Eugene Curran Kelly — known as Gene Kelly — was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director, producer and choreographer. He was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks, and the likeable characters that he played on screen.
Best known today for his performances in films such as An American in Paris (1951), Anchors Aweigh (1945), and Singin' in the Rain (1952), he starred in musical films until they fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. He starred in many musical films throughout the 1940s, including For Me and My Gal (1942), Du Barry Was a Lady (1943), Thousands Cheer (1943), The Three Musketeers (1948) and On the Town (1949). In his later career, he starred in two films outside the musical genre: Inherit the Wind (1960) and What a Way to Go! (1964). He also directed films most notably the 1969 film Hello, Dolly!, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.
Kelly received an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors (1982), and from the Screen Actors Guild and American Film Institute.