Friday, August 24, 2012

THE CHILDREN OF GENE KELLY

It is now one hundred years after Gene Kelly's birth and over 15 years after his death, but the public does not hear much about Gene Kelly's children - who they are and what they are doing now...


Gene Kelly had three children. His first was a daughter, Kerry (above), born in October of 1942 to Gene and his first wife, Betsy Blair. Although likely exaggerated (as fanzine interviews typically were/are), the Photoplay article “My Kids, The Kellys” (Feb. 1949) discusses young Kerry’s relationship with her father:

And with all of this Gene is great fun, too. He and Kerry sing together all the time. At five, Kerry knows the words of at least a dozen songs she’s learned from Gene. And sings them like Gene. And looks just like him, Gene’s eyes, his mouth, his mannerisms, and light as spindrift on her feet. I think Kerry is one of the luckiest little girls in the world.

At present, Kerry and her husband, Jack Novick, work as child psychologists in Michigan. Recognized for founding the Allen Creek Pre-School, a laboratory for integrating psychoanalytic insight with early childhood education, the couple has co-authored several books.


Gene’s second child and his first with Jeanne Coyne, is Timothy. He was born in March of 1962. Biographer Clive Hirschhorn documents how Gene apparently heard about the pregnancy:

While Gigot (1962) was being made in Paris, Jeannie became pregnant and informed Gene of the fact by sending him a birthday card which simply told him that she had his present inside her. (Hirschhorn)

Tim went to the University of Southern California’s Film School and, we think, still works in the film industry. In an interview for People magazine (1984), Tim opens up about his father, including their similar physical characteristics: “Our shirt, sleeve, neck, shoulder size, everything is the same. It’s amazing. I had the greatest black loafers of all time. Boy, I miss those loafers.” (The loafers, along with many of the family’s possessions were lost in a house fire.)


Gene’s third child is Bridget. She was born to Gene and Jeanne in 1964. Again, Gene recalls the occasion in Hirschhorn’s biography:

I was in the Cedars of Lebanon hospital waiting for Jeannie to give birth, when I received a phone call from a well-known newspaper columnist who congratulated me on becoming a father again and what, he wanted to know, did I have to say for myself? Well, I had no idea Jeannie had already delivered, and wondered how the hell the guy had heard before me! I knew it was impossible to keep a secret in Hollywood, but this, I thought, was ridiculous!

Bridget attended the American College in Paris and designs costumes for films. Some of her work may be seen The Truth About Cats and Dogs (1996), Airheads (1994), Dennis the Menace (1993), and The Mambo Kings (1992).

It seems like wonderful children were born to an equally wonderful father and entertainer...


SOURCE

7 comments:

  1. You have done a wonderful job of showcasing Gene this week. All your articles have been interesting and informational.

    Thanks,
    Patti

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  2. Just getting over here to see your tribute to Gene but this was really fun and a nice tribute. Such great photos!
    Page

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  3. My family and I were greatly appreciative of the reply from Mr Gene Kellys family with aquotation of poetry written by Gene when he was 15.This was sent to us here in Australia when we sent a sympathy card and note to Mr James Stewart who kindly passed it on to the correct address in 1994.Kelly was/is a great talent,greatly blessed.(W.W-Australia)

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  4. Cindy Warner
    My heart goes out to Bridget Kelly in the loss of her son Seamus (16) & the rest of Gene's family. Seamus died suddenly after a soccer game, such a great loss, hope the family finds comfort!

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  5. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Gene Kelly Family after the loss of Gene's grandson "Seamus" (16) & especially to Bridget. Seamus died suddenly after a soccer game & he is greatly missed. Bridget said, Seamus reminded her so much of Gene with his personality& joy for life!

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  6. My sincere sympathy to Bridget Kelly on the passing of young Seamus. Also to the rest of the Kelly siblings. This must be so devastating. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Your Dad Gene worked with my Uncle Joe ( J. Carrol Naish) in the film 'The Black Hand'.
    Love, and Peace,
    M.Naish

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