Kelly Kelly Novich was raised by one of the most iconic stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, but she claimed that her childhood was “ordinary.”
Gene Kelly, a beloved song and dancer who starred in movies such as “Singin’in the Rain,” “On the Town,” “Anchors Aweigh,” and “American in Paris,” was 83 in 1996. Died at the age of. The actor has appeared in 45 films and his successful career in Hollywood spanned half a century. Even today, he is revered as a pioneer in film dance.
Kelly Novich did not follow in the footsteps of her father, but she opened her own career in celebrating her love for her family. She is a child, adolescent and adult psychoanalyst and author with over 55 years of experience. She and her husband recently worked together to write “Emotional Muscles: Strong Parents, Strong Children,” and she said it was aimed at “parents, grandparents and teachers.”
Kelly Novich told Fox News about growing up with a star in his later years, his early days in the Marines, and how he felt about Hollywood.
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Fox News: When did you first notice that your dad was different from other dads?
Kelly Kelly Novic: One of the things I grew up in Beverly Hills was that almost everyone’s father or mother was in the entertainment world. So it didn’t make much difference.
I think it’s even more noticeable that no parents were famous in other parts of the world. But the place where I grew up was so normal that I didn’t feel any discomfort. And my dad was normal too. He and I got the bagels and went to the hardware store. My mother and I went to the public library. So our life was very normal.
Fox News: How did you feel when you grew up with Gene Kelly?
Kelly Novic: He was very devoted, available, and the current dad with me and my brother. And he was fun and lively. He was deeply involved in our studies. But he also loved playing games with us.
Fox News: What are your favorite memories of your father?
Kelly Novic: There are certainly many. But it always comes to my mind since I was very young. I was probably 4 or 5 years old. I had a habit. Every time he got home early after dinner, he sat in a large red leather chair in his study, choosing something from the encyclopedia for us to read. That’s how I actually learned to read. We all enjoyed learning new things, and he made it fun for us.
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Fox News: Your dad has joined the Navy. How much impact did that experience have on him?
Kelly Novic: As his number increased, he enlisted in the Navy. Then he went to a boot camp in San Diego. After that, he boxed and received basic training. They assigned him to the film unit that produced the Navy training film. Then he went on to make training films such as how to assemble and disassemble your rifle until the end of the war.
The most important training movie he made is called “Combat Fatigue”. It’s a short film he directed and partially written. And it talks about what was then known as “combat fatigue sensitivity”. It was formerly called “shell shock”. Today it is PTSD. He dealt with the impact of combat experience on soldiers and sailors. We also looked at the different types of treatment they received. It was a very powerful movie of the time and can now be seen at the National Library of Medicine alongside a similar John Ford movie.
Fox News: Mental health did not seem to be discussed or understood as it is today.
Kelly Novic: I think I was in some circles. My parents were intellectual and very avant-garde. So they were aware of mental health problems. My dad went to a veteran hospital to entertain a young man in recovery. I think everyone was very aware of their mental health needs. And especially since I’m a mental health expert, I found my dad’s film very appealing.
Fox News: How was your relationship with your dad and other military personnel?
Kelly Novic: It was excellent. My dad grew up in a small family in Pittsburgh, a working-class neighborhood. He always thought of himself as an ordinary person. I think he was doing very well with everyone in the service. It has always been an important cause for him, as he also lost his best friend in battle.
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Fox News: What are some interesting facts about Gene Kelly that amazes today’s fans?
Kelly Novic: His college degree was economics. He majored in political science and had a relentless interest in American history and politics. In public, he is considered a carefree athletic dancer. But personally, he was always a curious and always-reading intellectual.
Fox News: My parents didn’t seem to be a “movie star” type.
Kelly Novic: They were both dancers, but they were also diligent. They were like professional athletes, so they didn’t have the luxury of just relaxing. They were raised by a hard-working family in which everyone worked and played a role. My father has been supporting his family since college. His family ran two dance schools in Pennsylvania. After the Great Depression, my grandfather lost his job. And the dance school supported the family. My mother was a school teacher and took care of my family.
They were successful in Hollywood, but my dad always knew he was going to live his own kind of life. So when I came, they didn’t want me to be any rich. There was a chore and a small allowance. We were a very different Hollywood family. On weekends, my parents played volleyball, baseball, softball, table tennis and more. At night, they played charades and sang songs around the piano.
On Sunday night, they usually screened a movie in a living room equipped with a 16mm projector. I was about 11 years old when I learned how to use a projector, and I was very proud of it. They valued the importance of diligence, but also the importance of family. Our house was full of creative people of all kinds, but they were also good friends who had a great time with us.
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Fox News: Has your dad ever taught you to dance?
Kelly Novic: *smile*. He offered to teach me. I took one lesson, and then he said I had to practice every day, otherwise he wouldn’t continue the lesson. I didn’t practice. So he didn’t continue the lesson. That was reflected in his work ethic.
Fox News: Is it true that Judy Garland was a family friend?
Kelly Novic: she was. She and my father were very close friends. I think he was always very grateful to Judy. She was already established in the movie when he was brought to Hollywood. He always said she was the one who taught him how to act in the movies. She taught him the importance of making small gestures to convey emotions and using facial expressions in more subtle ways. She welcomed him and was kind to him. He never forgot it. They were always singing and dancing together. They remained friends until she died. So Judy and her family were a big part of my childhood.
Fox News: How was your father’s last years?
Kelly Novic: There was a job change. As the studio system began to change, he began to make more productions and cameo appearances. My stepmother died at a young age, and my brother and sister died at the ages of 9 and 7. At that point, my dad decided not to shoot any more movies on location. If he couldn’t bring the kids, he wouldn’t do it.
By that time, I was raised and lived in England. He was acting as a single parent and made the professional decision to stay home and take care of my siblings. So his later years were devoted. He took care of my brother and sister, and they were a very priority. But he was also the leader of many young artists. People have always asked him for career advice and perhaps personal advice like Paula Abdul and Michael Jackson. He was excited to do that.
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Fox News: You have been working with children and family for a long time. How did your upbringing encourage you to pursue this role, as opposed to working in Hollywood?
Kelly Novic: I have always been interested in caring for children. I used to be a babysitter when I was a kid. After graduating from college, I worked for a short time as a set designer and costume supervisor. But then I went back to school and was trained to be a child psychoanalyst with Anna Freud in London.
It was a continuous thread. My dad was always very interested in children. He was a teacher and one of my grandmothers was a teacher. The family has a strong tradition of paying attention to the needs of their children. Almost every of my dad’s movies had scenes with children. He was proud of me. He was very confident in me and knew that this was also important to me. He would say, “I trust your choice. If this is what you want to do, choose it.”
Fox News: How is your life today?
Kelly Novic: It is amazing. I have 3 children and 9 grandchildren. I’m still very active in my career. My husband and I write a book together. We are both psychological analysts, so we teach a lot. I am 79 years old, healthy, happy and busy.
Fox News: How did he feel about Hollywood before your dad died?
Kelly Novic: He was very proud of his career. He was also grateful that people continued to appreciate his work, especially towards the end of his life. At one point he said to me, “I just want to make people happy.” I think he was successful. His films teach us the joy of creative expression. It’s not entirely plausible for people to walk down the street and suddenly jump into singing and dancing. But I think the idea that this lives in us is a strong reason why we still love his films.
Gene Kelly’s daughter Kelly recalls the star’s fierce dedication to the Hollywood family “Singin’in the Rain”
Source link Gene Kelly’s daughter Kelly recalls the star’s fierce dedication to the Hollywood family “Singin’in the Rain”