Sunday, August 23, 2015
They just don't make 'em like Gene Kelly anymore, do they? George Clooney, Tom Cruise, you name any of today's big leading men and whatever their virtues, they fall short of the charm and all-around talent of Gene Kelly.
He could act, he could sing, he could dance! He could even choreograph. Today we celebrate the 1912 birth of Eugene Kelly, the man who gave us Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris and so much more.
While dancing works only so well on the radio, Kelly did lend his talents to the medium that concerns us here. He appeared on some of the cream of old-time radio, such as Suspense and The Lux Radio Theatre (I'll bet his appearances sold a lot of soap!). He also appeared on episodes of The Hotpoint Holiday Hour, Opportunity USA, and The Best of Groucho. His first known appearance on the airwaves was in 1942 (Your Hollywood Radio Reporter) and his last in 1978 (The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast). What a lot of great memories in between!
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Hey, thrill seekers, did you know that superstar Gene Kelly appeared in several episodes of Suspense? One of today's birthday boys did just that, lending his considerable acting chops to such episodes as "Thieves Fall Out," "The Man Who Couldn't Lose," and "The Most Dangerous Game."
But what's just as thrilling is that in 1946 Cresta Blanca wines launched its radio program Cresta Blanca's Hollywood Players, on which it very proudly rolled out its stable of top Hollywood stars. Bette Davis, Gregory Peck, Joan Fontaine, and Gene Kelly were among the players. The show brought to listeners recently-written productions, both dramas and comedies. These included "Heaven Can Wait," "Kitty," "Pride of the Yankees," and "The Glass Key." The latter, in November of '46, presented Kelly's debut on the show.
This show's Kelly's versatility, since no one dances on the radio. Best known for Singin' In the Rain, Kelly is the only Pittsburgh-born dancer of which we are aware. He would've been one hundred and one today!