For his efforts on the film, Kelly received an honorary Academy Award "in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.". [14], Kelly asked the studio for a straight acting role and he took the lead role in the early mafia melodrama Black Hand (1950). "[11] His colleagues at this time noticed his great commitment to rehearsal and hard work. Though the film did not initially generate the same enthusiasm An American in Paris created, it has subsequently overtaken the earlier film to occupy its current pre-eminent place in the esteem of critics.[26]. [14] It gained an Emmy nomination for choreography and now stands as the key document explaining Kelly's approach to modern dance. [8] Kelly received an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements, the same year An American in Paris won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Kelly continued to make frequent TV appearances. [15] After graduating in 1933, he continued to be active with the Cap and Gown Club, serving as the director from 1934 to 1938. [14] He became involved in the university's Cap and Gown Club, which staged original musical productions. [20] He created a memorable routine dancing to his own reflection. Movie Actor. Kelly appeared in six of the sketches, one of which, La cumparsita, became the basis of an extended Spanish number in the film Anchors Aweigh eight years later. His first opportunity to dance to his own choreography came in his next picture, Thousands Cheer (1943), where he performed a mock-love dance with a mop. Born August 23, 1912, in Pittsburgh, PA, he initially studied economics, funding his education by working alternately as a soda jerk and a brick layer. In 1932, they renamed it the Gene Kelly Studio of the Dance and opened a second location in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1933. As was the practice at the time, he was rarely formally credited in the film titles. To accomplish this, the camera is made fluid, moving with the dancer, so that the lens becomes the eye of the spectator, your eye". As co-director, lead star, and choreographer, Kelly was the central driving force in both of these films. [32] In 1951, he summed up his vision as: "If the camera is to make a contribution at all to dance, this must be the focal point of its contribution; the fluid background, giving each spectator an undistorted and altogether similar view of dancer and background. Singin' in the Rain. He began dating a cast member, Betsy Blair, and they got married on October 16, 1941. Kelly was born in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In 1958, Kelly directed Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical play Flower Drum Song. After leaving MGM, Kelly returned to stage work. He was due to play the male lead opposite Garland in Easter Parade (1948), but broke his ankle playing volleyball. After Kelly returned to Hollywood in 1946, MGM had nothing planned and used him in a routine, black-and-white movie: Living in a Big Way (1947). search results for this author. In the late 1930s, Kelly made his way to the Broadway stage. Eugene Curran “Gene” Kelly was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style. If you want to play on his team you'd better like hard work, too. Born in 1912 #4. They had one child, Kerry (b. Gene Kelly demonstrates his dancing prowess in 1952. Late in life, Kelly was awarded Irish citizenship under Ireland's Citizenship by Foreign Birth program. In 1989, Kelly voiced a Don Lockwood animatronic on the Great Movie Ride at the Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida. Eventually, he signed with David O. Selznick, agreeing to go to Hollywood at the end of his commitment to Pal Joey, in October 1941. Read Full Biography. In Anchors Aweigh (1945), Kelly danced a duet with Jerry, a cartoon mouse—a feat that had not been seen before. The 1910s represented the culmination of European militarism. This musical film persuaded Arthur Freed to have Kelly make On the Town (also 1949), in which he partnered with Frank Sinatra for the third and final time. As his first wife, actress and dancer Betsy Blair explained: "A sailor suit or his white socks and loafers, or the T-shirts on his muscular torso, gave everyone the feeling that he was a regular guy, and perhaps they, too, could express love and joy by dancing in the street or stomping through puddles ... he democratized the dance in movies. “I think he used word ‘Pygmalion’ about me. In early 1995, he had another stroke in Beverly Hills. Penn State University. Gene Kelly, tap dancer, choreographer, and film director who helped to perfect tap dance as an art form, extending its narrative and dramatic expression to the medium of film, was born Eugene Curran Kelly, the third of five children (in descending order, Joan, James, Gene, Louise, and Fred). (1969) starring Barbra Streisand[3][4][5] the latter of which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film was considered so weak that the studio asked Kelly to design and insert a series of dance routines; they noticed his ability to carry out such assignments. [14] He also appeared in three major TV specials: The Julie Andrews Show (1965), New York, New York (1966), and Jack and the Beanstalk (1967)—a show he