Patricia Ward Kelly Biography
Patricia Ward Kelly is the widow of famed dancer Gene Kelly has criticized Good Morning America Host Lara Spencer over a segment appearing to mock Prince George over his fondness for ballet.
— MissyfromNC (@MissyfromNC) August 25, 2019
Patricia Ward Kelly MArried to Husband Gen Kelly
Kelly married Patricia Ward in 1990. Their marriage lasted for six years until his death.
Gen Kelly Later Life
Late in life, Kelly was awarded Irish citizenship under Ireland’s Citizenship by Foreign Birth program. The application was initiated on his behalf by his wife Patricia Ward Kelly.
Patricia Ward Kelly Criticized Lara Spencer
Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, has some choice words for ABC and Lara Spencer and the whole Good Morning America crew. pic.twitter.com/yMImvk4UC7
— Greg MacKellan (@GeeEssMacky) August 24, 2019
Patricia Ward Kelly penned an open letter on Friday in response to the GMA segment, in which Spencer held back laughter after mentioning the six-year-old is taking ballet lessons.
‘In 1958, my late husband, the dancer, director, choreographer Gene Kelly, decided to take on the stigma facing male dancers in an Omnibus television program for NBC that he created and starred in called ‘Dancing, A Man’s Game’,’ wrote Ward Kelly.
‘Gene would be devastated to know that 61 years after his ground-breaking work the issue of boys and men dancing is still the subject of ridicule—and on a national network,’ she continued, adding ‘ABC must do better.’
Lara Spencer Apologized
Singing in the Rain and The Quiet Man. Not sure why, they seem to capture my attention the most of any other movies. Meeting Patricia Ward Kelly and hearing the stories about Gene gave me a greater appreciation for the movie.
— DCayce (@DCayce1) August 22, 2019
Spencer has apologized after drawing furious backlash for the segment on Thursday morning.
She revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s eldest child would be studying maths, science, history, religious studies, computer programming, poetry, and ballet.
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Patricia Ward Kelly posted an open letter to the host on her Facebook page
- She called GMA to task over a segment about Prince George’s ballet lessons
- Host Lara Spencer has apologized after bursting out laughing on the show
- Broadway stars harshly criticized the segment for seeming to mock George
Patricia Ward Kelly’s full letter
In 1958, my late husband, the dancer, director, choreographer Gene Kelly, decided to take on the stigma facing male dancers in an Omnibus television program for NBC that he created and starred in called “Dancing, A Man’s Game.” He hoped that by aligning the great sports stars of the day—Mickey Mantle, Johnny Unitas, Vic Seixas, Sugar Ray Robinson, among others—he could challenge and destroy the shame surrounding male dancers once and for all. For Gene it was more than a professional task. It was, in his words, a personal “crusade” to show that dancers are athletes and that it is okay for a man to be graceful. As he says in the special: “What could be more graceful than a football player throwing a pass—what is more excitingly beautiful than the swift movement of a double play? Every motion a good athlete makes is as beautiful as any a dancer makes.”
Sadly, on August 22, 2019, Good Morning America elected to run a disgraceful segment about Prince George and his ballet classes. That host Lara Spencer would mock a boy’s study of ballet in a nationally televised morning show and that her colleagues would join in her derision is both unacceptable and incomprehensible.
Gene was a classically trained ballet dancer and believed that his training was essential to all that he did. He was schooled in Chicago by a woman named Berenice Holmes who had been the student of the great Russian dancer Adolph Bolm. Gene said that Holmes could perform many complicated turns better than a man, including a double tour en l’air, and that she instructed him to dance with great strength, particularly in his arms. He knew that ballet training gave him the long, beautiful line that he sought in his dancing and, later, in his choreography for the camera that led to some of the seminal films of our time, including On the Town; An American in Paris; Singin’ in the Rain; Brigadoon.
Over the years, Gene advised many professional athletes to study ballet, including former wide receivers Willie Gault and Lynn Swann. Both acknowledge that the training improved their performance on the field. Many have followed suit. Gene would be devastated to know that 61 years after his ground-breaking work the issue of boys and men dancing is still the subject of ridicule—and on a national network.
ABC must do better.
Patricia Ward Kelly (Mrs. Gene Kelly)