83 (passed away Feb. 2nd, 1996)
Aug. 23rd, 1912
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Gene Kelly's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1985 - That's Dancing!
1981 - Reporters
1980 - Xanadu
1973 - 40 Carats
1967 - The Young Girls of Rochefort
1964 - What A Way to Go!
1960 - Let's Make Love
1960 - Inherit The Wind
1957 - Les Girls
1956 - Invitation to the Dance
1955 - It's Always Fair Weather
1954 - Deep in My Heart
1954 - Brigadoon
1952 - Love Is Better Than Ever
1952 - Singin' in the Rain
1951 - An American in Paris
1950 - Summer Stock
1949 - Take Me Out to the Ball Game
1949 - On the Town
1948 - The Three Musketeers
1948 - Words and Music
1948 - The Pirate
1945 - Anchors Aweigh
1944 - Cover Girl
1944 - Christmas Holiday
1943 - Du Barry Was a Lady
1943 - Thousands Cheer
1942 - For Me and My Gal
Guest TV Roles
Tom T. Triplet
M-G-M was the largest and most powerful studio in Hollywood when Gene Kelly arrived in town in 1941. He came direct from the hit 1940 original Broadway production of "Pal Joey" and planned to return to the Broadway stage after making the one film required by his contract. His first picture for M-G-M was For Me and My Gal (1942) with Judy Garland (I). What kept Kelly in Hollywood were "the kindred creative spirits" he found behind the scenes at M-G-M. The talent pool was especially large during World War II, when Hollywood was a refuge for many musicians and others in the performing arts of Europe who were forced to flee the Nazis. After the war, a new generation was coming of age. Those who saw An American in Paris (1951) would try to make real life as romantic as the reel life they saw portrayed in that musical, and the first time they saw Paris, they were seeing again in memory the seventeen-minute ballet sequence set to the title song written by George Gershwin and choreographed by Kelly. The sequence cost a half million dollars (U.S.) to make in 1951 dollars. Another Kelly musical of the era, Singin' in the Rain (1952), was one of the first 25 films selected by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry. Kelly was in the same league as Fred Astaire, but instead of a top hat and tails Kelly wore work clothes that went with his masculine, athletic dance style.
- He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1994 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C.
- He was awarded the National Medal of Freedom from President 'Bill Clinton (I)' (qv) in 1994.
- During World War II he was a sailor stationed at the U S Naval Photographic Center in Anacostia, DC (where the documentary _"Victory at Sea" (1952)_ (qv) was later assembled for NBC-TV). He starred in several Navy films while on active duty there and in "civilian" films while on leave.
- Working on an autobiography at the time of his death.
- He and his younger brother 'Fred Kelly (I)' (qv) appeared together in a dancing vaudeville act. When Gene got his big break as Harry the hoofer in the dramatic Broadway production of "The Time of Your Life" in 1942, he was eventually replaced by brother Fred, who took it on the road and won a Donaldson award for his efforts.
- Famed producer David O Selznick signed Gene to his first Hollywood contract after seeing him star in "Pal Joey" while on Broadway. Though Gene had had other offers from studios he chose to sign with Selznick mostly because his was the only studio that did not insist on a screen test before signing him. Selznick sold Kelly's contact to MGM before he could find a suitable role for him to appear in.
- Martial arts stars 'Jackie Chan (I)' (qv) and 'David Carradine' (qv) both cite him as an influence.
- His first two wives were dancers. Actress 'Betsy Blair' (qv) met Gene while she was a performer and he a choreographer in the show "Diamond Horseshoe". Second wife 'Jeanne Coyne' (qv) was Gene's dancing assistant for many years before they married in 1960. A major talent in her own right, her dazzling footwork can be seen in the "From This Moment On" number alongside partner 'Bobby Van (I)' (qv), 'Ann Miller (I)' (qv), 'Tommy Rall' (qv), 'Carol Haney' (qv) and 'Bob Fosse' (qv) in _Kiss Me Kate (1953)_ (qv) (1953). She died of leukemia in 1973.