Stanley Donen

Film director and choreographer Stanley Donen

Stanley Donen; is an American film director and choreographer whose most celebrated works are Singin' in the Rain and On the Town, both of which he co-directed with actor and dancer Gene Kelly. His other noteworthy films include Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Funny Face, Indiscreet, Damn Yankees!, Charade, and Two for the Road. He received an Honorary Academy Award in 1998 for his body of work and a Career Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival in 2004.
Stanley Donen's personal information overview.
News about Stanley Donen from around the web
Sigmund Romberg biopic 'Deep in My Heart' is out on Blu-ray
LATimes - about 2 years
Stanley Donen ("Singin' in the Rain," "Funny Face") directed MGM's lavish 1954 biopic "Deep in My Heart" about composer Sigmund Romberg, which has just made its Blu-ray debut on Warner Archive. Oscar winner Jose Ferrer plays the composer of such operettas as "The Student Prince" and "The Desert...
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 LATimes article
<i>Singin' in the Rain</i> at SF Symphony
Huffington Post - about 4 years
It's one thing for an orchestra to accompany a silent film. It is something else all together for an orchestra to accompany a sound film, let alone a musical. The level of expectation, as well as the technical and performance challenges faced by musicians accompanying a movie whose original score has been stripped from its soundtrack, are considerable to say the least. That's the challenge the San Francisco Symphony will face on December 6 and 7, when the world renown orchestra accompanies the classic musical, Singin' in the Rain. The 1952 film, one of most beloved movies of all time, is widely considered the greatest musical ever made. In fact, the film has appeared in numerous top ten lists of the greatest films in history -- all genres aside. In 1989, Singin' in the Rain was among the first 25 films chosen for the then newly established National Film Registry, honoring motion pictures deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress. ...
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 Huffington Post article
The Sizzling Broadway <i>Betrayal</i> of Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz
Huffington Post - over 4 years
"There's nothing like the love of a good man!" said Julia Roberts over her shoulder to me after I'd commented on how young and beautiful the actress looks these days. This -- after she'd come all the way across the Barrymore Theater auditorium to give me a great hug before Mike Nichols' opening night of the celebrated Harold Pinter's "Betrayal." (Julia did indeed look spiffy in a sleek black dress and we had a brief chat about life, husband, children and everything except whatever she is doing next. She is a real star and one of my favorites.) • The VIP crowd included the de la Rentas, the Diller-von Furstenbergs, the Graydon Carters, Elaine May and Stanley Donen, Nick Pileggi, Candice and Marshall Rose, to name just a few. But in its own way, the night was understated. No red carpet, no mercy for the paparazzi -- everybody calm, cool and collected. Mr. Nichols I didn't see, but his bride, Diane Sawyer, was there cheering him on. • You probably already know how hard it will ...
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 Huffington Post article
Michael Giltz: DVDs: Woody, Spike and Wim Wenders Keep 'Em Coming
Huffington Post - about 5 years
The first DVD column of 2013 includes a number of releases by major directors who are easy to take for granted. But it's never easy to make a movie, much less one not geared toward the masses. Here's a rundown of new movies, documentaries, TV shows and classics getting a reissue, including one of my all-time favorite romantic dramas on BluRay. (Yes, John Wayne can act.) END OF WATCH ($34.98 BluRay combo; Universal) RED HOOK SUMMER ($29.97 BluRay; Image) TO ROME WITH LOVE ($35.99 BluRay; Sony) HANNAH AND HER SISTERS ($24.99 BluRay; MGM) SLEEPER ($24.99 BluRay; MGM) HARA-KIRI ($29.95 BluRay; NewVideo) 17 GIRLS ($27.99 DVD; Strand) BREATHING ($29.95 DVD; Kino Lorber) -- Jake Gyllenhaal has his best role in years in this violent cop drama that came and went without leaving much of an impression on anyone. It might just as easily have scored the Oscar glory of writer-director David Ayer's script for Training Day, but you're going to have to discover this...
