Gene Kelly, the American actor, singer and director who made dancing in films cool, landed his most memorable role in 1952. While filming the famous scene in Singin’ in the Rain (the stage version of which is being performed at the Academy for Performing Arts, in Wan Chai), however, Kelly was suffering a fever of 103 degrees. Most of his film roles featured a dance scene, including in the 1948 movie The Three Musketeers, an adaptation of the classic novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas …

Born in 1802, the writer, whose works have been translated into almost 100 languages and who is one of the most widely read French authors, was a bit of a ladies man – he is reported to have had almost 40 mistresses. One of his most famous literary works is the 1844 adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo, which inspired The Great Vendetta, a 1970s Hong Kong TV show in which the setting of Dumas’ story was changed from Europe to southern China during the Republican era. The star of the show was Adam Cheng Siu-chow …

The TVB actor and Canto-pop crooner has been a household name in Hong Kong for more than half a century. In the 90s, Cheng became known as a stock-market jinx after the Hang Seng Index lost more than 1,200 points, or 20 per cent, directly after the actor played Ting Hai in The Greed of Man, a TV show that centred on triad violence and corruption in the stock market. The “Ting Hai effect” is a tongue-in-cheek term now used to describe an unexplained fall in global stock markets whenever Cheng stars in a new show. In 1983, he acted in martial-arts film Shaolin and Wu Tang, which inspired the name of the US hip-hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan …

Formed in New York City in 1992, the Wu-Tang Clan – known for their feuds, outrageous pranks and love of martial arts – have been one of the most influential hip-hop acts of the past three decades; Kanye West and Jay Z have named the group as a major influence. One of the founding members, RZA, has branched out into film, directing The Man with the Iron Fists, starring Russell Crowe. He was also one of the cast members in Jim Jarmusch’s 2003 film Coffee and Cigarettes, along with Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Tom Waits and rock ’n’ roll wildman Iggy Pop …

Born James Newell Osterberg Jnr, the 68-year-old’s stage name was inspired by that of the band he drummed with in high school: The Iguanas. In the 1970s, Pop became notorious for his on-stage antics, which over the years have included mutilating himself, stripping naked, rolling around in broken glass and covering himself in peanut butter. In 1990, the former heroin addict recorded a duet of Well, Did You Evah! with Blondie rocker Debbie Harry for the Red Hot + Blue Aids charity album. The song was written in 1939 by Cole Porter …

The American composer and songwriter called the Waldorf-Astoria Tower, in Manhattan, New York, home from 1939 to 1964 – his floral print-decorated Steinway piano is now located in the lobby. Porter composed more than 1,200 songs for the stage and screen, including the 1957 musical comedy Les Girls and the 1948 musical feature film The Pirate, both of which starred Gene Kelly.