George Kelly (playwright)

George Kelly (Playwright)

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George Kelly (playwright)

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George Edward Kelly (16 January 1887 – 18 June 1974) was an American playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. He began his career in vaudeville as an actor and sketch writer. He became best known for his satiric comedies, including The Torch-Bearers (1922) and The Show-Off (1924).

Early life

Born in Philadelphia, the second of ten children, he was the brother of American businessman and Olympic champion sculler John B. Kelly, Sr. and the uncle of actress Grace Kelly. Not much is known about his early life, but he was an actor in his early years. He did not like the dramatic material available during the turn of the century, and wanted to change that. He served a year in France during WWI and after he came home starting writing.


Throughout his career, Kelly remained a realistic playwright, unaffected by the experiments of theatrical modernism. Novelist Edward Maisel <!-- to differentiate from Edward Maisel, author of the first popular Tai-chi-chuan manual in the English language -->described him as "a simple moralist using the theatre for simple moral purposes." Kelly's plays are often dominated by characters of monstrous egotism, and he casts a harsh light on their shortcomings. Uncompromising in his vision, he scrupulously avoided sentimentality and depictions of romance. Arthur Willis noted "Kelly appears to be anti-love, anti-romantic love, certainly, and distrustful of the tender emotions."...
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