Gene Kelly,: Un Artista Completo

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Eugene Curran Kelly (August 23, 1912February 2, 1996), better known as Gene Kelly, was an American dancer, actor, singer, director, producer, and choreographer.

Kelly was a major exponent of 20th century filmed dance, known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks and the likeable characters that he played on screen. Although he is probably best known today for his performance in Singin’ in the Rain, he dominated the Hollywood musical film from the mid 1940s until its demise in the late 1950s. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Kelly among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, ranking at No. 15.

Gene was the third son of James Kelly, a phonograph salesman, and Harriet Curran, who were both children of Irish Roman Catholic immigrants. He was born in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. and, at the age of eight, was enrolled by his mother in dance classes, along with his older brother James. They both rebelled, and, according to Kelly:” We didn’t like it much and were continually involved in fistfights with the neighbourhood boys who called us sissies…I didn’t dance again until I was fifteen.” Kelly returned to dance on his own initiative and by then was an accomplished sportsman and well able to take care of himself. He graduated from Peabody High School in 1929. He enrolled in Pennsylvania State College to study journalism but the economic crash obliged him to seek employment to help with the family’s finances. At this time, he worked up dance routines with his younger brother Fred in order to earn prize money in local talent contests.

In 1931 Kelly enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), to study economics where he joined the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1933. In 1930, his family started a dance studio on Munhall Road in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In 1932, it was renamed The Gene Kelly Studio of the Dance. A second location was opened in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1933. While still an undergraduate student and later as a student at Pitt’s School of Law, Gene was a teacher at the dance studio. Eventually, though, he decided to pursue his career as a dance teacher and entertainer full-time and so dropped out of law school after two months. He began to focus increasingly on performing, later claiming: “With time I became disenchanted with teaching because the ratio of girls to boys was more than ten to one, and once the girls reached sixteen the dropout rate was very high.” In 1937, having successfully managed and developed the family’s dance school business, he moved to New York City in search of work as a choreographer.

Kelly was married to Betsy Blair for 16 years (1941 – 1957) and they had one child, Kerry. She divorced Kelly in 1957. In 1960, Kelly married his choreographic assistant Jeanne Coyne who had divorced Stanley Donen in 1949 after a brief marriage. He remained married to Coyne from 1960 till her death in 1973 and they had two children Bridget and Tim. He was married to Patricia Ward from 1990 until his death in 1996.

Gene Kelly was a lifelong Democratic Party supporter with strong progressive convictions, which occasionally created difficulty for him as his heyday coincided with the McCarthy era in the US. In 1947, he was part of the Committee for the First Amendment, the Hollywood delegation which flew to Washington to protest at the first official hearings by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. His first wife, Betsy Blair, was suspected of being a Communist sympathiser and when MGM, who had offered Blair a part in Marty (1955), were considering withdrawing her under pressure from the American Legion, Kelly successfully threatened MGM with a pullout from It’s Always Fair Weather unless his wife was restored to the part.[2][11] He used his position on the board of directors of The Writer’s Guild of America on a number of occasions to mediate disputes between unions and the Hollywood studios, and although he was frequently accused by the Right of championing the unions, he was valued by the studios as an effective mediator.

A gregarious and highly articulate individual, he retained a lifelong passion for sports and relished competition. With his first wife, he organised weekly parties at his Beverly Hills home which were renowned for an intensely competitive and physical version of charades, known as “The Game”.

Kelly died on February 2, 1996, in Beverly Hills, California, after suffering two strokes, at the age of 83

As Actor:

As Crew Member:

Filmography

As Actor:

As Director:

Awards and honors

Eugene Curran Kelly (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 23 agosto 1912Beverly Hills, California, 2 febbraio 1996), meglio conosciuto con lo pseudonimo di
Gene Kelly,
è stato un
ballerino, attore, cantante, regista, produttore, e coreografo
statunitense. Kelly era noto per il suo stile di danza energico e atletico,
il bell’aspetto e i personaggi piacevoli che recitava sullo schermo.
Oggi è conosciuto e ricordato soprattutto per la sua interpretazione
di Don Lockwood in
Cantando sotto la pioggia.

Gene era figlio di James Kelly, un commerciante di grammofoni,
e Harriet Curran, entrambi figli di immigranti cattolici irlandesi,
terzo di cinque fratelli – Jay, Jim, Gene, Louise, e Fred. Spinto
dalla madre, comincia a studiare danza da piccolo assieme a suo
fratello minore Fred, con il quale danzerà in alcuni spettacoli di
debuttanti col nome di “The Kelly Brothers”. Nel 1932 inaugura la
“Gene Kelly Studio of the Dance”, con una sede a Pittsburgh e una
a Johnstown, in cui lui insegnerà assieme ai fratelli Fred e Louise.
Si diploma alla
Peabody High School e frequenta l’Università di Pittsburgh,
dove entra nella confraternita
Phi Kappa Theta e ottiene nel 1933 una
laurea in Economia.

Agli inizi della sua carriera a Broadway, apparve nello spettacolo di

Cole Porter Leave It To Me come ballerino di supporto di Mary Martin

mentre canta “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.” Nel 1940 ottenne il ruolo

principale in Pal Joey, di Richard Rodgers e Lorentz Hart, che gli portò

fama a livello nazionale. In questo periodo lavorò come coreografo

in diversi spettacoli, inclusa la produzione del 1941 di Best Foot Forward.

Il primo lavoro di Gene Kelly come attore di cinema fu For Me and

My Gal (1942) con Judy Garland. Nel 1944 girò Fascino insieme a

Rita Hayworth: il film ebbe molto successo e fu il primo per il quale

Gene Kelly lavorò a buona parte delle coreografie. Nel 1946 ricevette

una nomination agli Oscar come miglior attore per il film

Due marinai e una ragazza. In seguito fu protagonista di alcuni

indimenticabili classici di Hollywood, tra cui Un americano a Parigi

(1951) e Cantando sotto la pioggia (1952), quest’ultimo co-diretto

con Stanley Donen. Dagli anni Sessanta si dedicò a vari progetti,

fra i quali la regia e alcune produzioni televisive.

Le scene più memorabili dei suoi film includono:

È stato il primo statunitense a coreografare e mettere in scena un

balletto all’ Operà di Parigi. Kelly venne premiato con un Oscar

onorario “in apprezzamento della sua versatilità come attore,

cantante, regista e ballerino, e in particolare per i suoi spettacolari

successi nell’arte della coreografia cinematografica” nel 1951 e

ripremiato agli Academy Awards del 1984 a causa di un incendio

che aveva distrutto la sua casa, oscar compreso, l’anno precedente.

Vinse un Leone d’Oro al Festival di Berlino per il film Trittico d’amore

nel 1956. A Kelly è stata conferita la Légion d’honneur dal governo

francese nel 1960. Ha anche ottenuto un premio alla carriera

dall’American Film Institute nel 1985. Ha ricevuto la

National Medal of Arts dal Presidente Clinton nel 1994, ma

era troppo ammalato per poterla accettare di persona.

Kelly è morto il 2 febbraio 1996, a Beverly Hills, California,

dopo aver sofferto per due ictus, all’età di 83 anni.

Kelly si sposò tre volte:

Attore

Regista

Coreografo

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