Donen, Stanley

Donen, Stanley, 1924–2019, American film director, choreographer, and producer, b. Columbia, S.C. He is best known for directing some of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's finest musicals. In 1940 Donen danced in Pal Joey on Broadway and met Gene Kelly, the play's star. Moving (1942) to Hollywood, he was an assistant choreographer on several films, e.g., Cover Girl (1944). With Kelly, he codirected On the Town (1949), a musical about three sailors on leave in New York City, and they also teamed on the iconic Singin' in the Rain (1952), noted for Kelly's exuberant dance in the rain. Donen was solo director of Royal Wedding (1951), in which Fred Astaire danced on a room's floor, walls, and ceiling; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954); Funny Face (1957), with Astaire and Audrey Hepburn; and other musicals. Moving to England in 1958, he directed the romantic comedies Indiscreet (1958), with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, and Two for the Road (1967), with Hepburn, and the comic thrillers Charade (1963), with Grant and Hepburn, and Arabesque (1966). In 1998 he received a lifetime achievement Academy Award.

See S. M. Silverman, Dancing on the Ceiling (1996).

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