Kelly in 1943
Eugene Curran Kelly
August 23, 1912
|Died||February 2, 1996 (aged 83)|
|Citizenship||American (Irish citizenship granted late in life)|
|Occupation||Dancer, choreographer, director, actor, singer, producer|
Eugene Curran Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor of film, stage, and television, singer, film director, producer, and
Best known today for his performances in films such as
His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.
Kelly received an
Kelly was born in the
In 1931, Kelly enrolled at the
His family opened a dance studio in the
Kelly eventually decided to pursue a career as a dance teacher and full-time entertainer, so he dropped out of law school after two months. He increased his focus on performing and later claimed: "With time I became disenchanted with teaching because the ratio of girls to boys was more than ten to one, and once the girls reached 16, the dropout rate was very high." In 1937, having successfully managed and developed the family's dance-school business, he finally did move to New York City in search of work as a choreographer. Kelly returned to Pittsburgh, to his family home at 7514 Kensington Street, by 1940, and worked as a theatrical actor.