Cinema Penguin

Fred Astaire (1899 — 1987)

Fred Astaire was born on May 10, 1899 in Omaha, Nebraska. His first stage experiences came in a brother/sister act with his sister Adele. Together they played the vaudeville circuit and advanced to productions on Broadway and in London. The partnership broke up with Adele's marriage in the early 30s.

Astaire's famous partnership with Ginger Rogers started with a minor role in Flying Down to Rio. Astaire and Rogers would go along to make ten films together, many of which are considered classics of the genre. Astaire insisted that all dance sequences be filmed with a stationary camera in a single shot. This was a marked contrast from the style of the times in which aerial shots, quick takes, and zooms were used to enhance (and sometimes detract!) from the dance. Astaire would famously quip, "Either the camera will dance, or I will."

At the end of the 30s, the Astaire/Rogers partnership broke up and Astaire went on to make a series of classic films, including Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby, Easter Parade with Judy Garland, and Royal Wedding with Jane Powell.

In later years, Astaire focused more on straight acting roles. He received an Academy Award nomination for his supporting actor role in The Towering Inferno.

Fred Astaire died on June 22, 1987, leaving behind the wonderful memories and wonderful performances of perhaps the greatest dancer of the 20th century.


Hover over the Marquee to Pause

1981Ghost StoryRicky Hawthorne
1979The Man in the Santa Claus SuitProprietor
1978A Family Upside DownTed Long
1976The Amazing DobermansDaniel Hughes
1974The Towering InfernoHarlee Claiborne
1969Midas RunJohn Pedley
1968Finian's RainbowFinian McLonergan
1962The Notorious LandladyFranklyn Ambruster
1961The Pleasure of His CompanyBiddeford
1959On the BeachJulian Osborne
1957Silk StockingsSteve Canfield
1957Funny FaceDick Avery
1955Daddy Long LegsJervis Pendleton
1953The Band WagonTony Hunter
1952The Belle of New YorkCharlie Hill
1951Royal WeddingTom Bowen
1950Let's DanceDonald Elwood
1950Three Little WordsBert Kalmar
1949The Barkleys of BroadwayJosh Barkley
1948Easter ParadeDon Hewes
1946Blue SkiesJed Potter
1945Yolanda and the ThiefJohnny Parkson Riggs
1942You Were Never LovelierRobert Davis
1942Holiday InnTed Hanover
1941You'll Never Get RichRobert Curtis
1940Second ChorusDanny O'Neill
1940Broadway Melody of 1940Johnny Brett
1939The Story of Vernon and Irene CastleVernon Castle
1938CarefreeTony Flagg
1937A Damsel in DistressJerry Halliday
1937Shall We DancePetrov
1936Swing TimeLucky Garnett
1936Follow the FleetBake Baker
1935Top HatJerry Travers
1934The Gay DivorceeGuy Holden
1933Flying Down to RioFred Ayres