Patsy Kelly

Movie Actress

Patsy Kelly was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States on January 12th, 1910 and is the Movie Actress. At the age of 71, Patsy Kelly biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
January 12, 1910
United States
Place of Birth
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Death Date
Sep 24, 1981 (age 71)
Zodiac Sign
Dancer, Film Actor, Stage Actor, Television Actor
Patsy Kelly Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

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Patsy Kelly Life

Patsy Kelly (January 12, 1910 – September 24, 1981) was an American actress.

She is best known for her appearance in a series of short comedy films directed by Hal Roach in the 1930s as the brash, wisecracking sidekick to Thelma Todd.

Kelly, who is known as the Queen of Wisecracks, continued her work after Todd's death in 1935 in similar roles. Kelly returned to New York in the mid-1940s after her film career suffered in mid-to-goodness, working in radio and summer sales.

Tallulah Bankhead's lifelong friend and personal assistant.

After 17 years as a TV and film actor, Kelly returned to film. Kelly performed in 1971 on the backstage of No. No. Nanette, for which she received a Tony Award.

She continued to appear in film and television roles until she suffered a stroke in January 1980 that restricted her ability to speak.

Kelly died of cancer in 1981.

Personal life

Kelly loved food and later learned how to cook properly. "I would go out of my way to get a shrimp cocktail any time," she said. As far as desserts, she loved apple and lemon pie, gelatine, ice cream, and peach shortcake, which she had created specifically for this occasion. "I am mad about bread." "I love hot biscuits and out on the coast, we have a southern cook who can make more types of hot breads than I ever knew existed." I love coffee cake and crumb cake in the morning, especially if they are made." She was known to have a passion for sauces. She was also a fan of mashed potatoes. "Mash them, and if I were a guy, I'd marry you any time." On Sundays, she will entertain guests and serve chicken, turkey, or roast beef. She was also raving about chocolate topped with marshmallows. "They taste like a million dollars," Kelly said. "I like string beans," she added, "whether creamed or just with butter, mashed turnips, orange squash, and creamed spinach." And if you want to make me divinely happy, give me spareribs and cabbage."

She spent many a fun-filled evening watching seven or eight films a week, being a devoted film enthusiast herself. "What do you do on the two other nights?" When she was asked, she was apologetic. "Well, there's really nothing for me to do." I just wish there were more pictures to see around here. However, the supply runs out when you see eight or ten pictures a week. She spent her off time playing cards with friends or penny roulette on Redondo Beach when not toddling off to attend a photo show.

When she asked if she would attend any stage performances, she replied, "Well, when I go East and see some shows," she said, "the crowds and the overtures make me feel all tingly." But I wouldn't trade it for Hollywood. I'm actually the most rabid movie enthusiast in town. About every night, I see a picture. This is a wild place. People talk when you go out and drink alcohol. If you don't drink alcohol and don't go to restaurants, they'll still talk. I don't care what they say because I don't do night clubs and big parties. People come in here, and we play badminton. I like to play at night. We play a little poker on occasion. Ted Healy is my best client, as well as Jack Haley and a few others. I don't do much else. I played golf once before, but I lost five balls on the first two holes, so I said 'fire with it.' When I'm trying to minimize, I ride two bicycles and get beat up by a masseuse. Since the food I love the most is eating, I'm trying to minimize. My stomach would get on the screen three seconds before I landed as I usually look before starting work on a picture. I'm still hoofing about the house a little. Eleanor Powell doesn't have to worry about it; all this time, you've never had to ask for anything: a new job or a new one; more money or better parts. It seems that it is too good to last. "Things just happen."

Kelly was openly gay. When she told Motion Picture magazine that she had been living with actress Wilma Cox for many years and had no intention of marrying, she openly admitted that she was a "dyke" during the 1930s. As she worked as Bankhead's personal assistant, she later admitted that she had an affair with Tallulah Bankhead.

It was once announced that she had been briefly engaged to Otto Malde, a serviceman from 1942, but that never came true. "It doesn't matter if you are a private, sergeant, or lieutenant," she told the paper, "but I suppose we'll just have to wait."

Kelly suffered a stroke in San Francisco in January 1980 that caused her to lose her ability to talk. She was admitted to Englewood Nursing Home in Englewood, New Jersey, on the recommendation of her long friend Ruby Keeler, who attended therapy.


