Fred Kelly, Gene's Dancer Brother, is Dead at 83

News   Fred Kelly, Gene's Dancer Brother, is Dead at 83 Fred Kelly, the dancer, actor, choreographer and director whose brother was famed film dancer and director Gene Kelly, died March 15 in Tucson.

Fred Kelly, the dancer, actor, choreographer and director whose brother was famed film dancer and director Gene Kelly, died March 15 in Tucson.

The cause of death was cancer, The New York Times reported. Mr. Kelly was 83.

Mr. Kelly appeared in William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life, on Broadway, replacing his brother and interpolating more dance into the play. He won Donaldson Awards for his work.

One of five Kelly siblings born and raised in Pittsburgh, Mr. Kelly was a gifted tap dancer, recognized as better than Gene (who would become known for his athleticism on film rather than tapping).

Mr. Kelly appeared in Irving Berlin's This is the Army on Broadway and toured with the show around the world during wartime. He later became a TV director ("The Colgate Comedy Hour." "The Steve Allen Show") and choreographed and staged The Ice Capades for several seasons. According to The Times, Mr. Kelly is credited with creating the cha-cha dance trend when he was developing Latin numbers for a New York club called Havana Madrid in 1948. The cha-cha is a Latin variation of the Lindy, but dancers move sideways.

-- By Kenneth Jones