Kerry Kelly Novich was raised by one in every of the most iconic stars from Hollywood’s golden period – however she insisted her childhood was “ordinary.”

Gene Kelly, the beloved song-and-dance man who starred in movies like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “On the Town,” “Anchors Aweigh” and “An American in Paris,” handed away in 1996 at age 83. The actor appeared in 45 movies and his profitable profession in Hollywood spanned a half-century. Today, he’s nonetheless revered as a pioneer in dance on movie.

Kerry Novich didn’t observe in her father’s footsteps however she carved out a profession for herself that celebrates his love of family. She is a baby, adolescent and grownup psychoanalyst with over 55 years of expertise, in addition to an writer. She and her husband lately teamed up to write “Emotional Muscle: Strong Parents, Strong Children,” which she stated is geared in the direction of “parents, grandparents and teachers.”

Kerry Kelly Novich is the daughter of Gene Kelly. She has fond recollections of rising up with the star.
(Courtesy of Kerry Kelly Novich)

Kerry Novich spoke to Fox News about what it was like rising up with the late star, his early years in the Navy, in addition to how he felt about Hollywood.


Fox News: When did you first notice that your father was completely different from different dads?
Kerry Kelly Novick: Well, one factor about rising up in Beverly Hills is that just about everyone’s father or mom was in present enterprise. So it wasn’t so completely different.

I feel it was extra of a realization that for the remainder of the world, everyone’s mother and father weren’t well-known. But as a result of it was so extraordinary the place I grew up, it didn’t really feel completely different. And my father was extraordinary, too. He and I might go get bagels after which head to the ironmongery store. My mother and I might go to the public library. So our lives have been very extraordinary.

Kerry Kelly Novich at three weeks old.

Kerry Kelly Novich at three weeks previous.
(Courtesy of Kerry Kelly Novich)

Fox News: What was it like rising up with Gene Kelly?
Kelly Novick: He was a really devoted, accessible and current dad with me and my siblings. And he was enjoyable and lively. He was very a lot concerned in our schoolwork. But he additionally liked enjoying video games with us.

Fox News: What’s a favourite reminiscence you might have of your father?
Kelly Novick: There are definitely many. But one which at all times comes to thoughts is from the time that I used to be very small. I used to be most likely 4 or 5. We had a behavior. Every time he was house early after supper, he would sit in his massive purple leather-based chair in the den and he would choose one thing for us to learn from the encyclopedia. That’s really how I realized to learn. We all loved studying new issues and he made it enjoyable for us.

He enlisted in the Navy as a result of his quantity was up. And then he went to boot camp in San Diego. After that, he boxed and went by means of fundamental coaching. They assigned him to the movie unit that made coaching movies for the Navy. Then he proceeded till the finish of the warfare to make coaching movies, like how to assemble and disassemble your rifle and issues like that.

After Navy service in World War II, Gene Kelly returned to films.

After Navy service in World War II, Gene Kelly returned to movies.
(Getty Images)

The most vital coaching movie he made is one known as “Combat Fatigue Irritability.” That’s a brief movie that he directed and partially wrote. And it talks about what was then often called “combat fatigue irritability,” which was known as “shell shock” earlier. Nowadays, it’s PTSD. It handled the affect of fight experiences on troopers and sailors. It additionally checked out the completely different sorts of remedies they acquired. It was a extremely highly effective film for its time that may now be discovered at the National Library of Medicine, together with John Fords’s which have been related.

Fox News: It looks as if psychological well being wasn’t one thing that was mentioned or understood as it’s as we speak.
Kelly Novick: I feel it was in some circles. My mother and father have been intellectuals and really avant-garde. So they have been conscious of psychological well being points. My father used to go to veteran’s hospitals to entertain the younger males who have been in restoration. I feel everyone was very aware of psychological well being wants. And I felt my father’s movie was very fascinating, particularly for me since I’m a psychological well being skilled.

Fox News: What was your father’s relationship like with the different servicemen?
Kelly Novick: It was wonderful. My father grew up in a modest family in Pittsburgh in a working-class neighborhood. He at all times noticed himself as an everyday individual. I feel he received on very properly with everyone in the service. He additionally misplaced his best possible mates in fight, so it was at all times an vital trigger to him.

Kerry Kelly Novich said she has a normal upbringing.

Kerry Kelly Novich stated she has a standard upbringing.
(Courtey of Kerry Kelly Novich)

Fox News: What are some enjoyable info about Gene Kelly that may shock followers as we speak?
Kelly Novick: His faculty diploma was in economics. He minored in political science and had an abiding curiosity in American historical past and politics. In the public, he’s seen as a carefree, athletic dancer. But in non-public he was such an mental who was at all times curious and skim all the time.

Fox News: It feels like your mother and father weren’t the “movie star” kind. 
Kelly Novick: They have been each dancers, however they have been additionally laborious employees. They have been like skilled athletes so that they didn’t have the luxurious of simply lolling round. They have been introduced up by hard-working households the place everybody labored and had a task. My father was a part of supporting his family from when he was in faculty. His family ran two dancing faculties in Pennsylvania. After the Depression, my grandfather misplaced his job. And the dancing faculties supported the family. My mom’s mom was a faculty instructor who additionally took care of the family.

Gene Kelly visiting London with his wife, actress Betsy Blair and daughter Kerry, 1955.

