The Costumes of Orry Kelly

Born to Irish parents in Australia, Kelly’s early ambitions to be an actor led him to Hollywood in his twenties and gave way, after a stint as a mural painter and tie salesman, to a massively successful career as a costume designer in countless films until his death in 1964. He is most especially known for gowning (can I say that?) the leading actresses of the day, including Katherine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and Rita Hayworth.

He worked on a long list of classics; Some Like It Hot, The Maltese Falcon, Angels With Dirty Faces, The Little Foxes etc. Among his iconic creations are the red dress upon which the plot of Jezebel hinged, and Ava Gardner's noir touch in The Killers.

Photos (all rights with the owners)

1] Kelly and Tony Curtis on the set of Some Like It Hot (1950)

2] Ava Gardner publicity shot for The Killers (1946)

3] Bette Davis in Jezebel (1938)

4] Bette Davis in Mrs Skeffington (1944)

5] Natalie Wood in Gypsy (1962)

6] Marilyn Monroe & Kelly on the set of Some Like It Hot (1950)

7] Shirley MacLaine in Irma La Douce (1963)

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