Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Orry Kelly

I love to watch old classic movies. My favorite part is to see who happens to be the costume designer. Most likely you'll see the name Orry Kelly. He was famous for dressing cinema greats such as Bette Davis( Now Voyager) , Dolores Del Rio,( I Live for Love) and Marilyn Monroe ( Some like it Hot). Boy, this is ironic because all these movies I have listed are my favorite, what luck. I admire this designer immensely, someday I hope to have an Orry Kelly in my collection. My quest continues....

Orry Kelly with Kay Francis, looks like she's making a perfect choice.

Here's his bio according to Wikpedia-
Orry-Kelly was the professional name of Orry George Kelly (31 December 1897 – 27 February 1964), 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. He shared an apartment there with Charlie Spangles and Cary Grant. A job painting murals in a nightclub led to his employment by Fox East Coast studios illustrating titles. He designed costumes and sets for Broadway's Shubert Revues and George White's Scandals.
He went to Hollywood in 1932, working for all the major studios (Warner Brothers, Universal, RKO, 20th Century Fox, and MGM), and designed for all the great actresses of the day, including Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Katharine Hepburn, Dolores del Río, Ava Gardner, Ann Sheridan, Barbara Stanwyck, and Merle Oberon.
He worked on many films now deemed classics, including 42nd Street, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Arsenic and Old Lace, Harvey, Oklahoma!, Auntie Mame, and Some Like It Hot.
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).
He wrote a column 'Hollywood Fashion Parade' for the Internatioanl News Service, owned by William Randolph Hearst, during the war years.
A longtime alcoholic, he died of liver cancer in Hollywood and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills). His pallbearers included Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Billy Wilder and George Cukor and his eulogy was read by Jack Warner. His Oscars went to Jack Warner's wife Ann.

Jane" To Dress Vintage and Only Couture"

1 comment:

Laura Cook said...

Just watched "Now, Voyager", and was astounded at the costumes in this film. Having just watched the Golden Globes, I couldn't help noticing similarities in the costumes and the Globe gowns. Thanks for your info on Orry-Kelly.