Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fred Astaire

"Well, of course I miss you baby
I've been thinking lately
That you don't need me anymore
You'd be better with Fred Astaire
He could take you anywhere
If you ask him to" 
- 'Fred Astaire' by San Sisco 

With his infectious cheeky smile, a schoolboy-like wit and flashy tap dancing moves, Fred Astaire was born to be a film legend. It's no wonder the Australian indie-pop band, San Sisco wrote a song about him. In a Variety Review of 1933 he was noted for his performance in Flying down to Rio, "He's assuredly a bet after this one, for he's distinctly likable on the screen, the mike is kind to his voice and as a dancer he remains in a class by himself."

Born in 1899, his first birthday was the dawn of a new century. By the age of seven Astaire and his sister had their own act and were already earning a salary when they hit their teens.

After his sister married a British aristocrat, he teamed up with the charismatic and enchanting Ginger Rogers. This was the beginning of a pair made in silver-screen heaven during which they filmed 10 movies. Life saw him through two marriages both to women who had never seen him perform this was until his death in 1987 when he was buried in the same cemetery as Ginger Rogers. He was also known for his dapper take on fashion which became his trademark, "People think I was born in top hat and tails."

Interesting trivia
  • The evaluation of Astaire's first screen test: "Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little."
  • His legs were insured for one million dollars.
  • He was voted the 19th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

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