Eugene Curran Kelly - Dancers, Family and Life

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Eugene Curran Kelly's Personal Details

Read about the famous American film actor and director, Gene Kelly, in the biography below which has all the information pertaining to his profile, childhood, life and timeline.

InformationDetail
BirthdayAugust 23, 1912
Died onFebruary 2, 1996
NationalityAmerican
FamousDancers, School Dropouts, Film & Theater Personalities, Actors
SpousesBetsy Blair (m. 1941–1957), Jeanne Coyne (m. 1960–1973), Patricia Ward (m. 1990–1996)
SiblingsFred Kelly
Known asGene Kelly
Childrens Bridget Kelly, Kerry Kelly, Timothy Kelly
Universities
  • Pennsylvania State College
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Birth PlacePittsburgh
GenderMale
FatherJames Patrick Joseph Kelly
MotherHarriet Catherine
Sun SignLeo
Born inPittsburgh
Famous asAmerican dancer
Died at Age83

// Famous Dancers

Eugene Curran Kelly's photo

Who is Eugene Curran Kelly?

Gene Kelly, whose name is synonymous with dance, was a leading figure of Hollywood musical films of the mid-1940s. His dancing style which was based on ballet, made a serious impact on the film industry for the first time. He proved that dance is not typically a woman’s forte and that men can excel in it too. At that time when dance, especially ballet, was restricted to the theatres only, he was instrumental in introducing it into the films. Soon, dancing was not just a part of the film, but films began to be made on dance! He danced his way to glory in the peak days of Hollywood musicals, choreographing in almost all of his films. Kelly laid a great impression upon the film industry owing to his innate ability to think out of the box. He was not just focused on achieving perfection in dancing, but also experimented with his style in almost every film, making the best use of lighting, camera techniques and special effects to render extraordinary visuals. He believed that dancing in films is not any different, but if one is to make a film on dancing, it is bound to have more than just plain dancing. Kelly certainly achieved what he aspired to and also made way for other actors/dancers who come to Hollywood with similar dreams.

// Famous School Dropouts

Childhood & Early Life

Kelly was born to Harriet Catherine and James Patrick Joseph Kelly as their third son.

At the age of eight, he was enrolled to dance classes against his wish. He dreamt of playing baseball for the ‘Pittsburgh Pirates’ a Major League Baseball club from his hometown, Pittsburgh.

He was sent to the St. Raphael Elementary School and later to the Peabody High School, from where he graduated in 1929. With the ambition of studying journalism, he enrolled to the Pennsylvania State College, but financial difficulties forced him to work in order to support his family.

In 1931, he attended the University of Pittsburgh where he studied economics. There, under the department of theatre and arts, he joined the ‘Cap and Gown Club’.

He graduated from the university in 1933, with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Then he went on to join the University of Pittsburgh Law School, while still in contact with the University of Pittsburgh and serving as the director of ‘Cap and Gown Club’ in 1934.

He dropped out from law school after two months and in 1937, he went to New York City to establish a career in choreography.

Career

Not being able to find any suitable job in New York, Kelly returned to Pittsburg where he choreographed the musical show ‘Hold Your Hats’ in April, 1938, at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. The same year, in November, he made his Broadway debut as a dancer in the musical ‘Leave It to Me!’

In 1939, he appeared in the famous five-act play ‘The Time of Your Life’, which established him as a dancer in the industry.

In 1940, his extraordinary performance in the famous musical ‘Pal Joey’ shot him to fame and grabbed the attention of MGM executive, Louis B. Mayer who offered him a film contract with his company.

Thus, he made his first film ‘For Me and My Gal’ in 1942 in which he was cast along with Judy Garland.

In 1945, he danced remarkably well in ‘Anchors Aweigh’, with the famous cartoon character ‘Jerry’, an act of its kind.

In 1949, he worked with renowned actor/singer, Frank Sinatra ‘On the Town’ in which he performed ballet.

His next popular film was ‘An American in Paris’ in 1951, which he choreographed entirely.

In 1952, came his most remembered film, ‘Singin' in the Rain’, elevating his dance to an iconic status.

Turning his attention towards television, he appeared in ‘Going My Way’ a comedy-drama in 1962. The series enjoyed moderate success and ran till 1963.

