with Alicia Mayer

Now Singing in the Clouds… True Cinema Magic When Louis B. Mayer Paired Debbie Reynolds With Gene Kelly

In 1952 my great-uncle Louis B. Mayer called Debbie Reynolds into his office at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She was just 18, tiny, and a fresh-faced beauty bursting with talent at a studio known to have plenty of both.

He sat forward in his chair and cut straight to the point: “You’re going to star in a movie with Gene Kelly, ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’”

lb-mayer-gene-kelly-debbie-reynolds

From Scott Eyman’s biography Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer. Pg 442

Of course, by 1952 Gene Kelly was a megastar – every actress (and probably every girl and woman around the world) wanted to star opposite him. But you couldn’t just stand there – you would need to keep up.

So Debbie Reynolds pointed out a little detail she felt was pretty important: “But I can’t dance, Mr Mayer.”

Uncle Louis, ever the star-maker said, “You’ll dance.”

And she did…

RIP Debbie Reynolds ~ April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016
RIP Carrie Fisher ~ October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016

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