August 23, 1912 ~ February 2, 1996 Gene Kelly
I love Gene Kelly. In my mind when I was younger, I always thought I had to choose between Gene and Fred Astaire, and then I realized I could have them both. Gene, not only as a dancer and a choreographer, but as a director just keeps astonishing me in his ability.
I recently watched A Guide for the Married Man, which Gene Kelly directed, and for which he gained acclaim. Offering up a film based on the sole premise that there was a sure fire way for a man to cheat on his wife without getting caught was already a risk. But to play out the failed scenarios with stars like Jayne Mansfield, and Lucille Ball was pure genius.
Of course the plot twist at the end makes the film all worthwhile, but to see Gene Kelly morph through his musicals, through What a way to Go, and emerge as a respected director, is priceless. Happy Birthday!