23 August 1912
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States
2 February 1996 (aged 83)
Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director, producer, and choreographer.
Kelly was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks and the likeable characters that he played on screen.
Although he is known today for his performances in An American in Paris (1951) and Singin' in the Rain (1952), he was a dominant force in Hollywood musical films from the mid-1940s until this art form fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical film, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.
Kelly was the recipient of an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements. 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 numbered him 15th in their Greatest Male Stars of All Time list.
Better known as a dancer and movie star than a singer, Gene Kelly nevertheless turned in memorable vocal performances in the context of his movies, the MGM musicals of the 1940s and 1950s.
Kelly rose to fame on Broadway before making his Hollywood debut with "For Me and My Gal" in 1942. Kelly's light, high vocals are distinctive, and he acted even as he sang, sometimes letting his voice crack at a pivotal moment (as in his vocal for the title number in "Singin' in the Rain"). In addition to reinterpreting classics by the likes of George Gershwin, Kelly introduced a few standards, including "Be a Clown" from the film "The Pirate" and "Long Ago and Far Away" from "Cover Girl." He also performed duets with such luminaries as Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra.
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