Fred Astaire

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Related to Fred Astaire: Ginger Rogers
Fred Astaire
Frederick Austerlitz
BirthplaceOmaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, percussionist

Astaire, Fred

(əstâr`), 1899–1987, American dancer, actor, and singer, b. Omaha, Nebr., as Frederick Austerlitz. After 1911 he and his sister Adele (1896–1981), b. Adele Marie Austerlitz, formed a successful Broadway vaudeville team. After his sister retired (1931), Astaire became a film actor (1933). He became known as a debonair song-and-dance man, particularly in the films he made with Ginger Rogers, which elevated the tap dance to an elegant, disciplined art. He also danced in movies with Eleanor Powell, Rita Hayworth, and Cyd Charisse, and on television with Barrie Chase. Among his most notable films are The Gay Divorcée (1934), Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936), Easter Parade (1948), Funny Face (1956), and Silk Stockings (1957). A number of classical dancers, notably NureyevNureyev, Rudolf
, 1938–93, Russian ballet dancer, b. near Irkutsk, Siberian USSR (now Russia). Nureyev studied in Ufa and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and in 1958 he became a soloist with the Kirov Ballet. In 1961 he defected from the Soviet Union while on tour in Paris.
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 and BaryshnikovBaryshnikov, Mikhail
, 1948–, Russian-American dancer and choreographer, b. Riga, Latvia (then in the USSR). He studied in Riga and performed with the Kirov Ballet (1966–74).
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, have acknowledged an artistic debt to him.


See his autobiography, Steps in Time (1959); biographies by B. Thomas (1985), B. Adler (1987), and J. Epstein (2008); J. Mueller, Astaire Dancing: The Musical Films (1985); A. Croce, The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book (rev. ed. 1987); E. Gallafent, Astaire and Rogers (2002); T. R. Decker, Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz (2011); K. Riley, The Astaires: Fred and Adele (2012).

Astaire, Fred (b. Frederick Austerlitz)

(1899–1987) actor, dancer, choreographer, singer; born in Omaha, Nebr. He began dance lessons at the age of five, and by the time he was seven he was touring the vaudeville circuit with his sister Adele as his dance partner. In 1917 they made their Broadway debut in the musical Over the Top. When Adele married, Fred was on his own, and made his first film appearance with Joan Crawford in Dancing Lady (1933). Then he was paired with Ginger Rogers in Flying Down to Rio (1933), and they went on to make 9 more musical films, revolutionizing the film musical with an assortment of original and innovative routines. After Rogers turned to dramatic roles, Astaire made more dance films with several partners. Although not so widely appreciated as a singer, his breezy renditions of certain period pieces are classics of their kind. The urbane, exuberant, sophisticated dancer turned to drama in 1959, in On the Beach, and continued in serious roles, winning an Emmy for A Family Upside Down (1978). He was the winner of a special Oscar (1949).
References in periodicals archive ?
We wanted to do something together and were looking for the right project when someone suggested the idea of Fred Astaire and we fell in love with it really.
Not even an umbrella that had never been mistaken for the late Mr Fred Astaire.
When one talks about Fred Astaire the first thing that comes to mind is dancing partner Ginger Rogers.
We've seen them on a night out in town, more like Fred Trueman than Fred Astaire.
For Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire I'd do mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil.
When Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers switch from singing about their love for each other to dancing about it, no one finds it puzzling.
Royal's three new Dirt Devil commercials, featuring Fred Astaire, debuted during last month's Super Bowl broadcast.
Roosevelt on the radio, Fred Astaire movies at Radio City Music Hall, Moses and LaGuardia at the helm of New York, the music of Gershwin and Duke Ellington wafting through the air--that's the idea.
The collection features the DVD debuts of The Pirate, That's Dancing, and Words and Music along with two new-to-DVD Double Feature discs: a pair of Mario Lanza/Kathryn Grayson musicals -- That Midnight Kiss and Toast of New York, and two Fred Astaire favorites -- Royal Wedding/ Belle of New York.
It's important for humanity and I am lucky I can do that - Actress Kate Winslet I love Fred Astaire, I'd love to do a Fred Astaire movie, that'd be great.
QUOTES OF THE DAY "We are looking for some urgency from our friends and partners and it's time, I think, to put a bit of a tiger in the tank and get this thing done" Foregin Secretary Boris Johnson on the Brexit talks "I would love to have a storm named after me" Former BBC weatherman Michael Fish, who famously in 1987 failed to predict one of the UK's most catastrophic cyclones "I love Fred Astaire, I'd love to do a Fred Astaire movie, that'd be great.