Saturday, April 1, 2017

Klowning Around With Jack Kelly :)


When we think of clowns named "Kelly", Emmett would probably be the first person who comes to mind.

But--no fooling!--that's Jack Kelly under the greasepaint in this incredible still from 1953:

The caption on the reverse of the photo says this is a scene from "Here Come The Clowns", with Lori Nelson. I believe this was presented as part of  "Inside U-I", which was staged annually by Universal-International during the early 1950's to show off young players such as JK, Ms. Nelson, Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson, and many others who were enrolled in the studio's talent development program.
Sophie Rosenstein, U-I's talent coach, explained the importance of the yearly show in a 1951 newspaper story: "You see, when a player is signed his fight just begins. Then, he has to sell himself to the directors and producers on the lot. By putting on this annual show, we can show the movie makers what our young people can do. Also, it gives the youngsters a set of values they wouldn't otherwise have. In the theater there is a great deal of tradition and loyalty. But actors who start their careers in the movies lack this background. They don't realize that they are part of a great industry. By putting on 'Inside U-I', the youngsters develop a sense of loyalty to the show."
Here's another 1953 pic of JK and Lori Nelson, this time in street clothes:
Even on crutches, JK is still clowning, although he'd seriously injured his leg in a skiing accident in late 1952, leaving him unable to work for over a year. He made only three more films for Universal in the mid-1950's (Magnificent Obsession, Cult of the Cobra and To Hell and Back) but, the lessons he'd learned at U-I served him well as he went on to a successful career in films and television.
 No foolin'--there's much more coming up in TDS. Please stay tuned! :)