Sunday, April 23, 2017

One Sunday Afternoon With Jack Kelly :)


Here's another amazing pic of Jack Kelly from his early career days at Universal-International Studios.

Dated 1951, it shows JK in an opening night scene directed by Sophie Rosenstein from "One Sunday Afternoon" (a play written by James Hagan) which was presented as part of the annual "Inside U-I" stage show. Some writing on the back of the photo says, "Scenes presented on stage as acting exercises to audiences of studio's directors and producers."

More writing on the back of the still identifies JK's leggy co-stars as Gale Storm (L) and Ava Norring (R), although I'm not quite sure if the lady on the left really is Ms. Storm. Anyway, JK appears to be saying "Cheers!" at the sight of Ms. Norring's glamourous gam.

I found this 1951 photo of actors in the U-I workshop online. JK is sitting in the front row; I'm sure you'll recognize some other familiar faces (such as Russell Johnson), too:

I also found some more pix from the "Inside U-I" show in a 1954 issue of Photoplay magazine. The story, "Puttin' On An Act", says, "Movie audiences will never see the U-I talent show. It's strictly a family affair...For several weeks every year U-I's huge Phantom Stage (so-called because it was built for the [1924] movie Phantom of the Opera) hums with activity. Youngsters gleefully go through their own routines or watch Estelle Harman, head of the talent department, put others through their paces."

"Though it looks like bedlam, there's method in the madness. This year's show, the third put on by the studio, is part of a million-dollar talent program which has more than earned its keep. The show called 'Inside U-I', is designed not only to give U-I contract players extra experience, but to display their versatile and sometimes unsuspected off-beat talents. Through these shows,  U-I's young players have again and again obtained better breaks, not only on their own lot, but also on loan-outs. For executives from all the other studios scramble for invitations to this glorified--and exclusive--Amateur Show."

Well, it's no act and I'll give my all to bring you much more about JK in TDS...please stay tuned! :) 

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