Gene Kelly, Creative Genius

A personal celebration of his life and work

Ever and a day...........

The Melody Lingers On.

This page is dedicated to Gene's fans. They are keeping his spirit alive and introducing a new generation to his magic. I owe them all a huge debt. Not least because they have made me realise that I am not crazy because I get passionate about a movie star who is no longer here and whose best known work was being created when I was a babe-in-arms. They vary in age from 8 to 80, from every walk of life and from all over the world. I am privileged to call some of them friends. So here they are, in their own words. Thanks, pals.

A CHILD'S POEM FOR GENE.

Written after Gene died, by a child who knew him and loved him.

HAS ANYBODY HERE SEEN KELLY?

 

What can you say about a man like Gene?

His entire career was one big dream,

From For Me & My Gal, his first big show,

To the last dead husband in What A Way To Go.

 

Although Mr Big threw money at his face

The Wolves still won that blessed pennant race

While O’Brien to Ryan to Goldberg took break

They still had time to make the clam bake.

 

Du Barry was a lady as anyone could see

Until Louis was drugged and turned to royalty

It was up to the Black Arrow to save her from this fate.

A tune called ‘SOS’ left us all in happy state.

 

Perhaps he’s most famous from singing during showers

But the 104 fever must have proven to be a bother.

He also jumped a bus and fell in Debbie’s car.

He had to suck up to Lina in order to stay a star.

 

My mind drifts back to Manhattan, and sailors who ‘hate to leave’,

He falls hard for Susie and woos her as perceived

Frank ‘crawls out of his shell’, and falls for a great unknown

While he chats a while with Lola, Aka the dial tone.

 

Speaking of sailors, there’s another, with Miss Turnstiles in his head.

And Frankie missed the Hippodrome but won the driver instead.

The third, an anthropologist, wanted a prehistoric man

They raced the cops from Empire, Coney Isle and back again.

 

In Brigadoon a lot of dancing can be found

But there’s nothing like the heather on the outskirts of the town.

True love always prevails, to all this can be seen,

With Fiona’s heart a calling he goes home with Bonnie Jean.

 

Gene’s a travelling man A Paris one for sure

He dumped his rich American for his one true French amour.

His piano friend Oscar gives himself his own encores,

And the ballet at the end wins them six Academy Awards.

 

Manuela is in love with Macocco of the sea

Gene isn’t the real scoundrel that she has him panned to be.

He wins her heart in spite of that, and together sing Be A Clown.

And the real Macocco has always been, the mayor of the town.

 

D’Artagnan is a young man who sure knows how to fight.

But unfortunately for him his scheduling is tight.

Lady De Winter is our villainess who hunts our musketeers

And Constance ends up dying, through betrayal, blood, and tears.

 

Cover Girl is the last on our tour for today.

Rusty took the easy way, though Gene begged her stay.

They had always searched their oysters for that all important pearl.

He danced the ‘Alter ego’ and finally got back his girl.

 

That’s all I have for you folks today, I hope you have enjoyed the poem.

For Gene Kelly was not just an actor, but a hero to all who know him.

But can I have a hero, who is no longer my life a part?

And what I say to you today, he’s always in my heart.

 

This is a poem written by Veronika, aged 12.

I think we do not need to worry about Gene's influence fading. He seems to touch each new generation with his gift of love, joy and dreams.

Thank you Veronika. You could not have a better role model.

Tapping, Dancing, Acting and more

boy, what else does Gene have in store.

He was a great man and a wonderful guy

 with his smile and dance he lit up the sky.

 His friendly smile! Just the look on his face

I don't think we'll ever find some one to take Kelly’s place



Out of all the actors I know that its true

he had his own family and worked hard for it too

Some days it might have been hard but

all that he did, it came from his heart 


If I ever grow up to be an actor
I want to be like Gene and if I ever become
a dancer I will not be mean.

