Throughout his life Gene Kelly earned an almost bulletproof reputation, but was he hiding behind a mask for all of those years.
Like his alleged grandfather, Gene Kelly was renowned for holding people up. He was seen holding up Judy Garland, Debbie Reynolds and Leslie Caron on more than one occasion; he would hold people up with endless dance routines; and especially later in life he would hold people up for hours with stories that didn’t really go anywhere.
Rumor has it that Gene was bitter at being turned down for the role of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Why he even had half of the costume, but his arguments for his bucket like head wear didn’t hold water with studio executives. That night as he drowned his sorrows he was heard to utter the words, “Hang the expense.”
He would clash once more with studio executives during the filming of “Singin’ in the rain”. Kelly demanded that they wait for the weather to improve, eventually though he was forced to remove his favored head wear when it began to rust.
In fact, the whole Kelly gang were notorious, with Grace Kelly moving to Monaco to avoid paying taxes.
But let’s look at the infamous Ned Kelly who was to lead law enforcement officers on a merry dance for years.
Ned too had entertainment in his blood, always one to chase the limelight he was known to follow the stage from town to town.
His popularity grew so much that to avoid being recognized he took to wearing a mask in public. Ned was soon chased if not literally hounded by fans that wanted to simply ‘Hang’.
But Ned’s life was about to turn bad. He lost the love of his life, a woman named Matilda, who he would waltz with; so inspiring his show business colleague Banjo Paterson.
But popular opinion turned its back on Ned, spearheaded almost entirely by the police, their flat feet prompting them to step up their efforts and their jealousy. I dare say they would happily have danced on his grave.
In his final show down with police Ned was heard to say, “I’ll teach you a lesson, a dance lesson.”
Ned would tread the boards just one last time.
At his hanging he finally got the audience he had always craved. Even as he hanged from the gallows he performed a final death dance, and rumor has it that he was very light on his feet.
Today Gene’s movies still sell for a premium, it would seem that the tradition of highway robbery continues.
Such is life.
A work of fiction. Thanks to mick&ian for the content.