Orry-Kelly Orry-Kelly
Australian costume designer
Orry-Kelly Orry-Kelly
Orry-Kelly was the professional name of Orry George Kelly, a prolific Hollywood costume designer. He was born in Kiama, New South Wales in Australia, and was known as Jack Kelly. His father William Kelly, was born on the Isle of Man and was a gentleman tailor in Kiama. Orry was a name of an ancient King of Man. He studied art in Sydney, and worked as a tailor's apprentice and window dresser. He journeyed to New York to pursue an acting career.
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  • 1964
    Age 66
    Died on February 27, 1964.
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  • 1932
    Age 34
    After moving to Hollywood in 1932, Orry-Kelly was hired by Warner Bros. as their chief costume designer and he remained there until 1944.
    More Details Hide Details Later, his designs were also seen in films at Universal, RKO, 20th Century Fox, and MGM studios. He won three Academy Awards for Best Costume Design (for An American in Paris, Cole Porter's Les Girls, and Some Like It Hot) and was nominated for a fourth (for Gypsy). Orry-Kelly worked on many films now considered classics, including 42nd Street, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Arsenic and Old Lace, Harvey, Oklahoma! Auntie Mame, and Some Like It Hot. He designed for all the great actresses of the day, including Bette Davis, Kay Francis, Olivia de Havilland, Katharine Hepburn, Dolores del Río, Ava Gardner, Ann Sheridan, Barbara Stanwyck, and Merle Oberon. Orry-Kelly was known for his ability to "design for distraction" to compensate for difficult figure shapes. He also had the job of creating clothes for the cross-dressing characters played by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot. His skill is shown by the fact that while Some Like It Hot was in production, Cutris and Lemmon would go into the ladies' room after eating lunch without being spotted as men. He wrote that when he finished draping Dolores del Río in white jersey, "she became a Greek goddess... she was incredibly beautiful". The elegant clothes he designed for Bergman's character in Casablanca have been described as "pitch perfect".
  • 1897
    Born on December 31, 1897.
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