Gene made so many people happy
I know that its true because I know that he
made me happy too

 

 

 Debbie. USA 2007

I realized that Gene Kelly represents something to me. I sometimes wonder if he really was the person I think he was. I admire and respect him beyond belief. I "love" this person, even though I never met him. I wonder if someone who knew him well would laugh and think, "My God, he was just a guy like any other guy." But when I look at the qualities he had that I admire, I realize that he represents all the things about people that make life worth it. Everything that I love about people in general are all summed up in him. I don't mean that I'd want everyone to be just like him...I love individuals. The fact that he was an individual.....he was his own person....that's one of the things I admire. Other points: Ability to communicate emotion through his art (ah...that's the one that hooked me), his energy level, his joie de vivre, his persistence, his intensity, the way he placed demands on others in their work (an intense belief in others), his high ethical standards, and so on (even his sexiness - which is a result of the above in a way). I've left out many things of course. I believe that people are all basically very good. They are basically full of life and spirit and energy and good stuff....and everyone very unique underneath all the crap we often see.

So, to sum it up, my crazy obsession is really a love of all the wonderful qualities of life!


Jennifer Welsh. USA 2007

I don’t explain Gene Kelly to very many people.  People who know me really well know I love him.  I think the GK love is just like any other kind of love: who can explain how it hits you or why certain people do it for each other and other people just don’t do it at all? 

 

For me GK has always been about joy.  There is something ineffably sublime about the way he makes me feel when I have the pleasure of watching him dance.  It’s impossible not to smile at this beautiful man who has the heartbreakingly innocent and carefree glee of a little boy every time he starts moving.  And yet on the other side of that youthful carefree joy he expresses there is this something rough and raw and unschooled.  It’s a compelling combination. 

 

I’m not going to lie: he was danged cute.  But beyond his looks and the joy he inspires, I was always drawn to how intelligent he obviously was.  And that will always be a big turnon.  I too remember being drawn to his relentless pursuit of perfection (isn’t that from a car ad?), his stubbornness, his high standards, his workaholicism, his commitment to family, etc. etc. 

 

And yet.... I don’t mean to be a damper on everyone’s party here, but I suspect some of the things we love about Gene - things that we couldn’t really know - are things we think we love because we see them as part and parcel of those parts of him that ARE accessible to us.  And we impute things that maybe were never really there, because each of us in our minds has ideals that we cling to and since we’ll never know Gene Kelly, we can make him the visual embodiment of those ideals....... 

 

I’ve said before how for me the “obsession” phase of things eventually waned.  Maybe some people love him more than I do.  Maybe I can only keep up a one-sided love affair for so long.  I still think he’s wonderful, of course, but I no longer see in myself the symptoms that so many of you describe (e.g., watching at least a part of one of his movies every day).

 

But I will always have a special little place in my heart reserved just for him, and I know that he will always make me smile, and if that is his only gift to me, this other person who was born many decades after he was and who never met him, that in and of itself is enough for me. 

 

… Adolph Green quoted someone saying that Gene’s most famous dance was “an affirmation of life.”  Hugh Jackman said you can watch it when you’re feeling blue, and your heart might be the size of a raisin, but when the movie’s over you feel like your heart is full again.  And I think all of those things are true. 

 


Pam. USA 2007

There are so many things to say and its hard for me to express it. I don't think something like, "He's so delicious you could eat him with a spoon" is what you're looking for.
He was such an inspiration to so many people because of his talent. He was a pioneer of his time. He's absolutely gorgeous but not just because of his physicality but his charisma, his presence on screen, his ability to bring any type of music to life just by dancing across the stage. Women wanted to be with him and men wanted to be him. So there's really only one thing I can say to sum it up:

Gene Kelly is timeless.


Marc Orr. Scotland 2007

I can't remember a time when I didn't know his name.  My earliest memories encompass the overwhelming sense of wonder at the ingenuity and exuberance of his dancing.  That sense of wonder has grown throughout my adult life - something of a rarity for childhood idols.  His athletic masculinity reclaimed dancing for the proletarian male, his genius redefined the art of the movie musical forever
and the unbridled joy of his spirit will inspire generations for centuries to come.  He is a true immortal.



