Fred Astaire: Career, Movies, Height, Hit Movies, Roles

Fred Astaire

One of the most entertaining and great dancers in Hollywood was Fred Astaire. He is known to be the most successful musical comedy film actor, in which he starred opposite Ginger Rogers. 

Fred Astaire is known to be the “greatest popular-music dancer of all time.” Other than being the greatest dancer, he is the fifth “greatest male star of Classic Hollywood cinema.”

So to know more about the great Fred Astaire and more about his movies and musicals, then keep on scrolling down. 

Overview

But before we learn more about Fred Astaire and dive down deeper, here are a few details that you should know about. 

BornFrederick Austerlitz,
May 10, 1899,
Omaha, Nebraska, US.
DiedJune 22nd, 1987 (aged 88)
Resting PlaceOakwood Memorial Park Cemetery
OccupationDancer, Actor, Singer, Choreographer, Presenter
Years Active1904 – 1981
SpousesPhyllis Livingston Potter (m. 1904 – died. 1954),
Robyn Smith (m. 1980)
Children2, Ava Astaire McKenzie,
Fred Astaire Jr. 
Height5’9 (1.75 m)
Signature

Early Life

Early Life

When he was only four years old, Fred started dancing and in the years 1906, he did an act with his sister Adele, known as the vaudeville attraction. In the broadway show Over the Top, the two siblings made their debut. 

The duo gained international fame with the shows The Band Wagon, For Goodness Sake, and Funny Face. After gaining solo recognition with Gay Divorce, before considering offers coming from Hollywood. Astaire screen tested for RKO Radio Pictures, the report read, “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Balding. Can dance a little.”

Fred Astaire made his Hollywood debut with the musical film “Dancing Lady.” In the movie, he appeared alongside Joan Crawford. After he returned to RKO, he went the fifth billing right after the fourth billing with Ginger Rogers in 1933, vehicle Flying Down to Rio. 

Filmography

Filmography

The exceptional duo of Astaire and Rogers together made nine films with RKO Radio Pictures. These Fred Astaire movies are, Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, Swing Time, Shall We Dance, Carefree, Roberta, Flying Down to Rio, The gay Divorce, and also The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. 

Out of the nine his and Ginger Rogers movies, six of their musical movies are the biggest moneymakers for RKO Radio Pictures. Talking about their duo, popular actress Katherine Hepburn said, “He gives her class and she gives him sex appeal.”

Astaire became immensely popular with his dancing styles, that was effortless, light, relaxed, and highly improvised. Although his dancing looked effortless, the choreographer Hermes Pan said, “he was a hardworking perfectionist who tirelessly rehearsed routines for hours on end.”

In the later years, Astaire appeared alongside popular actresses like Rita Hayworth, Lucille Bremer, and Eleanor Powell. 

Later in life, He starred in the film Easter Paradise, which had his most famous dance routines, and also featured Judy Garland. The Barkleys of Broadway was also the 10th and the last movie he did with Ginger Rogers. 

Personal Life

Personal Life

Among all the classical stars, Fred Astair and Cary Grant were known as “the best-dressed actors in American movies.” He was a fashion icon for years, with his trademark style of the top hat, tail, and white tie. 

During his later years, he let go of his trademark styles and adorned colored shirts, tailored sports jackets, and slacks. 

At the age of 25 years, Astaire married a New York socialite, Phyllis Livingston Baker. But their marriage ended with her sudden death due to lung cancer at the age of 46. Along with Phyllis’s former son, Eliphalet IV, Astaire had two other children, Fred Astaire jr. and daughter Ava Astaire. 

At the age of 81, Astaire married again to Robyn Smit, who was 45 years younger than him. Tom Holland, on 5th December 2021, announced that he would be playing the role of Fred Astaire in an upcoming biopic of Astaire. 

Frequently Asked Questions!

So if you have more doubts about the great Fred Astaire, then here are a few questions that might help you. 

1. How Many Movies Did Fred Astaire Dance In? 

Fred Astaire starred in over 10 West End and Broadway musicals, starred in 31 musical films, numerous recordings, and four television specials.

2. Who Was Fred Astaire’s Favorite Dance Partner?

Fred Astaire starred in two films opposite Rita Hayworth, who Fred once said was his favorite dance partner ever.

3. How Many Movies Did Fred Astaire Do With Ginger Rogers?

They are the most famous duo in Hollywood history, or maybe in the Golden Age. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers starred in about 10 movies together.

Wrapping Up!

Now that you know everything that is to know about the great Fred Astaire, then you can go and watch all his great musical movies and enjoy the dance numbers as well. 

All the greatest hits of Fred Astaire are regarded as outstanding, perfectionism ad innovative, just like his dancing abilities.

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Nabamita Sinha