In 1967, he produced, directed and acted in the television film for children, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ which earned positive reviews. He appeared in the variety show ‘The Funny Side’ four years later.

His last major film was ‘Xanadu’ in 1980 which was a big disappointment. Even though he made several television appearances, he never really went back to mainstream acting.

One of his important works towards the end of his career was as an executive producer and co-host of the dance documentary by MGM, ‘That's Dancing!’ in 1985.

Major Works

One of his earlier movies ‘Anchors Aweigh’ in which he starred alongside actor Frank Sinatra was a huge success. In the movie, for the first time in the history of film industry, Kelly danced with ‘Jerry’, a famous cartoon character. Not only the movie received several awards and nominations but also amassed a massive $4.5 million at box-office.

The musical film ‘An American in Paris’ in which the actor exhibited his dance virtuosity, turned out to be his most successful film, winning several awards. Made with a budget of $2,723,903, it went on to earn $8,005,000 worldwide.

Awards & Achievements

Kelly earned his first Academy Award nomination in 1946, for the film ‘Anchors Aweigh’ in which he danced with ‘Jerry’, a cartooned mouse from the famous cartoon series ‘Tom and Jerry’.

He was awarded an Honorary Academy Award in 1951 in recognition to his talent as an actor, singer, director and dancer.

He was awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the ‘American Film Institute’ in 1985.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded him the ‘National Medal of Arts’.

Personal Life & Legacy

Kelly’s first marriage was with Betsy Blair in 1941, with whom he had a daughter Kerry, before they got divorced in 1957.

He married Jeanne Coyne, his choreographic assistant, in 1960 and was with her till her death in 1973. The couple had two children Bridget and Tim.

His last marriage was to Patricia Ward which took place in 1990.

In 1994, he suffered a stroke for which he had to be hospitalized for seven weeks.

A second stroke in 1995 left him bedridden and a year later, he died in his sleep at the age of 83.

Trivia

This famous actor, dancer and choreographer, was a dance consultant for Madonna's ‘Girlie Show’ tour in 1993.

// Famous Actors

Eugene Curran Kelly awards

YearNameAward

Other

1942 – Best Actor award from the National Board of Review for his performance in For Me and My Gal
1956 – Golden Bear at the 6th Berlin International Film Festival for Invitation to the Dance
1981 – Cecil B. DeMille Award at Golden Globes.
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.
1991 – Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera inaugurates The Gene Kelly Awards
given annually to high-school musicals in Allegheny County
Pennsylvania.
1992 – Induction into the Theater Hall of Fame.
1994 – National Medal of Arts awarded by United States President Bill Clinton.[29]
1994 – The Three Tenors performed
1985 - AFI Life Achievement Award
1981 - Cecil B. DeMille Award
1988 - Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award

