Today we are featuring….Fred Astaire!
“People think I was born in top hat and tails.”
The son of an Austrian immigrant, Fred Astaire entered show business at age 5. He was 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 10 RKO pictures. During these years, he was also active in recording and radio. On film, Astaire later appeared opposite a number of partners through various studios. After a temporary retirement in 1945-7, during which he opened Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Astaire returned to film to star in more musicals through 1957. He subsequently performed a number of straight dramatic roles in film and TV.
A Scene from Swing Time
The Famous Dance on the Ceiling….yes, you heard me correctly. Dancing on a ceiling.
A coat rack, weights, parallel bars and Fred Astaire…
Facts about Mr. Fred Astaire…
Wore his trademark top hat and tails in his very first movie appearance, Dancing Lady(1933).
He was voted the 19th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Named the #5 greatest actor on The 50 Greatest Screen Legends by the American Film Institute.
He was voted the 23rd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.
One of the first Kennedy Center Honorees in 1978.
Ranked #73 in Empire (UK) magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” list.
Astaire disguised his very large hands by curling his middle two fingers while dancing.
His legs were insured for one million dollars.
While all music and songs were known to be dubbed (recorded before filming), his tap dancing was dubbed also. He “over-dubbed” his taps – recording them live as he danced to the previously recorded taps.
Inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2002 (inaugural class).
In December 2013, he was honored as Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month.
Interred at Oakwood Memorial Park, Chatsworth, California, USA, the same cemetery where long-time dancing partner, Ginger Rogers, is located.