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Director Stanley Donen, dead at 94, was light on his feet and a movie musical heavyweight

Director Stanley Donen, dead at 94, was light on his feet and a movie musical heavyweight

Be very glad that Stanley Donen, who died on today at age 94, decided not to his work at his family’s dress shop after seeing the 1933 musical “Flying Down to Rio” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as a boy, one that he would watch at least 30 or 40 times.

Without that influence he might not have taken dance lessons. And, if he hadn’t learned how to dance, he wouldn’t have moved to New York City to be part of the chorus in the 1940 Broadway musical in “Pal Joey,” starring Gene Kelly. Kelly asked him to be his assistant choreographer in his next Great White Way production, “Best Foot Forward.” He would be fired from the show. Donen would renew his friendship with Kelly when they both headed to Hollywood and they would collaborate on “Cover Girl” and “An American in Paris.”

Eventually, they became co-directors on 1949’s “On the Town

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