produced and directed that again combined cartoon animation and live dance, winning him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program. He starred in, choreographed, or co-directed some of the most well-regarded musical films of the 1940s and 1950s, until they fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. Some say it was an inherent lack of confidence that caused Kelly to latch onto younger women, which is exactly what he did when he met Betsy Blair. In a … The film was nominated for four Academy Awards and won three. He was the third son of James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman, and his wife Harriet Catherine Curran. His father was born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Irish Canadian family. This page wis last eeditit on 3 Mairch 2020, at 01:39. Eugene Curran Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996), better known as Gene Kelly, was an American dancer, actor, singer, director, producer and choreographer. Max was the Music arranger that taught Henry Mancini, Sammy Nestico, Jerry Fielding, Billy Strayhorn to name a few musical stars. His maternal grandfather was an immigrant from Derry, Northern Ireland, and his maternal grandmother was of German ancestry. In 1973, he worked again with Frank Sinatra as part of Sinatra's Emmy-nominated TV special, Magnavox Presents Frank Sinatra. On this day, August 23, 1912, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of the greatest dancers of all time Gene Kelly was born. Many Hollywood stars mourned his passing, including his Singin' in the Rain co-star, Debbie Reynolds. "[11], Offers from Hollywood began to arrive, but Kelly was in no hurry to leave New York. Kerry Kelly Novick Although likely exaggerated (as fanzine interviews typically were/are), the Photoplay article "My Kids, The Kellys" (Feb. 1949) discusses young Kerry's relationship with her father: And with all of this Gene is great fun, too. Kelly served as a teacher at the studio during his undergraduate and law-student years at Pitt. [29] The special focuses on Gene Kelly in a musical tour around Manhattan, dancing along such landmarks as Rockefeller Center, the Plaza Hotel and the Museum of Modern Art, which serve as backdrops for the show's entertaining production numbers. This separation was prompted, in part, by a trip Kelly made to Mexico in which he became convinced that the church had failed to help the poor in that country. The film also marked the debut of 19-year-old ballerina Leslie Caron, whom Kelly had spotted in Paris and brought to Hollywood. While filming "Singin' in the Rain," Gene Kelly was ill, his suits were shrinking underneath the hot lights, and he filmed for days in the rain. [2] In 1967, he appeared in French director Jacques Demy's musical comedy The Young Girls of Rochefort opposite Catherine Deneuve. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Irish and German ancestry. Born in Pittsburgh, PA #31. [41], He retained a lifelong passion for sports and relished competition. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! 5 (1943) and in Christmas Holiday (1944), he took the male lead in Cole Porter's Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) with Lucille Ball (in a part originally intended for Ann Sothern). "[23] Anchors Aweigh became one of the most successful films of 1945 and Kelly was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. (1985), a celebration of the history of dance in the American musical. Working with director Vincente Minnelli, Kelly continued to take dance on film into uncharted territory with An American in Paris (1951). Reviewing the film, Farber enthused, "Kelly is the most exciting dancer to appear in Hollywood movies. In Kelly's next film, Anchors Aweigh (1945), MGM gave him a free hand to devise a range of dance routines, including his duets with co-star Frank Sinatra and the celebrated animated dance with Jerry Mouse—the animation for which was supervised by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Ella Fitzgerald, known as the "First Lady of Song" and "Lady Ella," was an immensely popular American jazz and song vocalist who interpreted much of the Great American Songbook. Van Johnson—who also appeared in Pal Joey—recalled: "I watched him rehearsing, and it seemed to me that there was no possible room for improvement. I never let technique get in the way of mood or continuity. Kelly and Coyne had two children, Timothy (b. 2 issued 2015, House Committee on Un-American Activities, "Gene Kelly was proud of Irish roots - RTÉ Ten", "The Top 100 Greatest Movie Musicals of All Time", "The 42nd Academy Awards (1970) Nominees and Winners", "Heritage Gazette Vol.12 no.1: Entertainment and Recreation (May 2007)", "On Stage: Kate Hepburn, Richard Rauh and old Nixon", "The Man Who Helped Kelly Put His Best Foot Forward", "Book Review: 'The Sound of Music Story' by Tom Santopietro - WSJ", "Woody Allen On Gene Kelly 1966 TV Special", "Marriage Ends For Gene Kelly, Actress Wife", "Married to Gene Kelly: 'He didn't seem that old to me, "Gene Kelly, Dancer of Vigor and Grace, Dies", "Our History | Church of the Good Shepherd", "20 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Gene Kelly", "Oscar-winning actor Gene Kelly's mansion