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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

On the Cinema - A new book about Orry Kelly

Cinephile Ian Taylor writes: 

Hi Geoff,

A friend of ours has just had published his bio of the Oscar-winning Aus. costume designer Orry Kelly, the first to be written. I've attached a copy of the press release and I was wondering if you might mention it in Film Alert as it is film related? Sheila and I had quite a lot to do with the book and have written the foreword. Let me know if  that's OK. Thanks a lot.

Best regards,

Ian Taylor.

Impact Press has released the first biography of the great Australian costume designer, Orry Kelly.

Orry Kelly was born in Kiama, NSW in 1897 and went to the USA in 1922.  After eight years in New York he moved to Hollywood where he worked with many major studios, dressing all the well-known female stars of the day until his death in 1964. He won three Academy Awards and was nominated for a fourth. Until 2014 he held the record for the most Oscars won by an Australian and, yet until this year, little was known about his glittering career. Then the dam burst!

A documentary by Gillian Armstrong was released recently along with Kelly’s own memoir; an exhibition about his life and work is currently at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne; and now Robert Parkinson’s widely researched biography has been published, providing a complete picture of this talented Australian-born costume designer. It is the first biography about Orry Kelly to be published.

Robert Parkinson studied classics and education at University of Sydney, graduating in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Diploma in Education. Robert is a member of the Cinema and Theatre Historical Society of Australia Inc. and writes articles for their quarterly journal. Robert is also a member of the Royal Australian Historical Society and Sydney Mechanics School of Art and has researched Orry Kelly in detail over several years.

“Orry Kelly, Miss Weston’s Protégé – The Story of a Great Hollywood Designer”
Impact Press, 212 pp. inc. 16 pp. of b/w photos. RRP. $25.00

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact:
Robert Parkinson at or phone 8068 1762.

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