Gene Kelly Biography

photo: Eugene-Gene-Kelly

Gene was the third son of James Kelly, a phonograph salesman, and Harriet Curran, who were both children of Irish Roman Catholic immigrants.

He was born in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh and, at the age of eight, was enrolled by his mother in dance classes.

However, Eugene preferred sports to dancing. He wanted to play pro football, but his mother organised him and his siblings as The Five Kellys, and they performed at amateur nights.

In 1932, Gene and his family opened the Gene Kelly Dance Studio. The following year, he graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Eventually, though, he moved to New York City and found his way into the chorus line of Broadway musicals.

His big break was in the title role of the Broadway musical, 'Pal Joey' in 1940. Two years later, he made his film debut in 'For Me and My Gal', with Judy Garland.

Kelly became one of the top stars of the 1940s and 1950s. He didn't just act, sing, and dance; he also served as choreographer, and in the process had a major impact on dancing in the movies. He also directed films, including 'Gigot' and 'Hello, Dolly!'.

His most memorable films, most of which he choreographed, included 'An American in Paris' and 'Singin' in the Rain', one of the greatest musicals ever made, in which Kelly starred in the famous dance sequence of the title song, as well as 'Anchors Aweigh', 'The Pirate', 'The Three Musketeers', 'On the Town', 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game', 'Brigadoon' and 'Invitation to the Dance'.

Kelly actually filmed the iconic sequence from Singin' in the Rain while sick with a 103-degree (39.4 °C) fever.

He continued working sporadically in films through the 1960s, appearing in 'Inherit the Wind', 'What a Way to Go!' and '40 Carats', amongst others.

Kelly was married to Betsy Blair for 16 years (1941 - 1957) and they had one child, Kerry. He was married to Jeanne Coyne from 1960 until her death in 1973. They had two children Bridget and Tim. He was married to Patricia Ward from 1990 until his death in 1996.


The signature DVD collection - Gene Kelly Collection

Five discs make up this wonderful collection which features some of Kelly's finest movies, including 'Singin' In The Rain' and 'The Three Musketeers'.

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