Stanley Donen

Always a dancer, Stanley Donen (born April 13, 1924, in Columbia, S.C.) debuted on Broadway at age 16 in the chorus of "Pal Joey." The show's star, Gene Kelly, became a friend and collaborator, and when he left for Hollywood, Donen soon followed.

After working as a choreographer during the 1940s, Donen shared directing credits with Kelly on the exuberant musical comedy On the Town (1949). Donen and Kelly would team again three years later to make what many consider the greatest musical of all time: Singing in the Rain. Throughout the '50s, Donen continued to direct the colorfully buoyant musicals that became his trademark, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and The Pajama Game (1957).

As the musical genre withered, Donen proved his diversity with a string of successful nonmusical films, including Indiscreet (1958), Charade (1963) and the cult hit Bedazzled (1967).