Gene Kelly, 1912

Gene Kelly in the 1952 classic Singin’ in the Rain.

You dance love, and you dance joy, and you dance dreams. And I know if I can make you smile by jumping over a couple of couches or running through a rainstorm, then I’ll be very glad to be a song and dance man.

-Gene Kelly

On this day in 1912, actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, and all-around talented guy Gene Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you haven’t seen Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain” number, then WATCH IT RIGHT NOW! Seriously, though. It is a classic. It gives me the urge to use pretentious film critic phrases such as “the pinnacle of film musicals,” “a quintessential dance number,” and “the zenith of Kelly’s career.”

Here’s the bad news about Gene Kelly: he was a bit of a tyrant on set. He even made Debbie Reynolds cry.  Why Gene Kelly? Why?

I think the root of his tyranny was an innate perfectionism. He was just as hard on himself as others. Kelly shot the “Singin’ in the Rain” number with a 101 degree fever! Kelly was intensely dedicated to work, and it shows.

Gene Kelly

Further reading:

When you learn something bad about an actor, does that spoil their work for you?


3 thoughts on “Gene Kelly, 1912

    • This is very true. I have the tendency to project the personality of characters an actor plays onto the actor himself. So I was dismayed when Kelly, who played so many lovable characters, had a not-so-lovable attribute. But you’re right; he is simply human and has his own shortcomings.

      • Don’t get me wrong, we all project characters’ personalities on actors and get disappointed when they do something we disapprove of. I have my fair share of those, lol!

        I’m just saying that I don’t find Gene Kelly disappointing.

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