It was on this day, January 23, 1951 in M(ichigan)M(ovie)H(istory), American actor and musician David Patrick Kelly was born. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Kelly graduated cum laude from the University of Detroit where he wrote four musicals as an undergraduate that were produced on Detroit stages. They were Lysistrata (from Aristophanes), The World from My Window (based on a book of children’s poems), a project based on Gulliver’s Travels (in the land of horses) and Home for Silent Clowns, a mime show with songs. He was also a student of Marcel Marceau and Mira Rostova.
Kelly burst onto the acting scene in 1979, playing the homicidal but cowardly leader of the leather-clad gang “The Rogues” in Walter Hill’s controversial New York City gang film The Warriors (1979).In his role of Luther in the 1979 cult film The Warriors, Kelly screeches the famous line, “Warriors…come out to play-ee-ay!!”, which he himself improvised. He also played a character named Luther in the hit 1982 film 48 Hrs. starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy.
Besides this and his role in The Crow, Kelly’s film credits include the 1985 hit action film Commando, in which he played Sully (a Green Beret-turned-mercenary who is thrown from a cliff by Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of the film’s more humorous death scenes), as well as Crooklyn, Hammett, Wild At Heart, Dreamscape, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Last Man Standing, Songcatcher, K-PAX, the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard, Flags of Our Fathers, John Wick and Chi-Raq. Television
In television, David Lynch created the character of Jerry Horne on Twin Peaks specifically for Kelly; his many television guest appearances include Miami Vice, Moonlighting, Spenser: For Hire, Ghostwriter, Third Watch, Hack, Kidnapped, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Gossip Girl, Louie, Blue Bloods, and The Blacklist.
Kelly’s tight-lipped expressions and attitude that made him appear “like a grenade with the pin pulled,” got him plenty of roles playing defiant young men, often in trouble with authority.
David Patrick Kelly is 65 today.