People You Should Know About: Gene Kelly

I don’t know what it is about Gene Kelly- maybe the fact that we share the same last name (no, it’s definitely more than that)- but one thing is for sure, this man has always been able to put a smile on my face.

Gene Kelly was born today, August 23, 1912, in Pittsburgh, PA.  He arrived in Hollywood in 1941 and from there on, he starred in, directed, and choreographed movies such as The Pirate (1948), Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949), An American In Paris (1951), and, probably his most well known film, Singin’ In The Rain (1952).

I’ve heard that Gene was a bit of a pain in the ass to work with- people were miserable, afraid to make mistakes in his presence.  He was quite the perfectionist I guess you could say.  But there’s no doubt (at least in my mind) that he was passionate about what he did, and anybody that he did work with always said that they owed a lot to Gene for bringing out the best possible performances in them.

For me, Gene Kelly has been able to fill me with joy when I feel down.  I always said that I wished I could dance like he could, or be as passionate about my work as he was about his.

So, in honor of his birthday, Hollywood Fix will be reviewing a few of Gene Kelly’s movies today.

Happy 100th Birthday, Mr. Kelly!

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2 thoughts on “People You Should Know About: Gene Kelly

  1. My former screenwriting teacher, Thomas Pope, told me a story he got from Harold Rosson , the Cinematographer on Singin’ In The Rain. Apparently, Kelly was dreadfully sick the day they shot the title number, which the crew spent a long time setting up and lighting. When Kelly got in, he asked if everything was perfect, because he wasn’t going to do this twice. They assured him that everything was perfect, he turned on the charm and did his number flawlessly, then walked away, completely miserable again, and went home to rest. To me, that speaks volumes about his character and reinforce what you heard; a perfectionist who demanded no less of himself than he did from others.

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