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 Huffington Post article
DVD review: 'Singin' in the Rain'
San Francisco Chronicle - over 5 years
DVD review: 'Singin' in the Rain' Singin' in the Rain This beautifully restored 60th anniversary DVD/Blu-ray of the 1952 film is a wonderful parody of the birth of talkies that has great wit, an intelligent script, terrific music and dancing that can't be beat. The movie, directed by its star, Gene Kelly, and Stanley Donen, tells the story of Don Lockwood, a slightly full-of-himself silent movie heartthrob who must channel his career into talking pictures. Extras include an umbrella, a photo book, mini poster reproductions and a new documentary including talking heads from "Glee" and "High School Musical," plus Baz Luhrmann, Rob Marshall and Paula Abdul. ` - Leba Hertz
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 San Francisco Chronicle article
Lochte to Trademark 'Jeah'
ABC News - over 5 years
Swimmer Ryan Lochte didn’t just win gold at the London Olympics, he won worldwide fame as well. And that fame is about to pay off because Lochte applied on Aug. 1 to trademark his now signature catchphrase, ‘Jeah,’ according to documents from the U.S. Patent...
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 ABC News article
'Singin' In The Rain,' 'Lockout,' And More: This Week On Video
MTV News - over 5 years
Pick of the Week "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) Director: Stanley Donen Cast: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds Story: Hollywood, 1927: the silent-film romantic team of Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) is the toast of Tinseltown. While Lockwood and Lamont personify smoldering passions onscreen, in real life the down-to-earth Lockwood can't stand the egotistical, brainless Lina. He prefers the company of aspiring actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), whom he met while escaping his screaming fans. On the Disc: The 60th anniversary edition comes with all the special features included on earlier releases, plus a new documentary on how the choreography of the film changed dance forever. Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Metacritic: N/A Where to get it Amazon: Blu-ray - $13.86, Digital Download - $9.99, Digital Rental - $2.99 Apple: Digital Download - $9.99, Digital Rental - $2.99 (HD: $3.99) Netflix Instant: Not available "Lockout" (2012) Directo...
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 MTV News article
John Farr: The Ten Best Audrey Hepburn Movies by Farr
The Huffington Post - USA - almost 6 years
Just last Friday, iconic star Audrey Hepburn would have turned 83. We never got to see her in old age: she's been gone nearly twenty years now, struck down prematurely by cancer. For me and millions of other fans, she will remain eternally young and fresh. At a time when I despair of younger viewers watching classic films, I hear more and more of them reference Audrey Hepburn. A full sixty years after she came out of nowhere to win an Academy Award for her first major role, she still represents something important and aspirational to the young women of today. What is the source of her enduring appeal? Well -- may I use the word "class"? In the Kardashian age, it's striking to revisit an actress who not only dressed beautifully, but walked, talked, and acted like the aristocrat she was- importantly, without ever seeming snobbish, affected or full of herself. To employ another term one rarely hears anymore, she had impeccable poise. Humor, humility, ev...
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 The Huffington Post - USA article
Movie Icon of the Month: A Tribute to Stanley Donen
Film School Rejects - almost 6 years
From On the Town to Royal Wedding to Singin’ in the Rain, Stanley Donen revolutionized movie musicals by making them truly cinematic. Instead of being anchored to the theater stage, he tossed those anchors away and set his ambitious sights on filming a musical in the largest city in the country (impossible!), using camera work to aid the story (crazy!) and challenging old ideas. That, and the fact that he just turned 88 this month, make him our Movie Icon of April. Let’s celebrate his work together. Download Episode #131 On This Week’s Show: Ready For Love [Beginning - 15:00]: A tribute to the great Stanley Donen featuring clips from his work and from interviews. Please go rate us on iTunes. It means a lot to us. On Last Week’s Show: Darren Bousman Battles Depression with a Carnival On Next Week’s Show: All you need to know about The Avengers. Kaboom. Get In Touch With Us: Call Reject Radio: (512) 212-1301 Email Reject Radio: ...
