Fall 2011

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SNAPSHOT BY VALERIE YAROS Then–SAG 1st Vice President Gene Kelly shares a laugh with Pat Somerset, one of the Guild's assistant executive secretaries, in 1947 Winter 1988/89 cover in honor of Kelly's SAG Life Achievement Award. GENE KELLY, MAN OF MANY TALENTS France's Legion "Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, dance on air." But when the photo above was taken in 1947, Gene Kelly was a I 35-year-old Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie star, a Screen Actors Guild 1st vice president and a recently discharged veteran of the U.S. Navy, in which he spent two years aſter being draſted in World War II. Off the screen for three years, he was finally back in pictures, starting with Living in a Big Way with Marie McDonald, followed by The Pirate, opposite Judy Garland. He was scheduled for Easter Parade until he injured his ankle practicing dance moves at home in October, and Fred Astaire replaced him. Later that month, still nursing the injured ankle, Kelly flew to Washington, D.C. with a group of fellow actors to observe the anticommunist hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, whose methods he opposed. Actor, dancer, director, choreographer, producer. Awards and honors were lavished upon Gene Kelly, including an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; 80 SCREEN ACTOR - Fall 2011 n 1979, Gene Kelly guest-starred with our 48th Life Achievement Award recipient, Mary Tyler Moore, on her show The Mary Tyler Moore Hour. Eleven years later, Madonna included him in her hit single Vogue, singing d'Honneur; an honorary doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, where he graduated in 1933; a hand-and-footprint ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre; an Emmy®; and a 1969 citation in the Congressional Record. The 1980s brought Kelly more awards: the Kennedy Center Honors, the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award and, in 1988, Screen Actors Guild honored its former board member/officer with its Life Achievement Award, presented by Guild President Barry Gordon. Gordon praised Kelly's services to multiple organizations, such as the Motion Picture Relief Fund, the Hollywood Canteen, the President's Citizens Food Committee, the Jules Stein Eye Institute and his chairmanship of Adventures in Movement for the Handicapped. Gene Kelly passed away in 1996, but his talent, charisma and charm are captured forever in his motion pictures, available on DVD and cable, including For Me and My Gal, Cover Girl, Anchors Aweigh, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, On the Town, An American in Paris and his most celebrated, with Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor and Jean Hagen, Singin' in the Rain.

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