About this star

Fred Astaire

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Previous star: The Brothers Ritz


The evaluation of Fred Astaire's first screen test: "Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little." Little did they know that Fred Astaire was soon to be one of the greatest male stars of all time. Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor whose stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of seventy-six years, during which he made thirty-one musical films. Fred Astaire entered show business at age 5 and soon became successful both in vaudeville and on Broadway in partnership with his sister, Adele Astaire. After Adele retired to marry in 1932, Astaire headed to Hollywood. Signed to RKO, he was loaned to MGM to appear in Dancing Lady (1933) before starting work on RKO's Flying Down to Rio (1933). In the latter film, he began his highly successful partnership with Ginger Rogers, with whom he danced in nine RKO pictures. During these years, he was also active in recording and radio.

After a temporary retirement from 1945-1947, during which he opened Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Astaire returned to film to star in more musicals through 1957. Some of Fred Astaire's most memorable films include Ziegfeld Follies (1946), Three Little Words (1950), for which he won a Globen Globe, and Royal Wedding (1951), in which he performed his famous "Ceiling Dance." According to Gene Kelly, "The history of dance on film begins with [Fred] Astaire." Beyond film and television, many classical dancers and choreographers, including Rudolf Nureyev and Jerome Robbins, also acknowledge Astaire's importance and influence. In 1999, Fred Astaire was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.

Fred Astaire is proof that to make it in Hollywood, you must never give up even if you are first met with disappointment.

Fact file

Read more about Fred Astaire at Wikipedia or at the Internet Movie Database

In the news

Corbin Bleu, on Broadway and Dancing in Fred Astaire’s Footsteps
NY Times Theater, 2016-10-12 20:14:05
The “High School Musical” star straps on his tap shoes for “Holiday Inn,” a new musical take on the 1942 film.

Variety, 2016-10-07 02:00:14
“Holiday Inn,” the 1942 film that starred Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby and a calendar full of Irving Berlin tunes, has gotten a complete and first-class stage redo at Roundabout Theatre Company, turning this shaky fixer-upper into prime property that should please audiences looking for an easy-on-the-eyes, none-too-taxing escape. Director Gordon ...

French choreographer casts Faustian spell on London
Yahoo Entertainment, 2015-06-21 10:59:52
With a nod to golden-age artists from Fred Astaire to Charlie Chaplin, French choreographer Philippe Decouflé has brought a musical extravaganza to London inspired by the soul-selling diabolical story of Faust. Best known for his work with Cirque du Soleil and for staging the ceremonies at the Albertville Olympics of ...

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