Donen, Stanley

Donen, Stanley,

1924–2019, American film director, choreographer, and producer, b. Columbia, S.C. He is best known for directing some of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's finest musicals. In 1940 Donen danced in Pal Joey on Broadway and met Gene KellyKelly, Gene,
1912–96, American dancer, choreographer, movie actor, and director, b. Pittsburgh as Eugene Curran Kelly. Kelly started dancing on Broadway in 1938 and first gained fame in the title role of the Broadway musical Pal Joey (1940).
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, the play's star. Moving (1942) to Hollywood, he was an assistant choreographer on several films, e.g., Cover Girl (1944). With Kelly, he codirected On the Town (1949), a musical about three sailors on leave in New York City, and they also teamed on the iconic Singin' in the Rain (1952), noted for Kelly's exuberant dance in the rain. Donen was solo director of Royal Wedding (1951), in which Fred AstaireAstaire, Fred
, 1899–1987, American dancer, actor, and singer, b. Omaha, Nebr., as Frederick Austerlitz. After 1911 he and his sister Adele (1896–1981), b. Adele Marie Austerlitz, formed a successful Broadway vaudeville team.
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 danced on a room's floor, walls, and ceiling; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954); Funny Face (1957), with Astaire and Audrey HepburnHepburn, Audrey,
1929–93, British film actress, b. Brussels as Audrey Kathleen Ruston. The daughter of an English banker and a Dutch baroness, she and her mother lived in the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation.
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; and other musicals. Moving to England in 1958, he directed the romantic comedies Indiscreet (1958), with Cary GrantGrant, Cary,
1904–86, British movie actor, b. Bristol as Archibald Alexander Leach. He began on stage in 1923 and made his first film in 1932. An almost immediate hit, Grant was a leading star until his retirement in 1966, embodying debonair British charm and elegance in a
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 and Ingrid BergmanBergman, Ingrid
, 1915–82, Swedish actress, b. Stockholm. Specializing in portrayals of strong, dignified, and sophisticated women, Bergman was acclaimed for her performance in Joan of Lorraine (1946) both on stage and on screen (1949).
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, and Two for the Road (1967), with Hepburn, and the comic thrillers Charade (1963), with Grant and Hepburn, and Arabesque (1966). In 1998 he received a lifetime achievement Academy Award.

Bibliography

See S. M. Silverman, Dancing on the Ceiling (1996).