Patsy Kelly Career

Early life and early career

Kelly was born Sarah Veronica Rose Kelly in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrant parents John and Delia Kelly. Her father John was a police officer who left Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland, around 1900 to escape persecution. He died in 1942. In 1930, her mother Delia died. She was the youngest of five children, but only two of whom were born in the United States. She got the nickname "Patsy" by being the butt of her family's subtle hint and becoming the "fall guy" for several of their shenanigans. "I was always spinning and tripping about the house, mostly over chairs." She was born with the intention of becoming a firefighter decades before the field would be open to the first FDNY woman in 1982, but her mother took her to a dance studio to keep her off the streets of Manhattan. She began performing in vaudeville as a dancer at the age of 12. Ruby Keeler, a future talent and colleague, learned how to tap dance at Jack Blue's School of Rhythm and Tap. When she first started, she had more than her fair share of scrapes. She was born out of a fire when she was seven years old and was involved in no less than five accidents in a week at the age of nine. Her parents decided to send her daughter to dance school, where she broke her ankle at the end of her first week. She first attended St. Paul's Cathedral School and then into Professional Children's School with Keeler.

In 1923, she went from pupil to teacher, raking in $18 a week but returning home at nearly two or three a week in the morning. "So," Kelly once reminiscing about the years leading up to that, "Father Quinn," who knew about me and my tap, urged my mother to enroll me in dance lessons. It's likely that this would interest me in something other than baseball. It did. I loved the dancing and in time, I started teaching in the school where I had just been studying."

She appeared in Frank Fay's debut, first in a song-and-dance performance and then as Fay's comedic foil. John W. (Willie) originally applied for the position, but Kelly eventually earned the position at The Palace Theatre with Fay, while Willie went to work at the Waldorf Astoria after being Fay's chauffeur for a few months. "My brother was uninterested." Anyhow, he thought it was sissy stuff." Kelly told Fay and the audience that she had been at the beauty parlor in one routine. "And they didn't wait on you," Fay explained. She stayed with Fay for many years until Fay eventually dismissed her, either for refusing a marriage bid and not naming him by his surname, or refusing to travel to England.

Kelly appeared in Harry Delmar's Revels with Bert Lahr and Winnie Lightner at the Shubert Theatre in 1927. She appeared in Three Cheers (1928) with Will Rogers and Dorothy Stone, Earl Carroll's Sketch Book (1931) with Al Jolson, and Charles Butterworth, 1936) with Clifton Webb, Imogene Coca, Buddy Ebsen, and Charles Butterworth, among other Broadway appearances. In her later years, she appeared in No. 1, No. Nanette (1971) with Ruby Keeler and Jack Gilford, and Irene (1973) with Debbie Reynolds.

Film career

Kelly made her acting debut in a Vitaphone short film shot in Brooklyn, The Grand Dame (1931), where she plays a wealthy gangster with a wealthy moll. Producer Hal Roach hired Kelly in 1933 to co-ordinate with Thelma Todd in a string of short-subject comedies, as well as replacing ZaSu Pitts' then-current co-star, starting with Beauty and the Bus (1933). Pitts needed a salary increase of $8000 per script, so Roach sacked her off. "I'll be a flop in movies" before moving to Hollywood, she revealed that the move would be a flop in movies. Besides, I don't like 'em, and I never knew there was a Hollywood place.

Somebody made it up!"

"I tried it for a few days and thought it was the world's largest joke company," she told Motion Picture. To light my way to the studio, I had to wake up about five a.m. in the morning and grab a lantern. I'd arrive and there would be no one around, no applause, and there would be no one to applaud. It was like talking to myself.

Someone was always hollering, 'Quiet!'

or 'Hush!'

My voice was never too loud or not loud enough. In this industry, you had to knock yourself out with a powder puff. Make up every minute. I was always hanging out a window, off the edge of a cliff, or from the side of a car going ninety miles per hour. Or I was being knocked on the bean with a pot or a pan. "Where are those doubles I've heard about?" yelling on the first day.' After a few days of it, I packed my duds and rode a train back east." She was reluctant to make the change to films first, but Todd encouraged her to stay in Hollywood, which she did. Todd even rode to Pasadena to prevent Kelly from returning on the train headed for New York. During the first few stages of her removal west, Kelly also helped Kelly with her finances and tax problems. Todd advised her not to file for bankruptcy because doing so will damage her credit rating. In 1937, Patsy said, "I have made more money since," she said, but The fun Thelma and I had making those silly two-reel comedies was something that comes only once in a lifetime." Thelma was more successful than any tonic, and it taught me a lot about comedy."

