Orry-Kelly bigraphy, stories - Design

Orry-Kelly : biography

31 December 1897 - 27 February 1964

[[Dolores Del Rio wears an Orry-Kelly gown, I Live for Love (1935)]] 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, 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, Kay Francis, 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 International 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 Academy Awards went to Jack Warner's wife, Ann.

Costume design credits

  • Sunday in New York (1963)
  • Irma la Douce (1963)
  • In the Cool of the Day (1963)
  • Two for the Seesaw (1962)
  • Gypsy (1962)
  • The Chapman Report (1962)
  • Five Finger Exercise (1962)
  • Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)
  • A Majority of One (1961)
  • Some Like It Hot (1959)
  • The Hanging Tree (1959)
  • Auntie Mame (1958)
  • Wonderful Town (1958 television film)
  • Too Much, Too Soon (1958)
  • Cole Porter's Les Girls (1957, by George Cukor)
  • Oklahoma! (1955)
  • The Star (1952)
  • Pat and Mike (1952, by George Cukor)
  • The Lady Says No (1952)
  • An American in Paris (1951, by Vincente Minnelli)
  • Under the Gun (1951)
  • Harvey (1950)
  • South Sea Sinner (1950)
  • Deported (1950)
  • One Way Street (1950)
  • Woman in Hiding (1950)
  • Undertow (1949)
  • Once More, My Darling (1949)
  • Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)
  • Take One False Step (1949)
  • The Lady Gambles (1949)
  • Caught (1949, by Max Ophüls)
  • Family Honeymoon (1949)
  • Rogues' Regiment (1948)
  • Larceny (1948)
  • For the Love of Mary (1948)
  • One Touch of Venus (1948)
  • Berlin Express (1948)
  • A Woman's Vengeance (1948)
  • Night Song (1948)
  • Mother Wore Tights (1947)
  • Something in the Wind (1947)
  • Ivy (1947)
  • The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947)
  • Temptation (1946)
  • London Town (1946)
  • A Stolen Life (1946)
  • The Dolly Sisters (1945)
  • Conflict (1945)
  • The Corn Is Green (1945)
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
  • Mr. Skeffington (1944)
  • The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944)
  • Old Acquaintance (1943)
  • Princess O'Rourke (1943)
  • Watch on the Rhine (1943)
  • This Is the Army (1943)
  • Mission to Moscow (1943)
  • Edge of Darkness (1943)
  • The Hard Way (1943)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • George Washington Slept Here (1942)
  • Now, Voyager (1942)
  • In This Our Life (1942)
  • Murder in the Big House (1942)
  • Always in My Heart (1942)
  • Kings Row (1942)
  • Wild Bill Hickok Rides (1942)
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
  • The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  • The Little Foxes (1941)
  • The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)
  • Throwing a Party (1941 short)
  • Million Dollar Baby (1941)
  • Affectionately Yours (1941)
  • The Great Lie (1941)
  • The Lady and the Lug (1941 short)
  • The Strawberry Blonde (1941)
  • Honeymoon for Three (1941)
  • The Letter (1940)
  • A Dispatch from Reuter's (1940)
  • No Time for Comedy (1940)
  • My Love Came Back (1940)
  • All This, and Heaven Too (1940)
  • The Sea Hawk (1940)
  • 'Til We Meet Again (1940)
  • Virginia City (1940)
  • On Your Toes (1939)
  • The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
  • The Old Maid (1939)
  • When Tomorrow Comes (1939)
  • Indianapolis Speedway (1939)
  • Juarez (1939)
  • Dark Victory (1939)
  • Women in the Wind (1939)
  • The Oklahoma Kid (1939)
  • Wings of the Navy (1939)
  • King of the Underworld (1939)
  • Comet Over Broadway (1938)
  • Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
  • The Sisters (1938)
  • Secrets of an Actress (1938)
  • Four Daughters (1938)
  • All Rights Reserved (1938)
  • My Bill (1938)
  • Women Are Like That (1938)
  • Jezebel (1938)
  • Tovarich (1937)
  • Hollywood Hotel (1937)
  • First Lady (1937)
  • It's Love I'm After (1937)
  • That Certain Woman (1937)
  • Confession (1937)
  • The Singing Marine (1937)
  • Ever Since Eve (1937)
  • Another Dawn (1937)
  • Kid Galahad (1937)
  • The Go Getter (1937)
  • Call It a Day (1937)
  • Marked Woman (1937)
  • Grand Passion (1937)
  • Green Light (1937)
  • Stolen Holiday (1937)
  • Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936)
  • Three Men on a Horse (1936)
  • Here Comes Carter (1936)
  • Polo Joe (1936)
  • Isle of Fury (1936)
  • Cain and Mabel (1936)
  • Give Me Your Heart (1936)
  • Stage Struck (1936)
  • China Clipper (1936)
  • Jailbreak (1936)
  • Satan Met a Lady (1936)
  • The White Angel (1936)
  • Hearts Divided (1936)
  • Murder by an Aristocrat (1936)
  • The Golden Arrow (1936)
  • The Law in Her Hands (1936)
  • Sons o' Guns (1936)
  • The Gentleman from Big Bend (1936)
  • I Married a Doctor (1936)
  • The Singing Kid (1936)
  • Snowed Under (1936)
  • Colleen (1936)
  • The Walking Dead (1936)
  • The Petrified Forest (1936)
  • Freshman Love (1936)
  • Ceiling Zero (1936)
  • Dangerous (1935)
  • The Widow from Monte Carlo (1935)
  • The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935)
Living octopus

Living octopus

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