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 Film School Rejects article
TCM Classic Film Fest: Stanley Donen on Hepburn, censors and more
LATimes - almost 6 years
When director/producer Stanley Donen took home an honorary Oscar in 1998, “in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation,” he turned on the charm at the Academy Awards, hoofing it up and singing “Cheek to Cheek.” A former Broadway chorus dancer, he made his mark on Hollywood co-directing and choreographing musical classics with Gene Kelly — 1949’s “On the Town,” 1952’s “Singin’ in the Rain,” and 1955’s “It’s Always Fair Weather.” Beginning with 1951’s “Royal Wedding” — best known as the film in which Fred Astaire dances on the ceiling — Donen also had great success as a solo director. He went on to helm 1954’s “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” with Jane Powell and Howard Keel; in 1957 he came out with both “Funny Face” with Astaire and Audrey Hepburn and “The Pajama Game,” starring Doris Day. In 1958 came the romantic comedy “Indiscreet,” with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, and later the 1963 romantic thriller “Charade” (with Hepburn and Gra...
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 LATimes article
Penelope Andrew: TCM Fest 2012:Liza Minnelli, Kim Novak, Robert Wagner, Debbie Reynolds Walk Red Carpet
Popeater - almost 6 years
The Fountainhead with Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper Photo: Courtesy of TCM Liza Minnelli, Kim Novak, Robert Wagner, Tippi Hedren and Debbie Reynolds in person. Black Narcissus, Vertigo, Cabaret, and The Fountainhead projected on gigantic screens at Grauman's Chinese and Egyptian Theatres. Could any classic film fan wish for more? You could. And, at this year's annual TCM Classic Film Festival, which takes place from April 12th through the 15th, you'd get more: Kirk Douglas, Stanley Donen, Angie Dickenson, Norman Lloyd, Rhonda Fleming, and Norman Jewison appearing at special events and screenings of Two for the Road, Chinatown, Casablanca, The Longest Day, and The Thomas Crown Affair. But before going on about this year's festival, a look back is essential. Chinatown's Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson Photo: Courtesy of TCM TCM 2010 &amp; 2011 TCM's 2010 festival featured an opening night restoration of George Cukor's A Star Is Born (1954) starring Judy Garlan...
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 Popeater article
DVD review: ‘Charade’ Universal 100th Anniversary Edition Blogs - almost 6 years
Some call it “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made.” Certainly, “Charade” has almost all the elements the Master of Suspense ever incorporated in his films, including mystery, romance, baffling plot twists, characters who aren’t who they seem to be, action, sudden jolts, gallows humor and, of course, suspense, all set against an exotic locale. The 1963 thriller even has animated opening credits that strongly resemble the titles Saul Bass designed for “Psycho,” and a musical score that underlines the moments of tension and deadly peril with pulse-quickening effectiveness. And, hey, there’s even Cary Grant, veteran of four of Hitchcock’s best, in the lead role. But that’s Maurice Binder’s (the early James Bond films) handiwork on the credits, and instead of Bernard Herrmann supplying the musical moodiness, we have the jazzier, more rhythmic and (at the time) more contemporary touches of Henry Mancini on the soundtrack. And that’s Stanley Donen in the director’s chair...
Article Link: Blogs article
The ten films that changed the world - (blog)
Google News - over 6 years
I&#39;ve swapped jokes with Stanley Donen, who made Singin&#39; in the Rain, and went to a tiny village in West Bengal in India, where one of the greatest Indian films, Pather Panchali, was made. I&#39;ve climbed to the Hollywood sign at dusk, wearing my kilt,
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 Google News article
Telluride 2011: Lineup Includes Descendants, Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Method ... - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 6 years
Mark Cousins&#39; doc The Story of Film: An Odyssey includes interviews with Wim Wenders, Stanley Donen, Robert Towne, Claire Denis and Amitabh Bachchan. This year&#39;s guest director, composer/musician Caetano Veloso, has chosen a program of films including
Article Link:
 Google News article
Film Series in Washington Square Park to Feature New York Musicals - New York Times (blog)
Google News - over 6 years
8 with a screening of the Gene Kelly/Stanley Donen classic “On the Town.” The film follows the adventures of three sailors on a 24-hour pass through the sights and sounds of the city and generously utilizes city landmarks. On Sept
Article Link:
 Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Stanley Donen
  • 2014
    Age 89
    In celebration of Donen's 90th birthday in 2014, a retrospective of his work titled "A Lotta Talent and a Little Luck: A Celebration of Stanley Donen" was held from July to August in Columbia, South Carolina.
