship was no more, and the film suffers from the strain. It's Always Fair Weather was supposed to be a sequel to On the Town, but Sinatra and Munshin were unavailable. While Dan Dailey and Michael Kidd are superior dancers, the camaraderie is not present. Seen today, It's Always Fair Weather is quite good, but the comedy was too dark and cynical for the 1950s. In short, the movie was ahead of its time, but failed to achieve any acclaim in its day. The late 1950s proved to be disastrous for Gene's personal life as well. First Gene “split” from longtime friend Donen. In 1957, Gene and Betsy ended their fifteen year marriage in divorce. Gene also began to become unhappy with his relationship with MGM. The studio refused to loan him to other studios for such films as Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls, and Cyrano de Bergerac. In 1957, Gene made his last film for MGM, Les Girls. In 1960, Gene married Jeannie Coyne, his longtime dance assistant and former pupil from Pittsburgh. They had a son, Timothy, in 1962, and daughter Bridget in 1965. It was also during this time that Gene began some different projects, including directing (Guide for the Married Man, Hello Dolly, Cheyenne Social Club) and television work (numerous specials, “Going My Way”). In 1964 he toured Africa with the State Department on a goodwill tour. Tragedy struck in 1973 with the death of Jeannie from cancer. Gene became both mother and father to his two young children and did not accept any work that took him too far from home. During the 1970s and 1980s Gene was seen most in retrospectives and awards shows. That's Entertainment! and That's Entertainment II were extremely successful, and a whole new generation became enthralled by the magic of movie musicals. In 1982, Gene received the Kennedy Center Honors, and in 1985, a lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute. Gene married writer Patricia Ward in 1990. For the last years of his life he was hard at work on his autobiography, which was unfinished at the time of his death. Gene died at home on February 2, 1996 after a series of strokes. The final words of Gene Kelly on film are from 1994's That's Entertainment III. Quoting Irving Berlin, Gene remarks, “The song has ended, but the melody lingers on.” And so it is with Gene Kelly. He is no longer with us, but he will remain in our hearts forever.

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