Gene Kelly (1912-1996)
From The Columbia Encyclopedia
American dancer, choreographer, movie actor, and director, b. Pittsburgh as Eugene Curran Kelly. Kelly first gained fame in the title role of the Broadway musical Pal Joey (1940). He moved to Hollywood in 1941 and his best-known work was in motion pictures, where he excelled in an inventive combination of camera and dance techniques. He appeared in such films as On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951; Academy Award), Singin' in the Rain (1952)—which contains his single most famous performance—and Invitation to the Dance (1956). A skillful, expressive dancer with a joyfully muscular yet lyrical style, he also sang in a thin yet appealing voice. He also played dramatic film roles, and directed several movies, including The Happy Road (1950) and Hello Dolly (1969).