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  • 2013
    Age 88
    In December 2013 it was announced that Donen was in pre-production for a new film co-written with Elaine May, to be produced by Mike Nichols.
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  • 2010
    Age 85
    He was the subject of the 2010 documentary Stanley Donen: You Just Do It.
  • 1992
    Age 67
    In 1992 Donen said "I'm grateful to him, but I paid back the debt, ten times over.
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  • 1991
    Age 66
    In later years Donen would state that he had nothing nice to say about Kelly. At a 1991 tribute to Comden and Green, Kelly said in a public speech that Donen "needed him to grow up with" but added "I needed Stanley at the back of the camera."
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  • 1989
    Age 64
    His mother, Helen, died in 1989 at 84 in South Carolina, and Donen delivered the eulogy at her funeral.
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    Singin' in the Rain is Donen's most revered film and it was included in the first group of films to be inducted into the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress in 1989 and has been included on Sight and Sound's prestigious list of "Top Ten Films" twice, in 1982 and in 2002.
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    In 1989 Donen was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina.
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  • 1986
    Age 61
    Also in 1986 Donen directed a musical sequence for an episode of the popular TV series Moonlighting and directed the music video for Lionel Richie's song "Dancing on the Ceiling".
    In 1986 Donen produced the televised ceremony of the 58th Academy Awards, which included a musical performance of the song "Once a Star, Always a Star" with June Allyson, Leslie Caron, Marge Champion, Cyd Charisse, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller, Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, and Esther Williams.
  • 1984
    Age 59
    Donen's last theatrical film was the May – December romance Blame It on Rio in 1984.
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  • 1980
    Age 55
    In 1980 Donen made the science fiction film Saturn 3, starring Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett and Harvey Keitel.
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  • 1970
    Age 45
    After Donen's marriage to Adelle Beatty ended, he moved back to Hollywood in 1970.
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  • 1969
    Age 44
    Kelly's 1969 film Hello Dolly! is credited with effectively killing the Hollywood musical. Donen married and divorced five times and had three children. His first wife was dancer, choreographer and actress Jeanne Coyne. They married on April 14, 1948 and divorced in May 1951.
    In 1969 Donen directed Staircase, an adaptation of the autobiographical stage play by Charles Dyer with music by Moore.
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  • 1967
    Age 42
    While living in England Donen became a fan of the British variety show Beyond the Fringe and wanted to work with the show's comedy duo Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. The resulting film was Bedazzled, an updated version of the Faust legend in 1967.
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    In 1967 Donen made Two for the Road, starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney with supporting roles by Eleanor Bron, William Daniels, and Jacqueline Bisset early in her career.
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  • 1966
    Age 41
    In 1966 Donen made another Hitchcock-inspired film: Arabesque, starring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren.
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  • 1963
    Age 38
    The film was released in December 1963, only two weeks after the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, and the word "assassinate" had to be redubbed twice.
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    In 1963 Donen made one of his most praised films: Charade, starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy and Ned Glass.
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  • 1960
    Age 35
    They married in 1960, had one son (Mark Donen, born 1962), and lived together in London. They separated in 1969 before divorcing in 1971. Donen's fourth wife was American actress Yvette Mimieux. They were married from 1972 until 1985, but remained close friends after their divorce. Donen's fifth wife was Pamela Braden, thirty-six years his junior. Donen proposed to her four days after having met her. They were married from 1990 until 1994.
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    Grandon Productions produced Donen's next film: The Grass Is Greener, released through Universal Pictures in 1960.
