Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire Artistfacts

  • May 10, 1899 - June 22, 1987
  • Fred Astaire formed a child act with his sister Adele that became popular in the 1910s. Their first act was called "Juvenile Artists Presenting an Electric Musical Toe-Dancing Novelty." Adele eventually married, leaving Astaire to begin his solo career.
  • Fred Astaire had his first big-screen dance with Ginger Rogers on December 22, 1932, when Flying Down to Rio opened. The pair made nine films together, including Roberta (1935), in which Astaire also demonstrated his piano talents with a solo on "I Won't Dance."
  • He surprised his audiences by announcing his retirement during the production of his 1946 film Blue Skies. For the next couple of years, Astaire concentrated on his horse-racing interests and founded the Fred Astaire Dance Studios.

    His retirement proved temporary, and Astaire returned to Hollywood to replace an injured Gene Kelly in Easter Parade (1948). He starred in a succession of other musicals, including The Band Wagon (1953) and Funny Face (1957).
  • Astaire introduced several of the most celebrated songs from the Great American Songbook, including (with his sister Adele) George and Ira Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm" in Lady, Be Good (1924). Others include:

    Cole Porter's "Night And Day" in Gay Divorce (1932)
    Irving Berlin's "Cheek To Cheek", in Top Hat (1935)
    "Let's Face The Music And Dance" in Follow the Fleet (1936)
    Johnny Mercer's "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" in The Sky's the Limit (1943)
  • Astaire took up skateboarding in his 70, and at the age of 78 broke his left wrist while riding his grandson's skateboard. He remained physically active well into his 80s.
  • There has never been a movie about Fred Astaire, and there never will be. Astaire's will included a clause requesting that no such portrayal ever take place. (Source: The Encyclopedia of Trivia).

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