Gene’s 100th Birthday: A Global Dance Experience?

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(The website referenced is Gene Kelly: The Legacy.)

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News, videos, and commentary devoted to the dancer, choreographer, director extraordinaire.

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  • Megan

    I’ve watched your video. And three things came to my mind:
    1. I wasn’t happy to see Debbie Reynolds who offends Gene Kelly wherever she can.
    2. What has Liza Minnelli done with her face?
    3. I’m looking forward to what Patricia Kelly has planned for Gene’s centenary.
    I hope it’s going to be something really special. And I wish some more Gene’s films were released on DVD – available worldwide.
    Luckily, Warner Bros Archive, which has just released “Living in a Big Way’ made it available in Europe, too (Region 0 – for all DVDs everywhere)

    • Marc

      I’ve always enjoyed Debbie Reynolds’ comments about her experience on singin’ in the rain. Far from being offensive she gives an honest and humorous account of, what was for her, a very trying experience. Not everybody found Gene to be the faultless demi-god, as hordes of his fans attempt to portray him; quite often the less sycophantic comments provide a more invaluable insight into his personality and work ethic.

  • Cindy Roberts

    Patricia Ward Kelly has nothing planned. She will only be reporting what others are doing. I think that Europe is leading the way, and the little town of Puckaun in Co. Tipperary, Ireland, where Gene stayed often—there is a plaque to Gene in the pub there which the locals toast each evening…….Gene would love that!—and they are going to have a Mass in his memory among other things. Grassroots!

    • Louise

      Grassroots is what Gene’s celebration should be all about and what he would have wanted. Patricia Ward Kelly is only about taking credit in some way for what others will do and for extending her time in the spotlight. […]

      As for Debbie Reynolds she has never said negative things about Gene Kelly, only praise and appreciation for what he taught her, crediting him with giving her the work ethic and lasting power in the business that she has had. The story she told was a harmless anecdote that was funny and did not in any way disgrace Gene’s memory. He was human and was not a demi-god of perfection. People of extraordinary talents and intelligence are most assuredly human and flawed like the rest of us.

    • Louise

      Oh, one other thing I failed to mention: In one interview at the TCM film festival, Ward Kelly is asked about the book she is writing and she answers it has been postponed yet again, even though this would be the appropriate time for it to be released. Again, this is proof she is extending her fifteen minutes for as long as is possible to keep her spotlight going and her opportunities to give her any kind of credible work continuing.

      • Cynthia Millen

        Gene belongs to the people […].

      • Carol

        Postponed may be a nice way of saying that she is having difficulty finding a publisher who will publish her story. […] Over the years there have been reports of at least three publishers. When Gene hired her in 1986 to help him, the publisher did not want her. She tells us not to believe what we read, yet after 25 years we do not have the publication that is suppose to be the truth.

        • Cindy Roberts

          You are telling it like it is, Carol. Gene was one of the warmest, most affectionate man I knew….with people who truly loved him.
          Betsy Blair’s book is spot on.

  • Michelle

    That’s cool! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Cindy

    Boy, I am glad to get back her. I about gagged on my coffee when I read the interview with PWK in which she continually spoke about “her” show at the Lincoln Center. Wow. Talk about using your connections. I am only glad that people are questioning her motives. All of her information consists of stuff you could find on any website or book. There is no imput from his kids (that should tell everyone something) or Gene’s secretary’s daily diaries from 1945-1990 (because PWK doesn’t have access to them…..again, that should tell you something).
    For Gene and his kids, who are still mourning the loss of his grandson (notice PWK never said anything about that?) earlier this year, we will celebrate him and love him the way he would want, and without her control. How I wish I could be at Kennedy’s Pub in Puckaun, Co. Tipperary on his birthday. He will be there in spirit!
    Just read the foreword of Betsy Blair’s book, and you have the facts.

    • Louise Preston

      Cindy, I was so upset to see no mention by that woman of the loss of Bridget’s son. She is a cold cruel individual to say the least. But you know? I don’t think Bridget and the family would have wanted her to say anything at all. And yes, I have seen the foreward to Betsy Blair’s book. I don’t know as much as maybe some of you do but I have seen that and watching her escapades is really all anyone needs. I was so disgusted by her references to “her shows” all over the place. It’s very sad but like the things Gene Kelly stands for, there is joy beyond her and what she is doing will fade so quickly into the sunset one day.

    • Brenda

      HI Cindy,

      Have been reading this blog with great interest, By-the-way I have heard about you through a mutual friend of ours and you seem an incredible lady!

      Anyway I have been reading with interest various interviews PWK has been giving and have also listened to a radio interview PWK did recently on a NY Radio Station, what interests me is whether it be radio or newspaper interviews there is no mention or no questions regarding Mr Kelly’s children how they are doing, is PWK and the family getting together to celebrate the Centenary of Mr Kelly’s birth? I do appreciate there are ‘issues’ between PWK and Mr Kelly’s family but would you be aware if Mr Kelly’s family are going to be doing anything in celebration. This whole situation to me is so sad particularly I feel for his children (to me it really should be his children leading the celebrations but that’s my own personal opinion) it would be great to hear from his two younger children I do realise that Mr Kelly’s youngest daughter is still probably in mourning for her son, but we never really hear from them its usually Mr Kelly’s eldest daughter. Just thought I would ask, I am just a humble fan from Ireland who thinks his contribution to film and dance was incredible.

