I know many of you vintage lovers out there are well aware of who Orry-Kelly was, but while I've known the name for years, I can't say I knew anything about him until watching a recent documentary on Netflix. Entitled Women He Undressed, it explores the personal and professional life of the immensely talented Hollywood costumer.
1. His first name, Orry, was the name of an ancient king of the Isle of Man, where Kelly's father was from.
2. He held the record for most Oscars won by an Australian until 2014, when Catherine Martin, another costume designer, surpassed him.
3. Kelly originally studied art, and his costume drawings are works of art in their own right.
4. Orry-Kelly and Archibald Leach (later to become Cary Grant) were roommates when Kelly first arrived in New York. Rumor suggests that the two romantically involved, although both men remained closed mouth about it their entire lives.
5. If you watched a Warner Brothers movie from the 1930s through the 1960s, Kelly probably did the costumes for it.
I highly recommend Women He Undressed, which is available to stream now on Netflix. It's a great look at the side of Hollywood that we don't often get to see.