Broadway actress and dancer Paula Kelly has died, reports The actress was 76. The Jacksonville native moved to New York City with her family where she attended The High School of Music and Art and Juilliard.

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Kelly was first known for her work on Broadway, appearing in shows like “Sophisticated Ladies” in 1981 which showcased the music of Duke Ellington. Kelly became a choreographer for TV specials as well and shared the stage with legendary dancer/actor Gene Kelly for his 1966 special “Gene Kelly in New York, New York,” In 1973, she performed on Quincy Jones’s 1973 special “Duke Ellington… We Love You Madly.”

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Kelly’s roles in the movies included  the 1974 blaxploitation classic “Uptown Saturday Night” with Sidney Poitier,  Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte and with Richard Pryor in  “Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling” (1986). She also apepared in movie classics like “The Andromeda Strain” (1971) and  “Soylent Green” (1973).

In later years, Kelly was likely best known for her work on the TV shows “NIght Court” and in “The Women Of Brewster Place” for which she received her second Emmy nod.

In 1969, Kelly did an artistic Playboy shoot which gave her the distinction as being the first woman to ever show pubic hair in the magazine.


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