Fred Astaire

Actor, Dancer, Choreographer
With his older sister and dance partner Adele, vaudeville performer Fred Astaire became the toast of Broadway during the Jazz Age while partnering with composers George and Ira Gershwin to redefine American musical ... Read more »
Born: 05/10/1899 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Filmography

Actor (63)

That's Entertainment! III 1994 (Movie)

Song Performer (Actor)

Going Hollywood: The War Years 1987 (Movie)

Himeslf (Actor)

George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey 1985 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Magic of Dance 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Ghost Story 1981 (Movie)

Ricky Hawthorne (Actor)

The American Film Institute Salute to Fred Astaire 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Performer

Merry Christmas From the Crosbys 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

That's Entertainment Part 2 1976 (Movie)

(Actor)

Un Taxi mauve 1976 (Movie)

Dr Scully (Actor)

The Amazing Dobermans 1975 (Movie)

Daniel Hughes (Actor)

Make Mine Red, White, and Blue 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

That's Entertainment! 1973 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The Towering Inferno 1973 (Movie)

Harlee Claiborne (Actor)

It Takes a Thief 1967 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

A Run on Gold 1969 (Movie)

John Pedley (Actor)

Finian's Rainbow 1968 (Movie)

Finian McLonergan (Actor)

Alcoa Premiere 1961 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

The Notorious Landlady 1962 (Movie)

Franklyn Armbruster (Actor)

The Pleasure of His Company 1961 (Movie)

Biddeford "Pogo" Poole (Actor)

The 12th Emmy Awards 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Host

On the Beach 1959 (Movie)

Julian Osborn (Actor)

Funny Face 1957 (Movie)

Dick Avery (Actor)

Silk Stockings 1957 (Movie)

Steve Canfield (Actor)

Daddy Long Legs 1955 (Movie)

Jervis Pendleton III (Actor)

The Band Wagon 1953 (Movie)

Tony Hunter (Actor)

Let's Dance 1949 (Movie)

Donald Elwood (Actor)

Easter Parade 1948 (Movie)

Don Hewes (Actor)

Carefree 1937 (Movie)

Dr. Flagg (Actor)

A Damsel in Distress 1936 (Movie)

Jerry Halliday (Actor)

Shall We Dance 1936 (Movie)

Petrov (Actor)

Swing Time 1936 (Movie)

John 'Lucky' Garnett (Actor)

Roberta 1934 (Movie)

Huck (Actor)

The Gay Divorcee 1934 (Movie)

Guy Holden (Actor)

Top Hat 1934 (Movie)

Jerry Travers (Actor)

Dancing Lady 1932 (Movie)

himself (Actor)

A Family Upside Down (TV Show)

Actor

Astaire Time (TV Show)

Actor

Blue Skies (Movie)

Jed Potter (Actor)

Broadway Melody of 1940 (Movie)

Johnny Brett (Actor)

Flying Down to Rio (Movie)

Fred Ayres (Actor)

Follow the Fleet (Movie)

Bake Baker (Actor)

Holiday Inn (Movie)

Ted Hanover (Actor)

Hollywood: The Golden Years (TV Show)

Actor

Royal Wedding (Movie)

Tom Bowen (Actor)

Second Chorus (Movie)

Danny O'Neill (Actor)

The Barkleys of Broadway (Movie)

John Barkley (Actor)

The Belle of New York (Movie)

Charlie Hill (Actor)

The Fred Astaire Show (TV Show)

Actor

The Sky's the Limit (Movie)

Fred Atwell/Fred Burton (Actor)

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (Movie)

Vernon Castle (Actor)

Three Little Words (Movie)

Bert Kalmar (Actor)

Yolanda and the Thief (Movie)

Johnny Parkson Riggs (Actor)

You Were Never Lovelier (Movie)

Robert Davis (Actor)

Ziegfeld Follies (Movie)

Fred Astaire/Raffles/Tai Long (Actor)
Music (19)

She's Funny That Way 2015 (Movie)

("Cheek To Cheek") (Song Performer)

Cake 2014 (Movie)

("Dig It") (Song Performer)

Step Up 3-D 2010 (Movie)

"I Won't Dance" (Song Performer)

Me and Orson Welles 2009 (Movie)

("They Can't Take That Away From Me") (Song Performer)

The Human Stain 2003 (Movie)

("Cheek To Cheek") (Song Performer)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence 2001 (Movie)

("Cheek to Cheek") (Song Performer)

Irving Berlin: An American Song 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Song Performer

The Next Best Thing 2000 (Movie)

("Steppin' Out with My Baby") (Song Performer)

The Green Mile 1999 (Movie)

("Cheek to Cheek") (Song Performer)

The English Patient 1996 (Movie)

("Check to Check") (Song Performer)

Great Performances' 20th Anniversary Special 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Music

Wrestling Ernest Hemingway 1993 (Movie)

("Top Hat, White Tie and Tails") (Song Performer)

The Fred Astaire Songbook 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Music

Loverboy 1989 (Movie)

("They Can't Take That Away From Me") (Song Performer)

