Stanley Donen

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Stanley Donen (born April 13, 1924) is an American film director and choreographer hailed by David Quinlan as "the king of the Hollywood musicals". His most famous work is Singin' In The Rain, which he co-directed with Gene Kelly.

Born in Columbia, South Carolina, he attended the University of South Carolina. He went to New York City as a teenager and at age sixteen was a dancer in the original production of Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey, which starred Kelly. Donen went to Metro Goldwyn Mayer in 1943 as a choreographer and appeared with Kelly in Cover Girl in 1944. His first chance to direct was an adaptation of the Comden and Green musical about sailors on leave in New York City, On the Town (1949). This was the first movie musical to be filmed on location.

Donen co-directed Singin' In The Rain (1952) and by himself directed such classics as Royal Wedding (1951), where Donen let Fred Astaire dance on the ceiling; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) the musical with Jane Powell and Howard Keel; Funny Face (1957) the musical romantic comedy with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn; the Pajama Game (1957) with Doris Day and Rock Hudson; Indiscreet (1958) the romance with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman; Damn Yankees (1958) a musical comedy with Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon, and Ray Walston; the comedic thriller Charade (1963) with Hepburn, Grant, and Walter Matthau; Bedazzled (1967) a satirical updating of the Faust legend starring and written by British comedians Peter Cook and Dudley Moore; and Two for the Road (1967) a drama with Hepburn and Albert Finney. His last film was the May-December romance Blame It On Rio (1984) with Michael Caine and Demi Moore.

Donen was nominated for five Directors Guild of America Awards, but never nominated for a single Oscar. (He did produce the 58th Academy Awards ceremony in 1986.) In 1998, Donen was granted an honorary Academy Award "in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation." In his acceptance speech, he danced with his Oscar statue while singing Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" and declared one of the secrets to being a great director is "You show up--and stay the hell out of the way. But you gotta show up or else you can't take the credit and win one of these guys."

He was married five times. 1) Jeanne Coyne (1948-1949) 2) Marion Marshall (1952-1959, two children) 3) Adelle, the Countess Beatty (1960-) 4)Yvette Mimieux, whom he married in 1972 and 5) in 1990.

External link

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