Jane Fore. Ohio 2007

Gene Kelly and I first met 65 years ago when I was 8 years old.  I was sitting up close in our local movie theater, and he looked directly at me and smiled that wonderful smile with the twinkling eyes, and I knew immediately that we would be friends forever.  During my pre-teen years, I had the biggest crush ever - the kind that made my heart feel warm and made me smile with no provocation whatsoever. I bought every fan magazine available with my hard earned allowance if there was only a 2X2 picture in it, and I anxiously awaited the moment when he would smile at me from the big screen  again - for I believed he, too, knew there was a special bond between us.
 
When I reached my mid teens, and my hormones kicked in, I realized that he was not only the handsomest man alive, but also the sexiest.
 
As I reached adulthood, I began adding new dimensions to my admiration - his intelligence, moral standards, faithfulness to friends and family, and most importantly his unlimited talents and his ability to share with the world his passions for his craft.
 
I strongly believe that I am a better person today than I would have been without Gene Kelly in my life.  "I can't" and "It's good enough" can never be phrases in my vocabulary.  They weren't in his.  I have always strived to be the best at whatever I tried to do - because he would have been disappointed in me if I didn't.
 

No matter what blows life throws my way, with Gene Kelly in my life I will never succumb to depression, because he is far too upbeat and positive to allow this in me.
 
With Gene Kelly in my life I will never suffer with stress, because he will come into my living room  and calm me, and make me laugh, and melt away all my problems.
 
With Gene Kelly in my life, I will never be lonely, because he visits me daily in some form or other, and assures me that he is my friend.
 
I never think of Gene Kelly in the past tense because he is so present in my every day life - and what a wonderful present he is.
 
With all my heart I say  "Thank you, Mr. Kelly.  It is a joy and a pleasure knowing you."
 
Lovingly submitted by Jane Fore



 

Judygenefan. Canada 2007

 Gene Kelly will always be my favourite movie musical dancer of all time. His amazing abilities as a versatile dancer, his gorgeous good looks, and his infectious screen presence are the formula for me to keep coming back to his films over and over again. Every time you watch one of Gene's movies you notice something new... a new turn in a dance that you've never seen before, a look that he gives while he's acting in a certain scene... because of this it is utterly impossible to tire of watching Gene on the screen.

While I especially admire the film side of Gene, I also like how he was so self-assured, never afraid to speak his mind to anyone, and was tireless in his efforts to always be successful. Also to be admired is his tireless devotion to his family and always leaving room for them even in his busiest career days. These are traits of his that I try to use in my own life journey.

Gene Kelly is my escape from the busy modern world we live in. Whenever I am stressed or feeling down, I know a "Gene fix" will solve all that. For a short time I am transported into his magical musical world that he created on film, and for that alone, I will be eternally grateful to Gene and his extraordinary talent.


Tatiana. Ukraine. 2007

What can I say about Gene Kelly? That I adore him? True, but not substantial statement. Adoration may have different forms. In case with me it contents with love, respect, amazement and all good and warm feelings that just have no names (or I can.t find them). I can.t say that he is .my type. of man; I like blue or grey eyes and brown hair. Also I can.t say that his voice as strong and deep, as voices of other actors and singers, whom I like. And he.s not as tall as I think a man must be. And . that.s even more amusing . I never ever paid attention to dances and dancers. It never was as interesting to me as, for example, martial arts. And I never danced myself even when I was younger. But all these mismatches make me even more curious . why I love him so much? Why I consider him VERY handsome, why I feel myself like a piece of ice under the sun, when I hear the sound of his voice? Why I watch his numerous dances every day and every time my temperature rising and heart beat faster? I may be sound insane, but I have just one answer on mind . he is a Miracle. Self-made miracle, may be, but it means that he deserves more respect and love than a person can give. He brings me so much joy and relief when I turn to him from our modern restless world. His talent in everything makes me wonder . was he a man at all? May be he is some sort of Greek god, or alien, or elf, who attended us in his neverending journey. ;) It.s hard to believe that any human with such appearance (I mean he.s far from Astair thinness) can jump and dance so easily, as if there is no law of gravitation. And it.s just unbelievable that person without any actor education can show such a deep scale of emotions within his face and moves and created such unforgettable dance routines. When I watch his performance, I believe his every word and his every move, he makes me empathize with his characters. And, you know, very few numbers of actors can do the same to me. In spite all my adoration; I am not a worshiper, as it may seem. I admit that he was a man with a temper, with his weak and strong sides, and may be he made mistakes too, but it means nothing when he makes me smile and forget all my troubles and worries each time I watch him.  And I think that I am blessed with the fact that I have an opportunity to draw a force to live from that great heritage that Gene Kelly left us. .Who could ask for anything more?. ;)


