Born in 1924, Donen got his start as a dancer. It was in the chorus line for George Abbott‘s production of “Pal Joey” that he met Gene Kelly. The two became quick friends, and Donen started working as Kelly’s assistant, helping him choreograph his intensely acrobatic dance sequences.
The two turned to filmmaking with “On the Town” (1949), a lavish Technicolor musical about three sailors on a 24 hour shore leave in New York City. They teamed up again for perhaps the greatest movie musical of