Gene Kelly
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Born in Pennsylvania in 1912, Gene Kelly is an American dancer, actor and director who transformed the film musical with athletic and ballet techniques. Kelly is remembered for his lead role in Singin’ in the Rain, regarded by some as the best dance film ever made. Gene has a strong Irish influence in his blood from his Irish paternal family. Although he is known today for his performances in Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris,  he was a dominant force in Hollywood musical films from the mid-1940s until this art form fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical film, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences. Kelly’s athleticism gave his moves a distinctive broad, muscular quality, and this was a very deliberate choice on his part, as he explained: “There’s a strong link between sports and dancing, and my own dancing springs from my early days as an athlete.” He railed against what he saw as the widespread effeminacy in male dancing which, in his opinion, “tragically” stigmatized the genre, alienating boys from entering the field. He also sought to break from the class-conscious conventions of the 1930s and early 40s, when top hat and tails or tuxedos were the norm, by dancing in casual or everyday work clothes, so as to make his dancing more relevant to the cinema-going public. Kelly was the recipient of an Academy Honorary Award in 1953 for his career achievements. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors, 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 All Time list.

 

Gene Kelly- I’m Singing in the rain