was destroyed early Thursday", "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire", "6th Berlin International Film Festival: Prize Winners", "Gene Kelly Joins Hollywood Players in "Glass Key, The Gene Kelly Awards – University of Pittsburgh, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gene_Kelly&oldid=999135251, Cecil B. DeMille Award Golden Globe winners, United States National Medal of Arts recipients, Articles with dead external links from December 2016, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using infobox person with unknown parameters, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from March 2019, Articles with Encyclopædia Britannica links, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, American (Irish citizenship granted late in life), 1942 – Best Actor award from the National Board of Review for his performance in. I needed one to watch my performance, and one to work with the cameraman on the timing ... without such people as Stanley, Carol Haney, and Jeanne Coyne I could never have done these things. [11] Kelly returned to Pittsburgh, to his family home at 7514 Kensington Street, by 1940, and worked as a theatrical actor.[18]. With such classic movie musicals as Singin’ In The Rain, Anchors Aweigh, On The Town and An American In Paris, Gene Kelly came to symbolise American post-war optimism. Bosley Crowther described it as, "whoop-de-doo ... one of the finest ever put on the screen. But I have tried to develop a style which is indigenous to the environment in which I was reared. He wis kent for his energetic an athletic dancin style, his guid leuks, an the likeable chairacters that he played on screen. His family and pets escaped and he suffered a burnt hand. Actor Gene Wilder made his first huge splash as the title character in Mel Stuart's film adaptation of 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The following year, Singin' in the Rain featured Kelly's celebrated and much imitated solo dance routine to the title song, along with the "Moses Supposes" routine with Donald O'Connor and the "Broadway Melody" finale with Cyd Charisse. In 1940, he got the lead role in Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey, again choreographed by Robert Alton. His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences. When he was eight, Kelly's mother enrolled him and his brother James in dance classes. 1953 – Nomination from the Directors Guild of America, Best Director for, 1958 – Nomination for Golden Laurel Award for Best Male Musical Performance in, 1962 – Gene Kelly Dance Film Festival staged by the, 1967 – Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program for, 1970 – Nomination for Golden Globe, Best Director for, 1970 – Nomination from the Directors Guild of America, Best Director for, 1981 – Kelly was the subject of a 2-week film festival in France, 1982 – Lifetime Achievement Award in the fifth annual Kennedy Center Honors, 1985 – Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, 1989 – Life Achievement Award from Screen Actors Guild, 1996 – At the Academy Awards ceremony, director, 1999 – Ranked number 15 in the American Film Institute's "Greatest Male Legends" of Classic Hollywood list. [10] When he was eight, Kelly's mother enrolled him and his brother James in dance classes. His final film role was in Xanadu (1980), a surprise flop despite a popular soundtrack that spawned five Top 20 hits by the Electric Light Orchestra, Cliff Richard and Kelly's co-star Olivia Newton-John. While his friends were playing baseball, he was taking dance lessons. On the small screen, Kelly had a few supporting roles and guest spots on such series as The Muppet Show and The Love Boat. This page was last edited on 8 January 2021, at 17:29. Gene Kelly: A Biography Hardcover – 1 Jan. 1985 by Clive Hirschhorn (Author) › Visit Amazon's Clive Hirschhorn Page. In 1999, the American Film Institute also ranked him as the 15th greatest male screen legend of Classic Hollywood Cinema. I think dancing is a man's game and if he does it well he does it better than a woman. He starred in two short-lived programs—Going My Way, an adaptation of the 1944 Bing Crosby movie, and a 1971 variety show called The Funny Side. Gene Kelly Biography by Bruce Eder + Follow Artist. He entered the Pennsylvania State College as a journalism major, but after the 1929 crash, he left school and found work in order to help his family financially. Unfortunately, and mysteriously for me, Stanley, over the years, had been less than gracious about Gene.". Not only did Kelly star in some of the genre's most famous films, he worked behind the scenes, breaking new ground with his choreography and direction. This led to a lead part in his next picture, with Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli—a musical film version of S.N. He died on February 2, 1996, at his home in Beverly Hills, California. Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third son of Harriet Catherine (Curran) and James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman. MGM wanted Kelly to return to safer and more commercial vehicles, but he ceaselessly fought for an opportunity to direct his own musical film. 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