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If Swing Goes...I Go Too

Fred Astaire
10 May
External Services:
  • _fred_astaire_@livejournal.com
I have no desire to prove anything by dancing. I have never used it as an outlet or a means of expressing myself. I just dance. I just put my feet in the air and move them around.
--Fred Astaire

Gene Kelly: "When Ginger Rogers danced with Astaire, it was the only time in the movies when you looked at the man, not the woman."

However Astaire is best summed up in this way...

Mikhail Baryshnikov, opening the tribute on the occasion of the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 1981:
"I have been invited to say something about how dancers feel about Fred Astaire," Baryshnikov said. "It's no secret. We hate him!”
"He gives us complexes, because he's too perfect. His perfection is an absurdity that's hard to face."
"The problem with Astaire is that he's everywhere -- moving. You know, you give your own performance and receive applause and you think maybe, just maybe, it was successful, and you go home ... and turn on the television to relax and there he is. Making you feel nervous all over again.
"You remember the remark by Ilie Nastase about Bjorn Borg: 'We are playing tennis, he is playing something else.' It's the same with Fred Astaire -- we are dancing, but he is doing something else."

Birth name: Frederic Austerlitz Jr.

D.O.B: 10th May 1899

Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)

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. 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 9 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 a chain of dancing schools, Astaire returned to film to star in more musicals through 1957. He subsequently performed a number of straight dramatic roles in film and TV.

Ranked #73 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]

Children: son Fred Jr. (born 1936), daughter Ava (born 1942).

The evaluation of Astaire's first screen test: "Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little."

Astaire disguised his very large hands by curling his middle two fingers while dancing.

First met lifelong best friend Irving Berlin on the set of Top Hat (1935).

After Blue Skies (1946), New York's Paramount Theater generated a petition of 10,000 names to persuade him to come out of retirement.

Born at 9:16pm-CST

The only time he and Gene Kelly ever danced together on screen (other than the compilation 1974 movie, _That's Entertainment (1974)_ ) was in one routine, titled "The Babbitt and the Bromide" in the 1946 movie Ziegfeld Follies (1946).

Appears on sleeve of The Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album.

One of the first Kennedy Center Honorees in 1978.

Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard)

Don McLean's song "Wonderful Baby" was written with Astaire in mind; Astaire reportedly loved the song, and recorded it for an album.

Made a cameo appearance in John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Imagine (1973) film, escorting Yoko through a doorway; after one successful take, he asked to try again, believing he could do a better job.

In the year 2000 the following album was released as a tribute to him: "Let Yourself Go: Celebrating Fred Astaire". All songs were performed by Stacey Kent.

He was voted the 19th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

His legs were insured for one million dollars.

Famously wore a necktie around his waist instead of a belt, an affectation he picked up from his friendship with actor Douglas Fairbanks but often mistakenly attributed to Astaire alone.

He was voted the 23rd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.

Named the #5 greatest actor on The 50 Greatest Screen Legends by the American Film Institute

Born only 8 months after his sister Adele Astaire.

classic_rpg Part of this community. I am not actually the real Fred Astaire nor am I part of his estate in any way.