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UPK Gene Kelly Book Dances its Way to Good New York Times Review

photo of detail of cover of "He's Got Rhythm: The Life and Career of Gene Kelly" by Cynthia and Sara Brideson
photo of cover of "He’s Got Rhythm: The Life and Career of Gene Kelly" by Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2017) "He’s Got Rhythm: The Life and Career of Gene Kelly," by Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson, and published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK), is already receiving praise by critics.

Author and critic Jeannie Basinger’s review of the biography for The New York Times, titled “The Ideal Timing of Gene Kelly,” was published June 2. The review not only provides a summary of the book, but praises the Brideson sisters on their delivery of the beloved dancer’s story. Basinger describes the book as “the first substantial biography of Kelly since his death in 1996.”

Gene Kelly sang and danced in the rain, proclaimed New York to be a wonderful town, and convinced a group of Parisian children that they had rhythm. One of the most influential and respected entertainers of Hollywood’s golden age, Kelly revolutionized film musicals with his innovative and timeless choreography. A would-be baseball player and one-time law student, Kelly captured the nation’s imagination in films such as “Anchors Aweigh” (1945), “On the Town” (1949), “An American in Paris” (1951) and “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952).

In the first comprehensive biography written since the legendary star’s death, authors Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson disclose new details of Kelly’s complex life. Not only do they examine his contributions to the world of entertainment, but they also consider his political activities — including his opposition to the Hollywood blacklist. The authors even confront Kelly’s darker side and explore his notorious competitive streak, his tendency to be a taskmaster on set, and his multiple marriages.

Drawing on previously untapped articles and interviews with Kelly’s wives, friends and colleagues, the authors illuminate new and unexpected aspects of the actor’s life and work. “He’s Got Rhythm” is a balanced and compelling view of one of the screen’s most enduring legends.

Cynthia and Sara Brideson (1990–2017) are the co-authors of “Ziegfeld and His Follies: A Biography of Broadway’s Greatest Producer” and “Also Starring …: Forty Biographical Essays on the Greatest Character Actors of Hollywood’s Golden Era 1930-1965.”

UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that includes all the state universities, five private colleges, and two historical societies. The press’ editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at University of Kentucky, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation through the UK Libraries.

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