Here are 10 things you should know about Eric Blore, born 133 years ago today. The character actor’s comedic skills enlivened nearly 90 motion pictures over the course of his career.
Here are 10 things you should know about lyricist and librettist Dorothy Fields, born 116 years ago today. We’re featuring her songs all today on Cladrite Radio, so be sure to tune in!
Here are 10 things you should know about the beautiful and talented Rita Hayworth, born 101 years ago today. She enjoyed a charmed career but her life was, in many ways, difficult.
Gene Kelly was born 104 years ago today in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which seems apt, given that he was something of a blue-collar hoofer. As Kelly once put it, “Fred Astaire represented the aristocracy, I represented the proletariat.” Here are 10 GK Did-You-Knows:
- Kelly’s father was of Irish descent, and his mother was Irish and German.
- Kelly’s father was Al Jolson‘s road manager in the 1920s.
- He attended Penn State University for a while before graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in economics.
- At Pitt, Kelly was a member of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity.
- He and his younger brother, Fred, had a dance act in vaudeville. Fred eventually replaced Gene as Harry the Hoofer in the 1939 Broadway production of The Time of Your Life.
- While Kelly was starring in Pal Joey on Broadway, he signed a contract with producer David O. Selznick. Selznick, after struggling to find a suitable role for Kelly, sold his contract to MGM.
- Kelly was fighting a high fever while filming the iconic rain scene in Singin’ in the Rain.
- The first two of Kelly’s three wives were dancers.
- He was a dance consultant for Madonna‘s 1993 Girlie Show tour.
- Kelly was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton in 1994.
Happy birthday, Gene Kelly, wherever you may be!
There are so many mashups out there that our eyes sometimes glaze over, but this one we can heartily and happily recommend. Nerd Fest UK has paired Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ fun and funky “Uptown Funk” with some wonderful dance moves of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and it works beautifully. Enjoy!