- Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska on May 10, 1899.
- Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, actor, singer and choreographer.
- Fred Astaire father’s name was Frederic Austerlitz, a brewer by trade and was a Catholic.
- Astaire mother, Johanna Geilus was born in the United States but was a German.
- “Astaire” was a name adopted by Fred and his sister Adele in 1905, during the dance, speaking, and singing preparation for developing an act called vaudeville.
- Fred Astaire complete career lasted for seventy-six years, during which he made thirty-one musical films.
- Fred made ten films which transformed and revolutionize the industry of entertainment. He mainly worked in association with Ginger Rogers in making films.
- He was the greatest dancer of the twentieth century.
- Astaire is still known to have been the most dominant and leading dancer in the history of film and television musicals performances.
- Fred and Adele signed a major contract when they played the famed Orpheum circuit all over the United States, including Omaha.Fred and Adele performed onBroadway and on the London stage in shows such as Lady Be Good, Funny Face and The Band Wagon in 1920’s and enormously applauded by the theater crowd all over the Atlantic.
- They break up in 1932, when Adele married, Lord Charles Cavendish and Fred went on to achieve success while considering offers from Hollywood.
Achievements and Rewards
- In 1933 Fred went through RKO Pictures screen test report on Astaire, but the test was clearly disappointing.
- In 1933 only, he appeared in his Hollywood debut where he acted as a dancer with Joan Crawford in the successful musical film “Dancing Lady”.
- Astaire was initially not willing to become part of another dancing team, but he was convinced by the public appeal of the Astaire-Rogers pairing and therefore decided to pursue the pairing.
- Gradually, he made a total of ten musical films with Ginger Rogers.
- The choreography of Astaire and Hermes Pan, assisted in transforming dance in a revolutionary element of the Hollywood film musical.
- Till today the Astaire-Rogers series are among the top films of the 1930s.
Some of these are:
- The Gay Divorcee (1934),
- Roberta (1935),
- Top Hat (1935),
- Follow the Fleet (1936),
- Swing Time (1936),
- Shall We Dance (1937),
- Carefree (1938).
- The partnership made them achieve the unexpected stardom.
- Characteristically, an Astaire film would contain a solo performance by Astaire which he called his "sock solo," a dance routine with a romantic, comedy, dance partner. Rogers is considered to have been Astaire's greatest dance partner.
- As compared to the later partners such as Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, Vera Ellen, and Eleanor Powell who displayed superior as well as technical dance ability
- Ginger Rogers had an incomparable style and talent.
- Ginger Rogers while dancing conveyed the impression that dancing with Fred is the most thrilling experience that anyone can think of.
- Astaire introduced some of the most popular songs, Irving Berlin's "Isn't it a Lovely Day", "Cheek to Cheek" and "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" from Top Hat (1935),
- "Let's Face the Music and Dance" from Follow the Fleet (1936) and "Change Partners" from Carefree (1938).
- He also performed
- Jerome Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight" from Swing Time (1936)
- the Gershwins' "They Can't Take That Away From Me" from Shall We Dance (1937),
- "A Foggy Day" and "Nice Work if You Can Get it" from A Damsel in Distress (1937).
- Fred also commenced Johnny Mercer's "One for My Baby" from The Sky's the Limit (1943) and "Something's Gotta Give" from Daddy Long Legs (1955) along with Harry Warren and Arthur Freed's "This Heart of Mine" from Ziegfeld Follies (1946).
Some of the films done by Fred were:
- You'll Never Get Rich (1941) ,
- Holiday Inn (1942)
- You Were Never Lovelier (1942) ,
- The Sky's the Limit (1943),
- Yolanda and the Thief (1945),
- Ziegfeld Follies (1946),
- Blue Skies (1946),
- Easter Parade (1948),
- The Barkleys of Broadway (1949).