ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Interesting Facts About Gene Kelly

Updated on December 22, 2013
Gene Kelly (right) and Frank Sinatra
Gene Kelly (right) and Frank Sinatra | Source

Gene Kelly is arguably one of the most talented and charismatic dancers of the twentieth century. From Anchors Aweigh to Singin’ in the Rain, he dazzled us, he charmed us, he captivated us. It’s hard to imagine Gene Kelly doing anything but dancing, yet surprisingly, he didn’t come out of the womb pirouetting. In fact, when his mother enrolled him and his brother in dance classes as young children, Gene rebelled. According to him they “didn’t like it very much and were continually involved in fistfights with neighborhood boys who called us sissies.” It would be another seven years before he made his way back to the dance floor! This is just one of the many interesting tidbits about this incredible dancer’s life. Below are some more fun facts about Gene Kelly – enjoy!

Fun Facts About Gene Kelly

  • Born Eugene Curran Kelly on August 23, 1912
  • Was married three times
  • Graduated high school at the age of 16
  • Sustained the half-moon shaped scar that marks his left cheek during a bike accident as a kid
  • Is quoted as saying “I never wanted to be a dancer. I wanted to be a shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates.”
  • Didn’t star in his most memorable role in Singin’ in the Rain until more than a decade after he entered Hollywood
  • Third of five children born to Harriet Catherine Curran and James Patrick Joseph Kelly
  • Could speak fluent French
  • Enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh in 1931 to study economics and earned his degree two years later
  • Had a fever of 103 degrees while filming the rain scene in Singin’ in the Rain
  • Married his first wife, a dancer named Betsy Blair, in 1941when he was 29 years old – they had one child, Kerry Kelly, before divorcing in 1957
  • Had been teaching dance at a synagogue for seven years before moving to New York City in 1937 to focus on work as a choreographer
  • Had enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh Law School to study law during the 1930s, but dropped out after two months to focus on performing
  • Was working on an autobiography at the time of his death
  • Stood 5’ 7” tall
  • Had his first career breakthrough in 1939 at the age of 27 when he was cast in the Pulitzer-Prize winning Broadway show The Time of Your Life
  • Had two children with his second wife at the age of 48 – Bridget Kelly and Tim Kelly
  • Made his first film appearance alongside Judy Garland in For Me and My Gal (1942)
  • Signed a contract with MGM in 1951 to spend nineteen months in Europe making three pictures while personally benefiting from tax exemptions – this decision was later seen as a serious mistake
  • Made a foray into television in the 1960s and even appeared in a short-lived series entitled Going My Way – it lasted only 30 episodes
  • Studied Spanish dancing under Angel Cansino, Rita Hayworth’s uncle
  • Was set to star with Judy Garland in Easter Parade (1948) but had to bow out because he broke his ankle playing volleyball – Fred Astaire came out of retirement to replace him
  • Was raised Catholic but severed ties with the church in 1939 and became agnostic
  • Was a big fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers (having been born in Pittsburgh, PA) and the New York Yankees
  • Died in 1996 from complications of two strokes

Gene Kelly in Singin in the Rain


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Thanks for the info, very interesting. I, myself, am a huge Gene Kelly fan and love anything about him.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)