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He sang and danced in the rain, proclaimed New York to be a wonderful town, and convinced a group of Parisian children that they had rhythm. One of the most influential and respected entertainers of Hollywood's golden age, Gene Kelly revolutionized film musicals with his innovative and timeless choreography. A would-be baseball player and one-time law student, Kelly captured the nation's imagination in films such as Anchors Aweigh (1945), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), and Singin' in the Rain (1952).
In the first comprehensive biography written since the legendary star's death, authors Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson disclose new details of Kelly's complex life. Not only do they examine his contributions to the world of entertainment in depth, but they also consider his political activities including his opposition to the Hollywood blacklist. The authors even confront Kelly's darker side and explore his notorious competitive streak, his tendency to be a taskmaster on set, and his multiple marriages.
Drawing on previously untapped articles and interviews with Kelly's wives, friends, and colleagues, Brideson and Brideson illuminate new and unexpected aspects of the actor's life and work. He's Got Rhythm is a balanced and compelling view of one of the screen's enduring legends.
About the Author
Cynthia Brideson is coauthor of Ziegfeld and His Follies: A Biography of Broadway's Greatest Producer and Also Starring... : Forty Biographical Essays on the Greatest Character Actors of Hollywood's Golden Era, 19301965.
Sara Brideson (19902017) was coauthor of Ziegfeld and His Follies: A Biography of Broadway's Greatest Producer and Also Starring... : Forty Biographical Essays on the Greatest Character Actors of Hollywood's Golden Era 19301965.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Ballet Dancer and Swaggering Tough 1
Part 1 "Who wants a choreographer from Pittsburgh?" 1912-1941
1 The Reluctant Dancer 9
2 A Depression-Era Kid 20
3 Kelly Mania 31
4 "It wasn't elegant, but it's me" 45
5 The Time of His Life 58
6 Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered 79
Part 2 Riding on a Rocket: 1941-1957
7 At the MGM University 101
8 New Heights 123
9 "I'm asking for the Navy" 142
10 The American Line 163
11 A Flaming Trail of Masculinity 182
12 The Renaissance Man 201
13 You Can Count on Me 220
14 Who Could Ask for Anything More? 239
15 Laughing at Clouds 259
16 What a Day This Has Been 279
17 The Unhappy Road 299
Part 3 Still Going Strong: 1957-1972
18 A Hundred Million Miracles 321
19 "I wear so many hats" 337
20 Looking for Enchantment 354
Part 4 Ambassador of His Art: 1972-Present
21 True Talent Shows Itself in Kindness 375
22 Contemporary Yet Timeless 392
Epilogue: Think of Him and Smile 409
Appendix A Selected Stage Work 415
Appendix B Selected Filmography 419
Appendix C Selected Television Work 429
Selected Bibliography 477
What People are Saying About This
"The authors have created a comprehensive biography of Gene Kelly that balances his extensive career with his complex private life. Although there have been several biographical studies published about this Irish American star, He's Got Rhythm is by far the most detailed and encompassing work on its subject. This book should become the new definitive biography on the multitalented Gene Kelly." James Robert Parish, author of The Hollywood Book of Extravagance
"Any biographer of Gene Kelly had better be light on his/her literary feet. The Bridesons have given us a thoroughly readable biography of Kelly that is conscientiously researched and authoritative." Page Laws, Norfolk State University