In early 1951, after the completion of "An American in Paris", Gene Kelly spent a well-deserved and much-needed vacation in Europe. In the following letter addressed to members of his fan club, Kelly tells them that it was the first real vacation he had in two years and talks about how much he enjoyed Paris, London and skiing in Switzerland (where he was joined by his wife, actress Betsy Blair). Kelly furthermore talks about the preparations for his next project "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) and how he hoped the film would be well received. (Little did he know then...)
|Gene Kelly and his first wife Betsy Blair to whom he was married from 1941 to 1957.|
Source: gene kelly fans
March 22, 1951
Dear Club Members:
I'm sorry if this letter has delayed the printing of this current issue of the Journal but I can't say it wasn't worth it.
My trip to Europe was very successful because I had a nice rest and a change of environment which I sorely needed after working so hard on AMERICAN IN PARIS. It was my first real vacation in two years, all my other trips having been business or semi-business with just a few days off in between. I went to Paris for several days and saw some old friends, and then jumped over to London to see the theatre there. There were many fine plays and it was an extremely worthwhile part of my trip. By this time Betsy had finished her play, RICHARD II, playing the Queen opposite Maurice Evans, and her movie, KING LADY, with Ethel Barrymore and she was ready to join me for the "vacation" part of my trip. Hopping a plane, she met me in Switzerland in a little village called Klosters, and for a month we did nothing but ski around the Alps and got our fill of snow, which is a rarity in Beverly Hills. We met many interesting people and found to our surprise that the Swiss are even bigger movie fans than the French and English. Their favorite picture seems to be THE THREE MUSKETEERS, although as in England, ON THE TOWN went over wonderfully well.
Well, here I am home again and back at work preparing SINGING IN THE RAIN which I am going to co-direct with Stanley Donen as we did on ON THE TOWN. We both hope it will be as well received. We have some great old songs in it and a very funny idea for a premise- but I'm not going to tell you too much about it or maybe you won't even go to see it. Little Debbie Reynolds will be my leading lady and I'm sure you're all going to love her. She's so sweet and nice, a real breath of fresh air on that old movie screen.
And so, until the next Journal I shall be digging away at new dance routines, new jokes, new recordings, and I hope, a new hit.
I want to thank and congratulate all you hard workers and contributors to the last Journal. It was excellent. Dolores Witt did a wonderful cover!
Good luck and
|Gene Kelly and that "real breath of fresh air" Debbie Reynolds on the set of "Singin' in the Rain".|