Facts about Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen Biography
Movie director Stanley Donen made more than two dozen films and is best remembered for his MGM musicals, including Singin’ In the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Funny Face.
He won an honorary Oscar award in 1998 for his body of work.
Donen grew up in South Carolina and went to New York City as a dancer. When he was 16 years old he appeared on Broadway and met Gene Kelly, who would help boost his career with their screen collaborations, with Donen as choreographer and then director.
Donen’s directorial debut was 1949’s On the Town, starring Kelly and Frank Sinatra. It won an Oscar for best music.
During the 1950s, Donen directed several big screen musicals, and now is praised for his use of outdoor locations and sweeping camera movement.
Donen’s best known films include Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Funny Face (1957, with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire), The Pajama Game (1957, starring Doris Day), Damn Yankees (1958, starring Gwen Verdon), Arabesque (1966, with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren) and Blame It on Rio (1984, starring Michael Caine).
Stanley Donen was married and divorced five times, and from 1999 until his death he lived with writer Elaine May.