My name is Gia and I´m 25, I´m from Uruguay (this tiny little country in South America next to Brazil and Argentina).

When I first got a glimpse of Gene Kelly on TV was in the beautiful classic Singin´ in the Rain, he was dancing the Moses Supposes number and I fell in love...

 

How can I describe the feeling of watching Gene´s work... magic is a good word, admiration, perfection, brilliantly beautiful, but the best one for me is pure JOY.

 

I´ve been a singer for a long time now, and as an artist I know how you want to get to the heart of your audience and just make them happy when you perform. I admire multiple artists for accomplishing this, but Gene was special, he had my complete and total attention when he was dancing, and I could feel like I was in the movie dancing and enjoying the moment with him too.

This is a unique feeling.

 

I believe that, in many opportunities when I was feeling sad and blue I watched one of his movies, or just listened to one of his songs and instantly felt better.

 

He is a star, but most of all he is a special being, who achieved everything he set his mind to, and connected with the people, changing the mood of a whole room.

He knows the way into your heart and into your soul, with just a few steps, with just a few smiles, with just a few songs.

 

He will always be the man who got me feeling like I could realise any dream, and he will always be... my pure JOY.

 

http://www.gialove.com/

 


 Patty Grove from Wisconsin. November 2008

 Not long ago I found myself in search of something new to learn about: something strictly for my own enjoyment that I didn’t have to explain to anyone. I considered singing lessons, yoga, even an car maintenance course for women. So when I was hit by this lightning bolt named Gene, it was just what the doctor ordered. First it was merely a matter of admiring his dancing, and then I saw “The Pirate” and discovered how sensual and gorgeous he really was. Then I started to learn about the man and his many colors. He was a man who was given many gifts in life and didn’t waste a one: near-superhuman physical strength and stamina, a sharp and creative mind, the obvious gift of rhythm, and that intangible factor that made him light up even a black and white screen. To these he added the love and capacity for hard work, and the vision and guts to succeed in many different areas. Gene was not a saint, but who is? Intelligent and creative people are often complicated and contradictory. I think he would want us to make up our own minds about him, and I have. Along the way I’ve discovered what we had in common, like hating stagnation, and a love of learning and reading.(How I would have loved to have jumped into the book with him in “Sinbad the Sailor.”) We were good Americans who also loved another country: France for Gene, and Canada for me. These things have made him more real to me. He had this wonderful ageless quality. A dancer peaks in their 20's: Gene made his big screen debut at 30, not looking a day over 21. He was leaping over ponds and statues at 36, and still danced like a dream and looked "smoking hot" as they say at 47. Gene briefly studied law, and apparently he never did get to the law of physics, lol. With his broad shoulders and sturdy legs, he looked more like a longshoreman than a dancer, yet he made it work. He didn’t look like he should be able to get airborne, but once he did, he stayed up there awhile, and we loved every second. But what really makes me love him was his obvious zest for life, and the joy it brought to the screen, the joy he’s given me. Several times I’ve been told to wipe that grin off my face, quit drooling, and get out of the trance. He gives this feeling that we're right there with him on the lamp post, the fountain, or the cobblestones. Sometimes it’s like he just swooped down from the galaxy and left just as quickly. Was he really here at all? Every dance is a diamond, and as much a work of art as the paintings he honored in An American in Paris. We also have other treasures to admire, like "Inherit the Wind," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and "The Muppet Show." Compared to Sinatra's 1200 recordings Gene's total output was small, but the quality tremendous. And I thank God everyday that Gene Kelly was here on this earth.