Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly
Gene kelly.jpg
Kelly in 1943
Eugene Curran Kelly

(1912-08-23)August 23, 1912
DiedFebruary 2, 1996(1996-02-02) (aged 83)
CitizenshipAmerican (Irish citizenship granted late in life)[1]
EducationPeabody High School
Alma materUniversity of Pittsburgh
OccupationDancer, choreographer, director, actor, singer, producer
Years active1938–1994
Known for
Political partyDemocratic

Eugene Curran Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor of film, stage, and television, singer, film director, producer, and choreographer. He was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks, and the likable characters that he played on screen.

Best known today for his performances in films such as An American in Paris (1951), Anchors Aweigh (1945)— for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor—and Singin' in the Rain (1952), he starred in musical films until they fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. He starred in, choreographed, or co-directed some of the most well-regarded musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, debuting with Judy Garland in For Me and My Gal (1942), and followed by Du Barry Was a Lady (1943), Thousands Cheer (1943), The Pirate (1948), On the Town (1949), and It's Always Fair Weather (1955), among others. Later, he starred in two films outside the musical genre: Inherit the Wind (1960) and What a Way to Go! (1964).[2] Kelly directed films without a collaborator (in some of which he starred), including Hello, Dolly! (1969),[3][4][5] which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.[6][7]

His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.[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. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors (1982), and from the Screen Actors Guild and American Film Institute. In 1999, the American Film Institute also ranked him as the 15th greatest male screen legend of Classic Hollywood Cinema.

Early life

Kelly's senior picture from the 1933 yearbook of the University of Pittsburgh

Kelly was born in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He was the third son of James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman, and his wife, Harriet Catherine Curran.[9] His father was born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Irish Canadian family. His maternal grandfather was an immigrant from Derry, Ireland, and his maternal grandmother was of German ancestry.[10] When he was eight, Kelly's mother enrolled him and his brother James in dance classes. As Kelly recalled, they both rebelled: "We didn't like it much and were continually involved in fistfights with the neighborhood boys who called us sissies  ... I didn't dance again until I was 15." [11] At one time, his childhood dream was to play shortstop for the hometown Pittsburgh Pirates.[12] By the time he decided to dance, he was an accomplished sportsman and able to defend himself. He attended St. Raphael Elementary School[13] in the Morningside neighborhood of Pittsburgh and graduated from Peabody High School at age 16. He entered the Pennsylvania State College as a journalism major, but the 1929 crash forced him to work to help his family. He created dance routines with his younger brother Fred to earn prize money in local talent contests. They also performed in local nightclubs.[11]

In 1931, Kelly enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh to study economics, joining the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity.[14] He became involved in the university's Cap and Gown Club, which staged original musical productions.[15] After graduating in 1933, he continued to be active with the Cap and Gown Club, serving as the director from 1934 to 1938. Kelly was admitted to the University of Pittsburgh Law School.[16]

His family opened a dance studio in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In 1932, they renamed it the Gene Kelly Studio of the Dance and opened a second location in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1933. Kelly served as a teacher at the studio during his undergraduate and law-student years at Pitt. In 1931, he was approached by the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Pittsburgh to teach dance, and to stage the annual Kermesse. The venture proved a success, Kelly being retained for seven years until his departure for New York.[17]

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."[11] 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.[11] Kelly returned to Pittsburgh, to his family home at 7514 Kensington Street, by 1940, and worked as a theatrical actor.[18]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Gene Kelly
العربية: جين كيلي
aragonés: Gene Kelly
asturianu: Gene Kelly
azərbaycanca: Cin Kelli
تۆرکجه: جین کلی
বাংলা: জিন কেলি
башҡортса: Джин Келли
беларуская: Джын Келі
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Джын Келі
Bislama: Gene Kelly
български: Джийн Кели
bosanski: Gene Kelly
català: Gene Kelly
čeština: Gene Kelly
Cymraeg: Gene Kelly
dansk: Gene Kelly
Deutsch: Gene Kelly
eesti: Gene Kelly
Ελληνικά: Τζιν Κέλι
español: Gene Kelly
Esperanto: Gene Kelly
euskara: Gene Kelly
فارسی: جین کلی
français: Gene Kelly
Frysk: Gene Kelly
Gaeilge: Gene Kelly
galego: Gene Kelly
한국어: 진 켈리
հայերեն: Ջին Քելլի
hrvatski: Gene Kelly
Ilokano: Gene Kelly
Bahasa Indonesia: Gene Kelly
italiano: Gene Kelly
עברית: ג'ין קלי
ქართული: ჯინ კელი
қазақша: Джин Келли
latviešu: Džīns Kelijs
lietuvių: Gene Kelly
magyar: Gene Kelly
Malagasy: Gene Kelly
مصرى: جين كيلى
Nederlands: Gene Kelly
norsk: Gene Kelly
norsk nynorsk: Gene Kelly
occitan: Gene Kelly
polski: Gene Kelly
português: Gene Kelly
română: Gene Kelly
русский: Келли, Джин
Scots: Gene Kelly
Simple English: Gene Kelly
slovenčina: Gene Kelly
српски / srpski: Џин Кели
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Gene Kelly
suomi: Gene Kelly
svenska: Gene Kelly
Türkçe: Gene Kelly
українська: Джин Келлі
Tiếng Việt: Gene Kelly
Winaray: Gene Kelly
粵語: 真基利
中文: 金·凱利