Gene Kelly visiting London along with his spouse, actress Betsy Blair and daughter Kerry, 1955.
(Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis by way of Getty Images)

They achieved success in Hollywood, however my father at all times knew that he was going to lead his personal form of life. So once I got here alongside, they didn’t need me to be some form of wealthy child. I had chores and a small allowance. We have been a really completely different Hollywood family. On the weekends, my mother and father held actions like volleyball, baseball, softball and ping-pong. At night time, they have been enjoying charades and singing songs round the piano.

Gene Kelly is seen here listening to his daughter Kerry reading aloud from 'Worzel Gummidge' by Barbara Euphan Todd on the set of the MGM film 'Crest of the Wave' in London, circa 1953. The film was based on the play 'Seagulls Over Sorrento' by Hugh Hastings. 

Gene Kelly is seen right here listening to his daughter Kerry studying aloud from ‘Worzel Gummidge’ by Barbara Euphan Todd on the set of the MGM movie ‘Crest of the Wave’ in London, circa 1953. The movie was based mostly on the play ‘Seagulls Over Sorrento’ by Hugh Hastings. 
(Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

On Sunday nights, they often confirmed a film in the lounge with a 16-millimeter projector. I used to be about 11 once I realized how to run the projector and I used to be very happy with that. They valued the significance of laborious work, however in addition they valued the significance of family. Our home was stuffed with all types of artistic folks, however they have been additionally good mates who have been having a beautiful time with us.


Fox News: Did your father ever train you to dance?
Kelly Novick: *Laughs*. He provided to train me. I had one lesson after which he stated I had to apply daily or else he wouldn’t proceed the classes. I didn’t apply. So he didn’t proceed the classes. That mirrored in his work ethic.

Fox News: Is it true that Judy Garland was a family buddy?
Kelly Novick: She was. She and my dad have been very shut mates. I feel he was at all times extraordinarily grateful to Judy. She was already established in motion pictures when he was introduced to Hollywood. He at all times stated that she was the one who taught him how to act in motion pictures. She taught him the significance of constructing small gestures to convey a sense and utilizing facial expressions in a extra nuanced manner. She was welcoming and type to him. He by no means forgot that. They have been at all times singing and dancing collectively. They remained mates till she died. So Judy and her family have been very a lot part of my childhood.

Gene Kelly and Judy Garland in publicity portrait for the film 'For Me And My Gal', 1942. 

Gene Kelly and Judy Garland in publicity portrait for the movie ‘For Me And My Gal’, 1942. 
(Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)

Fox News: What have been your father’s later years like?
Kelly Novick: There was a profession change. The studio system started to change so he began doing extra directing and cameo appearances. My step-mother died younger, leaving my brother and sister at the ages of 9 and 7. At that time, my dad decided not to do any extra movies on location. If he couldn’t carry the youngsters, he wouldn’t do it.

By that point, I used to be grown up and residing in England. He was functioning as a single mum or dad and made the skilled resolution to keep house and take care of my siblings. So his later years have been of devotion. He sorted my brother and sister they usually have been very a lot a precedence. But he was additionally a mentor to many younger artists. People would at all times search him out for profession recommendation and possibly private recommendation like Paula Abdul and Michael Jackson. He was thrilled to do it.


Fox News: You’ve been working with kids and households for a very long time. How did your upbringing encourage you to pursue this position, as opposed to working in Hollywood?
Kelly Novick: I used to be at all times in caring for youngsters. I used to babysit lots as a child. I briefly labored in designing units and being a dressing up supervisor after faculty. But I then went again to faculty and skilled to be a baby psychoanalyst with Anna Freud in London.

Gene Kelly (1912 - 1996) with his wife Jeanne Coyne (1923 - 1973) and their children Tim and Bridget, circa 1968.

Gene Kelly (1912 – 1996) along with his spouse Jeanne Coyne (1923 – 1973) and their kids Tim and Bridget, circa 1968.
(Photo by Henry Gris/FPG/Getty Images)

It was a steady thread. My father was at all times very in kids. He was a instructor and one in every of my grandmothers was a instructor. There was a robust custom in the family of paying attention to the wants of kids. There have been scenes with kids in virtually each one in every of my father’s movies. He was happy with me. He had quite a lot of confidence in me and knew this was additionally vital to me. He would say, “I trust your choice. If this is what you want to do, go for it.”

Fox News: What’s life like for you as we speak?
Kelly Novick: It’s terrific. I’ve three youngsters and 9 grandchildren. I’m nonetheless very lively in my profession. My husband and I write books collectively. We’re each psychoanalysts so we do quite a lot of educating. I’m 79 and I’m wholesome, comfortable and busy.

Gene Kelly swings from a lamp post in a still from the film, 'Singin' In The Rain' directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952.

Gene Kelly swings from a lamp submit in a nonetheless from the movie, ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952.
(Photo by MGM Studios/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Fox News: Before your father’s passing, how did he really feel about Hollywood?
Kelly Novick: He was very happy with his profession. He was additionally grateful that individuals continued to worth his work, particularly in the direction of the finish of his life. At one level, he advised me, “I just want to make people happy.” I feel he succeeded. His movies train us the pleasure of artistic expression. It’s not solely believable for folks to stroll down the road and abruptly burst into tune and dance. But the concept that this lives within us is, I feel, a robust motive why we nonetheless love his movies.