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Stanley Donen Overview:

Legendary director, Stanley Donen, was born on Apr 13, 1924 in Columbia, SC. His best known films include Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Jane Powell, Howard Keel), It's Always Fair Weather (Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse), Funny Face (Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn), and The Pajama Game (Doris Day, John Raitt), Royal Wedding (Fred Astaire, Jane Powell), Indiscreet (Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman), Charade (Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn), and Arabesque (Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren). Donen died at the age of 94 on Feb 21, 2019 in New York, New York from heart failure .


Stanley Donen began his career as a dancer on Broadway at the age of 16, but already had ambitions to become a choreographer. Joining MGM in 1943, he moved from assistant choreographer to choreographer the following year, working with Gene Kelly for the first time in films in Cover Girl in 1944 (although they had appeared together on stage in Pal Joey and Best Foot Forward).

Five years later, Donen and Kelly co-directed a film together for the first time (On the Town), and it was clear that exhilaration was the keystone of Donen's credo. The musical numbers in On the Town were brought to sustained musical perfection, and the performances are overwhelmingly winning, especially from Kelly, Ann Miller and Vera-Ellen.

For the next ten years, Donen was king of Hollywood musicals. The brightest and best of them are Singin' in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, It's Always Fair Weather, Funny Face, and The Pajama Game. These films contain some of the most brilliantly staged musical numbers of all time.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Directors).



Donen was never nominated for an Academy Award. However he won one Honorary Award in 1997 in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation .

BlogHub Articles:

Fashion vs. Empathicalism: Audrey Hepburn in ‘Funny Face’ (, 1957)

By Virginie Pronovost on May 4, 2019 From The Wonderful World of Cinema

My article on Funny Face written for the Salute to Audrey Hepburn Blogathon! Published on my blog Three Enchanting Ladies Three Enchanting Ladies The following statement is a fact: Audrey Hepburn was one of the most iconic, lovely and stylish actresses to have ever graced the screen. It?s not surpr... Read full article

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Nov 26, 2015 From The Stop Button

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a lot of fun. The songs are always pretty good, with some standouts and the dance numbers are fantastic (ditto the choreographed fight sequences–director Donen and cinematographer George J. Folsey shoot it all beautifully), and the cast is likable. But there&... Read full article

The Best Films of

By 4 Star Film Fan on Mar 18, 2015 From 4 Star Films

1. Singin’ in the Rain 2. Charade 3. On the Town 4. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 5. Two for the Road 6. Funny Face 7. Royal Wedding 8. Indiscreet 9. Bedazzled 10. It’s Always Fair Weather... Read full article

The Best Films of

By 4 Star Film Fan on Mar 18, 2015 From 4 Star Films

“I think of myself as a meat-and-potatoes kind of director.” Well-known Collaborations: Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire in musicals... Read full article

Mini Tribute: Director

By Annmarie Gatti on Apr 13, 2013 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

? Born April 13, 1924 Director and Choreographer ! Short and sweet, three of my favorite dance scenes, in no particular order: “I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain” – Gene Kelly, Singin’ in the Rain (1952, director )... Read full article

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Stanley Donen Quotes:

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Daring Darleen Candlewick
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Honorary Award Oscar 1997

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Stanley Donen Facts
Profiled in "American Classic Screen Interviews" (Scarecrow Press). [2010]

His classic film, Singin' in the Rain (1952), was adapted for a musical in the West End and was awarded Outstanding Musical Production in 2001 (2000 season) at the Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards.

His first wife Jeanne Coyne later married Gene Kelly; his second wife Marion Marshall was a former girlfriend of the director Howard Hawks and later married the actor Robert Wagner; his third wife Adelle, Countess Beatty was the second wife of the 2nd Earl Beatty and his fourth wife Yvette Mimieux was a successful actress.

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