      Kindest Regards

      Brenda

  • Cindy

    Gene’s kids are fiercely dedicated to their dad, and honor his memory in their own way. you have to remember a few well-known facts which have already been published about her:
    1. Pat had Gene’s body cremated before the children even saw it. There was nothing for them to say goodbye too; instead, they got to see all of the flowers that were sent to PWK.
    2. By the time Gene had his second stroke, Pat had gotten rid of Gene’s doctor, lawyer, all of his old friends and his secretary since 1945. The kids were not welcome to visit, thought they did come whenever they could, nor was his former secretary.
    During their marriage, the newspapers at the time in Beverly Hills were full of reports of her affair with a younger man and her having her own residence.
    Based upon news accounts from that city, she won’t allow the city of Pittsburgh to erect a statue in Gene’s honor. She won’t permit any activity unless it includes her or she is paid a fee for permission to use his image. You can draw your own conclusions, but those are the facts based upon newspaper reportings.

    Celebrate Gene in your own way, or, like the people of Puckaun, Co. Tipperary where he stayed and loved the people, have a Mass said for him, have a drink to him, and tell great stories about him. He loved children, good conversation (the Irish would say ‘craic’), singing together, hearty food (not vegetables, but meat and potatoes and lots of chocolate), great books, French wine, and poetry, especially Irish poetry. He gave great hugs, was very tender-hearted, and a great old Irishman who did not suffer fools. He now is an angel with a celestial smile. Celebrate him the way he would want to be celebrated: In your own home over a beer.
    PWK does not “own” Gene anymore than she owns the sky. He belongs to all of us.

  • Tish G

    How deeply sad and disturbing it is that women who met and married Mr Kelly in his declining years could become the mouthpiece and gatekeeper of his legacy. She was married to him about 5 years and supposedly “never knew who he was before she met him.” How ridiculous. How devastating to his children who have honored and loved their dad for fourty plus years more than Genes last wife. I don’t understand why Mr. Kelly did not tie these details up before he married his last wife. The heart break of losing a beloved father and then the additional grief of his legacy controlled by someone who barely knew him.

  • Cynthia Williams

    The things that PWK has done over the years have been so dispicable. Not only has she bullied her way through Gene’s last years of life, but as reported, changed everything he set up in his WILL for everyone he loved, but selfishly took it all for her self. What type of person does this? I think a cold-hearted, manipulive, woman. She saw a very ill Gene at her mercy to do the right thing & she totally did the most evil things she could to his loved ones & that includes faithful Lois. Imaging coming to work as you have done since 1945 & being greeted with Get-Out & don’t come back. I just wish Lois, his agent, lawyer & business manager would have challenged her, not legally, but by going to the press. Concerning the Statue in Pittsburgh, it will never be seen, she loves holding that over everyones head, and a book that she promised will never hit the book-stores. She has definitely managed to make this all about “HER”, she loves the spotlight & really wants to take Gene’s place if she could get away with it. The most horrible thing she has done lately has been ignoring Bridget’s Sons Death or offering to pay for the funeral. His children are not well-off (thanks to her) & needed any assistance would have helped. Everyone in the Old Hollywood knows about her & what she has done, & the new Hollywood could careless. She deserves the crowd she has been running with & God has a way of making things even out & I certainly would’t want to be her!!!

  • Stephen Heise

    These comments ring true in so many ways. I too, would love to read a new book about Gene from someone who, at least, knew him in his last years. PWK says she interviewed Gene every day from the time they met up until near his death. On the TCM interview, she states that the book was originally meant to be an autobiography told in 1st person, but after he died she felt it was disingenuous to go ahead in that point of view. You would think that after 10 years, there would have been enough to finish the book. Walter Isaccson wrote the Steve Jobs bio in two years.

    From 1996 until today, I think there was enough time to change the “I” to he or him and the other edits that would have been necessary to change it from an auto to a biography. There is an ISBN number for the book on an Amazon foreign website with a name, cover and page count. How can that be if there is no book? I could write a book on the history of the world in the 28 years that have gone by since the day they met at the Smithsonian until now.

    I personally think the book has been done for many years and is sitting on a shelf. If, as so many people have said, she thinks by publishing the book that some glitter will fade from her show or stature, she is mistaken. Just think of how many books can be sold at the shows and be autographed. She needs to get the book out. 2012 would have been perfect for the book with his 100th. The spike of interest in Gene from that point forward will diminish and level out. She missed a golden opportunity. Gene’s legacy will go on with or without PWK.

    I don’t want to pass judgement on her, but there are so many questions concerning his last years and what transpired with the kids, Lois and his legacy.

    Lois’s house was part of the Lois McClelland Trust administered by Timothy Kelly and was sold within the past few years and she is in an assisted living facility in LA. Thank god it was trust and Gene looked out for her in life and afterward. I would love to hear what Bridgette, Tim and Kerry think of all this. No one knows the outcome of Gene’s will. There may have been some kind of gag order on the kids if they were to get anything from his estate. We may never know.

    One day, the truth will come out and it will be somewhere in the middle of all that has been written.

    One final note: PWK has stated that virtually every book about Gene, including the “Authorized” biography by Hirchhorn, is flawed. Show me any biography and I’ll find flaws. In fact, the least trusted biography of anyone famous would be an autobiography. Memories fade, rose colored glasses are worn and people simply fill in gaps in the best possible light.

  • Cynthia Williams

    Question: Does anyone know what happened to the diaries that dear Lois kept over the years?

    Comment: Did anyone realize that the death of Sebastian was Bridgetts only child. Absolutely no comment about his death came PWK, isn’t that a confirmation of who this woman is & what her goal has been all along.

    • Stephen Heise

      Lois loaned her diaries to Alvin Yudkoff, who wrote a semi biographical novel about Gene with a great deal of imagination and errors. She later regretted this and most likely still has the diaries unless her children or Tim Kelly have them.

      He does administer the trust in her name. Wouldn’t it be great to talk with her about Gene.

    • Hi, Cynthia—the journals are located in the Gene Kelly Archives at the Boston University Library. 🙂