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Fred Astaire

Next star: Frank Albertson
Previous star: The Brothers Ritz

Biography

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

Stanley Donen brought wit, style, heartache and joy to the movies
LA Times Entertainme, 2019-02-24 19:05:00
What does pure joy look like on screen? Stanley Donen gave us no shortage of possible answers. Fred Astaire suavely defying the laws of gravity in “Royal Wedding” is one. The marvelously inventive barn-dancing number in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” is another. By now it feels almost unnecessary...

Ken Nordine, Surreal Poet With a Jazz Beat, Is Dead at 98
NY Times Music, 2019-02-22 20:31:39
His improvisational poetry, which he called “word jazz,” attracted admiring collaborators like Fred Astaire, Jerry Garcia, Tom Waits and Laurie Anderson.

SoCal dance listings, Feb. 17-24: Heidi Duckler Dance’s ‘Ebb & Flow’ festival and more
LA Times Entertainme, 2019-02-16 01:00:00
Astaire Dances 2: Fred & Ginger American Contemporary Ballet re-creates five of movie legend Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ classic dance routines; program also includes the suite from Balanchine’s "Who Cares?" Cooper Design Space, 860 S. Los Angeles St., 11th floor, L.A. Sun., 1 and 4 p.m. $45-$90....

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