Died when: 83 years 163 days Star Sign: Virgo
Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director, producer and choreographer. He was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks, and the likeable characters that he played on screen. Best known today for his performances in films such as An American in Paris (1951), Anchors Aweigh (1945), and Singin' in the Rain (1952), he starred in musical films until they fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. Among others, he starred in many musical films throughout the 1940s, including For Me and My Gal (1942), Du Barry Was a Lady (1943), Thousands Cheer (1943), The Three Musketeers (1948) and On the Town (1949). In his later career he starred in two films which were outside the musical genre. They are Inherit the Wind (1960) and What a Way to Go!, although his 1955 film It's Always Fair Weather, in later life, gained recognition among his fans largely due to his musical and dance performances. Throughout his career he had directed films, some of which he starred in. Kelly did not star in Hello, Dolly he directed. Despite being a commercial failure at the time, it is now more highly regarded as a musical film. The film was even nominated in 1969 for the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 42nd Academy Awards. His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences. Kelly received an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors (1982), and from the Screen Actors Guild and American Film Institute. In 1999, the American Film Institute also numbered him 15th in their Greatest Male Stars of Classic Hollywood cinema list.