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date: 03 July 2020


(31 December 1897–26 February 1964)
  • Bobbi Owen


Orry-Kelly (31 December 1897–26 February 1964), costume designer, was born Orry George Kelly in Kiama, New South Wales, Australia, the son of William George Kelly, a tailor, and Florence Evalean Purdue. After studying art in Australia and working briefly as a banker, Orry-Kelly immigrated to New York City in 1923, hoping to become an actor. In the mid-1920s he waited tables and worked as a clerk, acting only on occasion. He did, however, find work painting for scenic studios, decorating apartments, and designing silent film titles. It was in New York that he received his entrée into the career—as a costume designer—that would dominate his professional life. In the late 1920s he began designing costumes, and occasionally scenery, for Broadway productions, including ...

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