Gene Kelly plays the role of Danny McGuire, a former musician and nightclub owner who is now in the construction business but wants to open a new nightclub. Gene Kelly was a legendary dancer, choreographer, actor, singer, and director in numerous Broadway plays and movies of the 1940s and '50s. Some of his many movies include For Me and My Gal, An American in Paris, On the Town, and perhaps his best known movie, Singin' in the Rain. In the 1944 movie Cover Girl, his character's name was also Danny McGuire, and he was also a nightclub owner. In 1973, after the death of his wife Jeannie, he retired from movie-making to take care of his children. He came out of retirement for Xanadu in 1979, and it was his last major movie role. In 1990, he married writer Patricia Ward and started working on his biography. He passed away on February 2, 1996, after a series of strokes.
A Xanadu Fan Site
For a more in-depth look at his life, read his PBS biography here.