Gene Kelly

(1912—1996) American dancer and choreographer

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

(b Pittsburgh, 3 Aug. 1912; d Beverly Hills, Calif., 2 Feb. 1996)

US actor, dancer, choreographer, and film director. He studied dance as a child, and while still pursuing his academic education (at Pittsburgh University) was staging his own shows and running a dance school. In 1939 he went to New York where he performed in musicals, including the lead role in Pal Joey (1940). His dance style was a fusion of tap, soft shoe, ballet, modern, jazz, and folk, and was executed with an unusual gymnastic attack. He also possessed a strong cinematic personality and became involved in directing the films in which he performed (often in collaboration with Stanley Donen), including On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951, with Vincente Minnelli), and Singin' in the Rain (1952). In all these films Kelly sought new ways of integrating dance into film. However, his most ambitious ballet film, Invitation to the Dance (1952, released 1956), was his least successful. He created the ballet Pas de dieux (mus. Gershwin) for Paris Opera in 1960 and was recipient of the Légion d'honneur in the same year.

Subjects: Music.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.