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Was Gene Kelly's brother the better dancer?


Richard Kimble
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This is a great topic of discussion for me. In my younger days I took a college dance class taught by Fred Kelly.

 

Fred was the greatest guy. I can't imagine having to live in his brother's shadow.  As far as I have always heard Fred was, in fact, the better dancer.

 

Having seen Gene on TV and upon meeting Fred I could understand to some degree why Gene was a movie star and Fred was not. Fred, was as bald as Gene but in my opinion looked like a blue collar guy. One might assume he was there to hoist a curtain rather than break into a dance routine.

 

I heard a story Fred liked to tell about he and Gene trying to get work as dancers. Fred would nudge Gene and tell him to smile. Gene's face would light up in that way we have all became familiar. I guess it was hard to say no. I don't think it's a secret that Fred was the one who taught Gene to tap dance.

 

Fred also taught dance for many years at his studio in Oradell New Jersey. He was a member of the Lambs Club in New York. I remember reading something his son once said, Where everybody knew who Gene Kelly was everybody knew Fred!

 

It is said Fred preferred the stage rather than dance in the movies. But I've always wondered if that were true. There was already one star dancer in the family. Could Hollywood sustain two if they weren't an act like the Nicholas Brothers?

 

Let's face it, show biz is definitely not a meritocracy.

 

Yancey

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This is a great topic of discussion for me. In my younger days I took a college dance class taught by Fred Kelly.

 

Fred was the greatest guy. I can't imagine having to live in his brother's shadow. As far as I have always heard Fred was, in fact, the better dancer.

 

Having seen Gene on TV and upon meeting Fred I could understand to some degree why Gene was a movie star and Fred was not. Fred, was as bald as Gene but in my opinion looked like a blue collar guy. One might assume he was there to hoist a curtain rather than break into a dance routine.

 

I heard a story Fred liked to tell about he and Gene trying to get work as dancers. Fred would nudge Gene and tell him to smile. Gene's face would light up in that way we have all became familiar. I guess it was hard to say no. I don't think it's a secret that Fred was the one who taught Gene to tap dance.

 

Fred also taught dance for many years at his studio in Oradell New Jersey. He was a member of the Lambs Club in New York. I remember reading something his son once said, Where everybody knew who Gene Kelly was everybody knew Fred!

 

It is said Fred preferred the stage rather than dance in the movies. But I've always wondered if that were true. There was already one star dancer in the family. Could Hollywood sustain two if they weren't an act like the Nicholas Brothers?

 

Let's face it, show biz is definitely not a meritocracy.

 

Yancey

 

Fred Astaire started in show business with his older sister, Adele Astaire.

When the Astaires were on Broadway, Adele was always considered to be the star.

 

After Adele retired from Show Business to marry an English aristocrat, Fred went on to become a big Hollywood movie star.

 

When asked about that, Adele would just say--" I must have been holding him back." LOL

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