Hollywood legend Gene Kelly was proud of Irish passport, widow tells Dublin crowd


A screening of “Singin' in the Rain” with a live performance of the orchestral score is to be held on April 27th at the National Concert Hall in Dublin as part of RTE’s “Ireland at the Movies” initiative which celebrates the influence of Ireland on Hollywood and the big screen.

The screening of “Singin’ in the Rain” will be introduced by the wife of the late Gene Kelly, Patricia Ward Kelly. The RTE Concert Orchestra will also play the orchestral score to the 1952 classic American musical comedy, providing a live atmosphere to the showing.

Gene’s paternal grandfather was an Irish immigrant who came from Derry to New York in the 1840s. Patricia spoke warmly of Gene’s pride in his Irish heritage, telling RTE:

"He was very proud of being Irish and I think he felt a real identity with Ireland,” rte.ie reveals. At one point he said to me that he really felt his Irish roots were at the core of his being".

"I remember the day that the Irish passport arrived and the new certificate was in Gaelic and he was just tickled, he was like a little kid with it."

When asked about the success of her husband’s famous film, Patricia said that her husband and MGM did not intentionally make “Singin’ in the Ran” for posterity, saying:

"They never dreamed that we would be sitting here in Dublin 60 years later with this turnout crowd watching this movie.

"That would be astounding to him and I think he would extremely proud of that."

The 1952 musical film starred Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds and was choreographed by Gene Kelly. It is now classed as one of the best American films of all time.