About this star

Fred Astaire

Next star: Frank Albertson
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

The Muppets Take the Hollywood Bowl in Great Style With Bobby Moynihan, Paul Williams
Billboard, 2017-09-09 16:22:51
"Aw, the Hollywood Bowl -- this icon of American culture has hosted Fred Astaire, Ella Fitzgerald, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and now...

Barrie Chase recalls 'Fred Astaire's indefinable magic'
BBC Entertainment, 2017-04-08 10:29:25
Dancer Barrie Chase speaks to BBC Breakfast about dancing with the legendary Fred Astaire.

Oscars production designer Derek McLane gives a glimpse of Sunday's stage for the 89th Academy Awards
LA Times Entertainme, 2017-02-25 01:25:00
One half expects the ghosts of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to swirl across the silver skyline rising inside the Dolby Theatre for Sunday’s 89th Academy Awards. The stage set glitters with more than 300,000 Swarovski crystals and is an homage to the sly and urbane musicals of the 1930s. ...

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