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Patsy Kelly

Patsy Kelly

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Also Known As: Sarah Veronica Rose Kelly Died: September 24, 1981
Born: January 21, 1910 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: actor, dancer, comedian

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Tough, wisecracking comic of stage and screen, who brightened up many a film in the 1930s. The Brooklyn-born, Manhattan-bred Kelly was discovered by vaudeville star Frank Fay and by 1927 was on Broadway, in "Harry Delmar's Revels". Among her other Broadway shows were "Three Cheers" and Earl Carroll's "Sketch Book" (1929), Carroll's "Vanities" (1930), and "Wonder Bar" (1931). Hollywood came calling that same year, and Hal Roach signed her to do a series of delightful two-reel comedies co-starring Thelma Todd. The series ended after 21 films when Todd died in 1935.Kelly broke into features in 1933 as Marion Davies' wisenheimer pal in "Going Hollywood"; she made nearly 40 more films in the next ten years, including "The Girl from Missouri" (1934), "Page Miss Glory" (1935), "Pigskin Parade" (1936), "Pick a Star" (1937), "The Cowboy and the Lady" (1938), "Topper Returns" (1940) and "Danger! Women at Work" (1943).But the hard-working actress was nearly unemployable by the mid-1940s and found work as a domestic. Some claim it was her drinking, others that her openness about her homosexuality was off-putting in Hollywood. Finally, Tallulah Bankhead (who was hardly shocked by drinking or homosexuality), hired...

Tough, wisecracking comic of stage and screen, who brightened up many a film in the 1930s. The Brooklyn-born, Manhattan-bred Kelly was discovered by vaudeville star Frank Fay and by 1927 was on Broadway, in "Harry Delmar's Revels". Among her other Broadway shows were "Three Cheers" and Earl Carroll's "Sketch Book" (1929), Carroll's "Vanities" (1930), and "Wonder Bar" (1931). Hollywood came calling that same year, and Hal Roach signed her to do a series of delightful two-reel comedies co-starring Thelma Todd. The series ended after 21 films when Todd died in 1935.

Kelly broke into features in 1933 as Marion Davies' wisenheimer pal in "Going Hollywood"; she made nearly 40 more films in the next ten years, including "The Girl from Missouri" (1934), "Page Miss Glory" (1935), "Pigskin Parade" (1936), "Pick a Star" (1937), "The Cowboy and the Lady" (1938), "Topper Returns" (1940) and "Danger! Women at Work" (1943).

But the hard-working actress was nearly unemployable by the mid-1940s and found work as a domestic. Some claim it was her drinking, others that her openness about her homosexuality was off-putting in Hollywood. Finally, Tallulah Bankhead (who was hardly shocked by drinking or homosexuality), hired Kelly to support her in "Dear Charles" (1955). Kelly returned to features with "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" (1960) and was one of the coven in Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" (1968). She had something of a renaissance in 1971, returning to Broadway alongside Ruby Keeler in a revival of "No, No, Nanette", staged by Busby Berkeley (for which she received a Tony Award) and two years later supported Debbie Reynolds in a revival of "Irene".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 North Avenue Irregulars, The (1979) Rose Rafferty
2.
 Freaky Friday (1976) Mrs Schmauss
3.
 The Phynx (1970)
4.
 Rosemary's Baby (1968) Laura-Louise
5.
 C'mon, Let's Live a Little (1967) Mrs. Fitts
6.
 The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) Myrtle Forbush
7.
 The Naked Kiss (1964) Mac
8.
 The Crowded Sky (1960) Gertrude Ross
9.
10.
 Ladies' Day (1943)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Discovered by Frank Fay
1927:
Began appearing on Broadway
1933:
Co-starred with Thelma Todd in series of two-reel comedies for producer Hal Roach
1933:
First role in full-length feature, "Going Hollywood"
1943:
Last film for nearly twenty years, "Ladies' Day"
:
Worked as a domestic in the 1940s after Hollywood career ended; was hired by Tallulah Bankhead
1953:
Was panelist on TV game show "Anyone Can Win" (CBS)
1960:
Returned to features in "Please Don't Eat the Daisies"
1969:
TV-movie debut, "The Pigeon" (ABC)
1971:
Co-starred in Broadway revival of "No No Nannette", starring Ruby Keeler
1972:
Appeared with Debbie Reynolds in Broadway revival of "Irene"
:
Was series regular on the NBC sitcom "The Cop and the Kid"
1979:
Last feature film, "North Avenue Irregulars"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Kelly was arrested in a bar brawl with two other women in 1963.

"There are just times when it seems you can't do anything wrong. Then there are other times when whatever you do is wrong. I think I could have had more drive. I was never very ambitious."--Patsy Kelly, quoted in Richard Lamparski's "WHATEVER BECAME OF...?", vol. 8.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Wilma Cox. Singer. Lived together in the 1930s; separated when they moved to NYC in the early 1940s.
companion:
Tallulah Bankhead. Actor. Had long-term relationship in 1940s and 50s.

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