Remembering Gene Kelly
Because yesterday, August 23, would have been Gene Kelly’s 103rd birthday, I have been thinking a lot about him. Below are three of my favorite movies starring this dynamic entertainer.
The Pirate. Although Gene Kelly’s character is a circus clown and not really the dreaded “Mack the Black of the Caribbean,” he pretends to be this notorious pirate in order to win over spunky Judy Garland. Kelly gives an absolutely dazzling performance and wows everyone with his athletic dance numbers in this underrated MGM musical.
Anchors Aweigh. Kelly dances with Jerry the Mouse here, and they sing “If You Worry” together. What a treat! Kelly received an Oscar nomination for his role in this fun musical.
Singin’ in the Rain. This is the most entertaining movie of all time in my book. There’s not one dull minute in the entire film! Kelly co-directed (with the great Stanley Donen) as well as performed wonderful dance routines, including:
"Good Morning" -- with exuberant dancing and singing by star trio Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, and Kelly.
"Moses Supposes" -- featuring Kelly and O’Connor in one of the most energetic tap numbers I’ve seen on screen.
"Singin’ in the Rain" -- which Kelly danced to with pure abandon and delight, despite having a 103 degree fever.
No wonder Kelly received an honorary Oscar in 1952 for his versatility as an actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer.
My husband and I were so impressed with this “unforgettable” actor that we named our son “Kelly” after him. Gene Kelly is a true screen legend, and we are lucky he left us such memorable film performances to admire.