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    Donen quickly re-teamed with Brynner and Kurnitz for the film Surprise Package, also released in 1960.
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    His first film under this contract was Once More, with Feeling! in 1960.
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  • 1959
    Age 34
    In 1959, Donen's father, Mordecai, died at 59 in Beaufort, South Carolina.
  • 1958
    Age 33
    Donen briefly returned to the musical genre in 1958 with Damn Yankees!, based on George Abbott's Broadway hit.
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    Donen and Grant inaugurated their company in 1958 with Indiscreet, based on a play by Norman Krasna and starring Grant and Ingrid Bergman.
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  • 1957
    Age 32
    Kelly's marriage to Blair ended in 1957, after which he moved in with Coyne. They married in 1960 and had two children together.
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    After three films in 1957 Donen became an independent producer and director.
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    While in pre-production on Funny Face, Donen received a letter from his old boss George Abbott inviting him to make a film version of his stage hit The Pajama Game at Warner Brothers. As part of the deal to secure the Warner-owned Gershwin music he wanted for Funny Face, Donen accepted the offer and he and Abbott co-directed the film version in 1957.
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  • 1955
    Age 30
    His last project for MGM was completing the final four days of shooting on Kismet in July 1955 for director Vincent Minnelli, who had other commitments.
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    In 1955 Donen teamed up with Kelly for their third and final directorial collaboration.
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    Donen's relationship with Kelly deteriorated in 1955 during their final collaboration on It's Always Fair Weather.
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  • 1954
    Age 29
    Later in 1954 Donen made Deep in My Heart, a biography of the Hungarian-born American operetta composer Sigmund Romberg starring José Ferrer.
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  • 1953
    Age 28
    In 1953 Donen made the musical Give a Girl a Break.
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  • 1952
    Age 27
    Donen and Marshall were married from 1952 until 1959.
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    Now established as a successful film director, Donen continued his solo career at MGM with Fearless Fagan in 1952.
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    Kelly's An American in Paris had been a surprise Best Picture winner at the Oscars in March 1952, and MGM decided to re-release it.
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    In 1952 Kelly was at the height of his fame after the release of An American in Paris.
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  • 1951
    Age 26
    Later in 1951 Donen made Love Is Better Than Ever.
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  • 1949
    Age 24
    After the success of Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Freed gave Donen and Kelly the chance to direct On the Town, released in 1949.
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  • 1948
    Age 23
    She and Donen eloped in 1948, but their marriage became strained. They separated in 1950 and divorced in 1951.
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  • 1947
    Age 22
    Royal Wedding starred Astaire and Jane Powell as a brother-sister American dancing team performing in England during the occasion of the royal wedding of Elizabeth and Philip in 1947.
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  • 1944
    Age 19
    Donen's next film was Kiss Them for Me. He was personally asked by Cary Grant to direct and began developing it while still under contract at MGM. With a plot that strongly resembles On the Town, the film features Grant, Ray Walston and Larry Blyden as three navy officers on leave in San Francisco in 1944.
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    While Kelly completed his service in the U.S. Naval Air Service as a photographer from 1944 to 1946, Donen worked uncredited as a choreographer on musical films.
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    In 1944 Donen and Kelly choreographed the musical Anchors Aweigh, released by MGM in 1945 and starring Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
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    Donen accepted and choreographed three dance sequences with Kelly in 1944's Cover Girl.
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  • 1942
    Age 17
    Eventually Donen was fired from Best Foot Forward, but in 1942 was the stage manager and assistant choreographer for Abbott's next show Beat the Band.
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  • 1940
    Age 15
    Encouraged by his mother, he moved to New York City to pursue dancing on stage in the fall of 1940.
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  • 1937
    Age 12
    Stanley Donen was born in Columbia, South Carolina to Mordecai Moses Donen, a dress-shop manager, and Helen (Cohen), the daughter of a jewelry salesman. His younger sister Carla Donen Davis was born in August 1937.
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  • 1924
    Born in 1924.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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