Kelly was seriously wounded in a Bus driven by Gene Malin, the popular drag performer, just short of wrapping filming wrapped in August 1933. After performing at the Ship Cafe, a bar in Venice, Los Angeles, Malin allegedly confused the gears and turned a pier into the sea. Malin was shot and killed, while fellow passenger Jimmy Forlenza sustained serious injuries. The doctors told her that she had only ten years to live based on the amount of sandy water that made her lungs ablaze, but she lived for decades after the accident. "I overheard a jury of grave-faced doctors nodding their heads over my ostensibly unconscious body," Kelly said. I was expecting a maximum of ten years to live. Well, they're probably correct. I was very worried when I heard the scientific verdict. But then I pulled myself together and said, 'Young, there's only one way to beat this rap: don't be concerned — and have fun in the upcoming years.'

Kelly's image was cemented by Todd-Kelly's: a brash, freewheeling, sarcastic woman who occasionally mocked other characters' pomposity. Gus Meins' films, such as Air Fright (1933), Maid in Hollywood (1934), and Babes in the Goods (1934), were among Gus Meins' creations. Kelly's dancing abilities were on display in the series's Slightly Static (1935). Kelly recalled the time she worked at Hal Roach Studios: "I laughed from the time I first arrived at the studio until I left at night." I was almost ashamed to take a paycheck." Before Todd died of carbon monoxide poisoning (1935) with Mickey Daniels and Duke York, Kelly made 21 shorts with Todd. Kelly recalled, "She had a brawl with her boyfriend at a party the night." I wasn't there, but acquaintances of mine were, and they told me about it. There were a number of suspicious things in her death that were never explained. She wasn't inebriated, and that was certainly not inebriated. Thelma used to drink one drink for a whole evening, but she never touched any kind of drugs. She was a vivacious New England woman with a nifty sense of humor and a vivacious zest for life. I had hoped for another angel from God. "She was too young and beautiful."

Todd was eventually replaced by Pert Kelton (1936), but Pan Handlers (1936), but Pen Handlers (1936), a Polish-born comedienne with a thick foreign accent, replaced Kelton quickly. They appeared in the adorable Hal Roach film Nobody's Baby (1937) together, just before Roberti's death. Roberti died of heart disease in 1938 while bending over to tie a shoelace, according to Kelly. It was events like these that solidified Kelly's image as a jinx in Hollywood. And though some people mistook her for poor luck, her results were not hampered by this. "You see, something, darned if I know what it is," says the narrator, has been happening to me since I first arrived in this wild town. Everyone I loved, turned to, and sorely misses have disappeared, just like Thelma. It was Jean Malin, the swell New York actor and impersonator who opened first, that was the first time. I'd been a friend of Jean and his wife for many years in New York. On the night of Jean's disappearance, I went to the Ship Café. I glanced over the door and said, 'Jean Malin's last night,' and a voice said, 'Be careful, it's his last night.' The car was backed into the ocean off the shore just one hour later.' We were all submerged in the water. Adrenalin used to work with me. Jean's was not with him."

Jill Barker appeared in MGM's Going Hollywood (1933), gaining screen time with Marion Davies, Bing Crosby, Fifi D'Orsay, and Ned Sparks. The event was little more than a mere walk-on, and she didn't have a chance to display her musical abilities in it, though it did include several delightful musical performances by entertainers like Crosby and The Radio Rogues.

Kelly's various film appearances in the 1930s ranged from the deadpan, screwball comedic to the dramatic and spectacular. There was little she couldn't do on screen. In the light-hearted Americana as Pick a Star (1937), with Rosinn Williams and Laurel and Hardy, and legendary radio personality Fred Allen, she appeared in the light-hearted comedy Kelly the Second (1936) with Guinn Williams and Charley Chase. In terms of drama, she showed her more mature side in films such as the politically flavored Jean Harlow vehicle The Girl From Missouri (1934) with Franchot Tone and Lionel Barrymore, and in Private Number (1936), starring Loretta Young and Basil Rathbone.

Before Todd's death, and after Stan Laurel suffered over a labor dispute, there was talk of Kelly partnering Oliver Hardy to play his wife and Spanky McFarland's mother in a series called The Hardy Family, but the venture was cancelled when Laurel returned to the fold. The unveiling of a pilot named Their Night Out was announced, but James W. Horne was supposed to direct, but it never made it to the stage. Dorothy Christy was in contention to play Laurel's wife in Sons of the Desert (1933), but she was eventually unveiled.