Eugene Curran Kelly biography timelines

  • // 23rd Aug 1912
    Kelly was born to Harriet Catherine and James Patrick Joseph Kelly as their third son.
  • // 1920
    At the age of eight, he was enrolled to dance classes against his wish. He dreamt of playing baseball for the ‘Pittsburgh Pirates’ a Major League Baseball club from his hometown, Pittsburgh.
  • // 1929
    He was sent to the St. Raphael Elementary School and later to the Peabody High School, from where he graduated in 1929. With the ambition of studying journalism, he enrolled to the Pennsylvania State College, but financial difficulties forced him to work in order to support his family.
  • // 1931
    In 1931, he attended the University of Pittsburgh where he studied economics. There, under the department of theatre and arts, he joined the ‘Cap and Gown Club’.
  • // 1933
    He graduated from the university in 1933, with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Then he went on to join the University of Pittsburgh Law School, while still in contact with the University of Pittsburgh and serving as the director of ‘Cap and Gown Club’ in 1934.
  • // 1937
    He dropped out from law school after two months and in 1937, he went to New York City to establish a career in choreography.
  • // 1938
    Not being able to find any suitable job in New York, Kelly returned to Pittsburg where he choreographed the musical show ‘Hold Your Hats’ in April, 1938, at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. The same year, in November, he made his Broadway debut as a dancer in the musical ‘Leave It to Me!’
  • // 1939
    In 1939, he appeared in the famous five-act play ‘The Time of Your Life’, which established him as a dancer in the industry.
  • // 1940
    In 1940, his extraordinary performance in the famous musical ‘Pal Joey’ shot him to fame and grabbed the attention of MGM executive, Louis B. Mayer who offered him a film contract with his company.
  • // 1941 To 1957
    Kelly’s first marriage was with Betsy Blair in 1941, with whom he had a daughter Kerry, before they got divorced in 1957.
  • // 1942
    Thus, he made his first film ‘For Me and My Gal’ in 1942 in which he was cast along with Judy Garland.
  • // 1945
    In 1945, he danced remarkably well in ‘Anchors Aweigh’, with the famous cartoon character ‘Jerry’, an act of its kind.
  • // 1946
    Kelly earned his first Academy Award nomination in 1946, for the film ‘Anchors Aweigh’ in which he danced with ‘Jerry’, a cartooned mouse from the famous cartoon series ‘Tom and Jerry’.
  • // 1949
    In 1949, he worked with renowned actor/singer, Frank Sinatra ‘On the Town’ in which he performed ballet.
  • // 1951
    His next popular film was ‘An American in Paris’ in 1951, which he choreographed entirely.
  • // 1951
    He was awarded an Honorary Academy Award in 1951 in recognition to his talent as an actor, singer, director and dancer.
  • // 1952
    In 1952, came his most remembered film, ‘Singin' in the Rain’, elevating his dance to an iconic status.
  • // 1960 To 1973
    He married Jeanne Coyne, his choreographic assistant, in 1960 and was with her till her death in 1973. The couple had two children Bridget and Tim.
  • // 1962 To 1963
    Turning his attention towards television, he appeared in ‘Going My Way’ a comedy-drama in 1962. The series enjoyed moderate success and ran till 1963.
  • // 1967
    In 1967, he produced, directed and acted in the television film for children, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ which earned positive reviews. He appeared in the variety show ‘The Funny Side’ four years later.
  • // 1980
    His last major film was ‘Xanadu’ in 1980 which was a big disappointment. Even though he made several television appearances, he never really went back to mainstream acting.
  • // 1985
    One of his important works towards the end of his career was as an executive producer and co-host of the dance documentary by MGM, ‘That's Dancing!’ in 1985.
  • // 1985
    He was awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the ‘American Film Institute’ in 1985.
  • // 1990
    His last marriage was to Patricia Ward which took place in 1990.
  • // 1993
    This famous actor, dancer and choreographer, was a dance consultant for Madonna's ‘Girlie Show’ tour in 1993.
  • // 1994
    In 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded him the ‘National Medal of Arts’.
  • // 1994
    In 1994, he suffered a stroke for which he had to be hospitalized for seven weeks.
  • // 1995 To 2nd Feb 1996
    A second stroke in 1995 left him bedridden and a year later, he died in his sleep at the age of 83.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Eugene Curran Kelly's FAQ

  • What is Eugene Curran Kelly birthday?

    Eugene Curran Kelly was born at 1912-08-23

  • When was Eugene Curran Kelly died?

    Eugene Curran Kelly was died at 1996-02-02

  • Which age was Eugene Curran Kelly died?

    Eugene Curran Kelly was died at age 83

  • Where is Eugene Curran Kelly's birth place?

    Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh

  • What is Eugene Curran Kelly nationalities?

    Eugene Curran Kelly's nationalities is American

  • Who is Eugene Curran Kelly spouses?

    Eugene Curran Kelly's spouses is Betsy Blair (m. 1941–1957), Jeanne Coyne (m. 1960–1973), Patricia Ward (m. 1990–1996)

  • Who is Eugene Curran Kelly siblings?

    Eugene Curran Kelly's siblings is Fred Kelly

  • Who is Eugene Curran Kelly childrens?

    Eugene Curran Kelly's childrens is Bridget Kelly, Kerry Kelly, Timothy Kelly

  • What was Eugene Curran Kelly universities?

    Eugene Curran Kelly studied at Pennsylvania State College, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

  • Who is Eugene Curran Kelly's father?

    Eugene Curran Kelly's father is James Patrick Joseph Kelly

  • Who is Eugene Curran Kelly's mother?

    Eugene Curran Kelly's mother is Harriet Catherine

  • What is Eugene Curran Kelly's sun sign?

    Eugene Curran Kelly is Leo

  • How famous is Eugene Curran Kelly?

    Eugene Curran Kelly is famouse as American dancer