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February 4, 2020

Fascinating Photos of Gene Kelly During the ‘50s

With the successes of An American in Paris (1951) and Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Gene Kelly was able to secure his reputation as a major figure in American musical films. For his contribution to films and his achievements in the art of choreography, he received an honorary Academy Award in 1952. Kelly’s box-office appeal began to wind down when Hollywood musical slowly went of out fashion, resulted in his series of flops, from Brigadoon (1954) to Les Girls (1957). Finishing his contract to make three last pictures for MGM, Kelly finally left the studio and returned to stage work.

Let’s take a look back at the energetic dancer in the 1950s:

Gene Kelly performs on a stage, circa 1950. Photo by Martin Mills.

Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly coming off the plane from Los Angeles at Idlewild Airport, near New York, early 1950s. Photo by Keystone-France.

Gene Kelly with dance choreographers Carol Haney and Jeanne Coyne, 1951. Photo by J. R. Eyerman/LIFE.

Gene Kelly performs in a still from the film 'An American in Paris,' 1951. Photo by MGM Studios.

Gene Kelly, 1951. Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis.
Gene Kelly creates his film role for the CBS Radio adaptation of 'An American in Paris' at the Lux Radio Theater, Los Angeles, September 1951. Photo by CBS.

Gene Kelly performs a dance routine surrounded by a collection of umbrellas, December 1951. Photo via John Kobal Foundation.

Gene Kelly performing on stage in a scene from the film 'Singin' in the Rain', 1952. Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Gene Kelly working a camera and directing during the making of the film 'Invitation to the Dance,' 1952. Photo by Popperfoto.

Gene Kelly stars as The Marine in 'Invitation to the Dance', 1952. Photo by Silver Screen Collection.

Gene Kelly during a visit to London, May 1952. Photo by Popperfoto.

Gene Kelly performs at a gala at the royal court of England, London, October 1952. Photo by Walter Carone/Paris Match.

Gene Kelly listens to his daughter Kerry reading aloud from 'Worzel Gummidge' on the set of the MGM film 'Crest of the Wave' in London, circa 1953. Photo by Archive Photos.

Gene Kelly and Betsy Blair at Cannes Film Festival, 1955. Photo by Roger Viollet.

Gene Kelly hugging wife Betsy Blair and daughter Kerry during a picnic on his trip to France to attend the 8th Cannes Film Festival, 1955. Photo by Jack Garofalo/Simon Michou/Paris Match.

Gene Kelly visiting London with wife Betsy Blair and daughter Kerry, 1955. Photo by Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis.

Gene Kelly, circa 1955. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives.

Gene Kelly dancing with 13-year-old schoolgirl Julia Puccini, London, 1955. Photo by Popperfoto.

Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse at an event, circa 1955. Photo by Silver Screen Collection.

Gene Kelly dances samples of a scene from the film 'Invitation to the Dance' with choreography assistant Jean Coyne, 1956. Photo by ullstein bild.

Gene Kelly takes Barbara Laage for a spin on a Vespa moped during filming in France, circa 1957. Photo by Archive Photos.

Gene Kelly holding a dance pose in a portrait for George Cukor's 'Les Girls,' 1957. Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis.

Gene Kelly relaxes as he watches the shooting of a dance sequence, 1957. Photo by Bettmann.

Gene Kelly performing on NBC-TV Omnibus - Dancing: A Man's Game, 1958. Photo by NBC.

Gene Kelly singing in the middle of an assembly of journalists, under the amused eyes of Benno Graziani, at the 12th Cannes Film Festival, 1959. Photo by Francois Gragnon/Paris Match.

Edward G. Robinson and Gene Kelly in Cannes, 1959. Photo by Gilbert Tourte/Gamma-Rapho.

Gene Kelly seated at poolside at home, July 1959. Photo by Bettmann.


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