Kelly appeared in musicals like Going Hollywood (1933), the college football extravaganza Pigskin Parade (1936), with Stuart Erwin and Judy Garland (in her first film role), and in Paramount Pictures' Every Night at Eight (1935), playing one of a trio of hopeful singers (the other two are played by George Raft). Kelly has a chance to showcase her singing abilities by crooning out Jimmy McHugh-Dorothy Fields tunes such as "I Feel a Song" and "Speaking Confidently" in the film. Langford's film "I'm in the Mood for Love" introduced the world to the song "I'm in the Mood for Love." Ruby Keeler and Al Jolson's first screen pairing together, as well as the tap-dancing she learned when she was young was put to good use in films such as Thanks a Million and Warner Bros. "You will find Patsy in the center of a comedy group on a sound stage," columnist Ruth White says. She's everybody's bestie, as she is one of the most popular actors. This jolly picture robbery makes picture work such a play that not until the film is fully visible does she realize she has stolen the film.

"Of course I was fortunate to have had a long and fruitful stage career before moving to Hollywood, but the same goes for stage and film acting methods as there is between day and night." The typical small-town girl who is visiting Movieland without having prior stage or screen experience will find the road ahead difficult and heartbreaking at times.

She was sent to a sanitarium in 1937 to go on a diet, and she lost fifty pounds. Even though the newest, slimmer Kelly didn't live long enough, she was incredibly proud of her achievement.


"I can almost hide behind Gary Cooper's sideways."

Peggy O' Brien (1938), Hal Roach's There Goes My Heart (1938), starring Fredric March and Virginia Bruce as Alan Mowbray's love interest, and Kitty in The Gorilla (1939), a film that she once adored as her favorite performance of her own. In the early 1940s, her versatile acting and comedic talents made her to rub elbows and screen with big-name actors such as John Barrymore (in his last film role), Gary Cooper, Merle Oberon, Walter Brennan, John Wayne, John Wayne, John Wayne, Bert Lahr, Walter Brennan, Jr., Victor McLaglen, and even Phil Silvers and Ann Miller in their big-screen debut, Hit Parade of 1941. During this time, she co-starred with her predecessor Zasu Pitts in Roach's train comedy Broadway Limited (1941). Si Jenks, Douglas Fowley, Charlie Hall, Marion Davies, Don Barclay, and Arthur Housman are all familiar faces from her films.

One could imagine her playing a sassy maid or an assistant in her films, as she did in films such as Page Miss Glory, The Gorilla, Topper Returns, and Merrily We Live. These comedic supporting roles served as a harbinger of future events for Kelly. "I had a maid's costume that fit," she explained. They didn't have to buy me a new one. They moved it from one studio to another.

After appearing in a film or two for RKO, she began acting in low-budget films, including My Son, The Hero (1943) with Roscoe Karns and Maxie Rosenbloom (1943) and Danger! Women at Work (1943), a photograph published by Producers Releasing Corporation.

Later career

Kelly's film career had stalled after being blackballed by the studios for naming herself as a lesbian. Kelly, after leaving Hollywood, travelled to New York City, where she performed in radio with stars such as Barry Wood on NBC's The Palmolive Party (which was broadcast on Saturday nights at 10 p.m.), and produced summer stock theatre in shows like My Sister Eileen and On the Town. She has also served as a personal assistant to Tallulah Bankhead and appeared on stage in Dear Charles (1955). She later moved into Bankhead's "Windows" in Bedford Village, New York, as her domestic, or "guest resident."

Kelly, a film actor from the 1950s, returned to film with television and sporadic film roles. She appeared on television on 26 Men, Kraft Television Theatre, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Wild West, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, as well as several unemployed pilots. She made memorable appearances in The Naked Kiss (1964) and Laura-Louise McBirney's Baby (1968), directed by Roman Polanski, alongside veteran actors Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon, Ralph Bellamy, and Maurice Evans during the 1960s.

She and fellow poopers Ruby Keeler and Helen Gallagher returned to Broadway in 1971 in the revival of No, No. Nanette. Kelly was a huge hit on Broadway as the smart, tap-dancing maid, and she received the Best Featured Actress in a Musical award in 1971. She matched that success the year before, when she appeared in Irene with Debbie Reynolds, and was once more nominated for a Tony.

In 1976, she appeared as Mrs. Schmauss in the Walt Disney film Freaky Friday starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris. Harris was also co-starring Harris in another Disney comedy, The North Avenue Irregulars (1979), as well as Cloris Leachman, Edward Herrmann, and Karen Valentine. Kelly's last onscreen appearance was in a two-part episode of The Love Boat in 1979.