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Patsy Kelly

Patsy Kelly

Frank Fay, her boss at one point, developed a crush on her, but she rejected him. Later, when she called him "Frank" instead of Mr. Fay, he fired her.

Appeared on stage in "Earl Carroll's Vanities", alongside Jack Benny and Jimmy Savo, and in "Wonder Bar", with Al Jolson.

Her brother gave her the nickname "Patsy."

In 1933, she and Jimmy Forlenza were passengers in an automobile driven by actor / female impersonator Jean Malin. Malin accidentally backed the car off the Venice Pier and drowned. Kelly and Forlenza (a close friend of Malin) survived.

Patsy was unusual for her time by admitting publicly that she was a lesbian. Many movie historians believe her frankness about her lifestyle hurt her acting career which all but ended in movies by 1944, until television revived it.



Profiled in book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen M. Silverman. [1999]

She co-starred with Thelma Todd in a series of 2 reel comedies in 1931-35.

She was known for her ability to ad-lib on screen, a skill she developed in vaudeville.

Wanted to be a fireman, but was trained as a dancer instead. By the age of thirteen, she was good enough to get paid to teach tap dancing at school.

Won Broadway's 1971 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Musical) for "No, No, Nannette. She was again nominated in the same category in 1973 for "Irene."


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