Hotel Terminus: Klaus Barbie, His Life and Times 1988 (Movie)

("Pick Yourself Up") (Song Performer)

The Purple Rose of Cairo 1985 (Movie)

("Cheek to Cheek") (Vocals)

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? 1983 (Movie)

("The Way You Look Tonight") (Song Performer)

Pennies From Heaven 1981 (Movie)

("Let's Face the Music and Dance") (Song Performer)

Imposters 1978 (Movie)

("Night and Day") (Song Performer)
other (5)

The Gay Divorcee 1934 (Movie)

(Choreography)

Follow the Fleet (Movie)

(Choreography)

The Sky's the Limit (Movie)

(Choreography)

Three Little Words (Movie)

(Choreography)

You Were Never Lovelier (Movie)

(Choreography)
Other (3)

The Pleasure of His Company 1961 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Daddy Long Legs 1955 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Roberta 1934 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Biography

With his older sister and dance partner Adele, vaudeville performer Fred Astaire became the toast of Broadway during the Jazz Age while partnering with composers George and Ira Gershwin to redefine American musical theatre. After Adele's retirement in 1931, Astaire tried his luck in Hollywood, pairing with Ginger Rogers at RKO for a total of 10 films, including "Top Hat" (1935), "Follow the Fleet" (1936) and "Shall We Dance?" (1937). A self-punishing perfectionist, Astaire hid his torturous process behind a mask of suave self-composure, playing the sardonic American graced with a distinctly European sensuality. The Astaire-Rogers films proved a tonic for an anxious nation during the Great Depression. In later years, Astaire would take to the dance floor with a number of new partners, among them Eleanor Powell and Rita Hayworth, while also playing second banana to crooner Bing Crosby in the musical comedies "Holiday Inn" (1942) and "Blue Skies" (1946). Coaxed out of retirement for MGM's "Easter Parade" (1948), Astaire went on to headline "Royal Wedding" (1951), in which he danced seemingly weightless on walls and ceilings, and "The Band Wagon" (1953) with Cyd Charisse. Nominated for Academy Awards for his dramatic work in Stanley Kramer's "On the Beach" (1959) and Irwin Allen's "The Towering Inferno" (1974), an aging Astaire rode out the final third of his brilliant career as the elder statesman of American song and dance, who British writer Graham Greene called "the nearest approach we are ever likely to have to a human Mickey Mouse."

Relationships

Ann Geilus

Mother

Frederic Astaire

Son
born on January 21, 1936 mother, Phyllis Livingston Potter

Adele Astaire

Sister
older sibling born September 1896 Astaire's partner onstage in vaudeville, Broadway and London theatre during the 1910s and 20s retired from the Broadway stage to marry titled Englishman, Lord Charles Cavendish, in 1932 later married financier Kingman Douglass after Cavendish's death died in 1981

Frederic Austerlitz

Father
Austrian immigrant

Ava MacKenzie

Daughter
born March 28, 1942 mother, Phyllis Livingston Potter

Donna McKechnie Actor

Companion
"dated" a couple of times in the mid-1970s while McKechnie was appearing in the L.A. production of "A Chorus Line"

Phyllis Potter

Wife
Married 1933 until her death from cancer 1954

Peter Potter

Step-Son
mother, Phyllis Livingston Potter

Ginger Rogers Actor

Companion
dated briefly in 1930

Robyn Smith

Wife
Married 1980 until his death June 22, 1987

EDUCATION

Alvienne School

New York , New York 1904

briefly attended public school in Weehauken, New Jersey

Ned Wayburn's School

New York , New York

Milestones

1985

Appeared as himself in the documentary feature, "George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey"

1980

Last acting role in a feature film, "Ghost Story"

1979

Played eight roles in the NBC holiday movie "The Man in the Santa Claus Suit"

1978

Received Emmy for dramatic performance as elderly house painter whose heart attack makes him dependent on his family in the NBC movie "A Family Upside Down"; starred opposite Helen Hayes

1977

Had featured role in "Un Taxi Mauve/The Purple Taxi"

1976

Narrated the children's animated holiday special "The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town" (ABC)

1974

Paired on screen with Jennifer Jones in the all-star "disaster" flick "The Towering Inferno"; receieved a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination

1974

Was one of the narrators for the compilation film "That's Entertainment!", a collection of MGM's great movie musical scenes

1972

Appeared in the award-winning NBC variety special "Jack Lemmon in 'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous, 'S Gershwin"

1969

Starred in the ABC movie sequel "The Over-the-Hill Gang Ride Again"

1969

Narrated the animated children's holiday special "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"

1968

One-shot return to musical films, "Finian's Rainbow"

1968

Starred in the NBC variety special "The Fred Astaire Show"; also produced

1961

Acted in "The Pleasure of His Company"

1960

Won Emmy Award for the NBC variety special "Astaire Time"

1959

First dramatic role, "On the Beach"

1959

Starred in the NBC variety special "Another Evening with Fred Astaire"; received Emmy nomination

1958

Appeared in "An Evening with Fred Astaire" (NBC), the first of four highly acclaimed, Emmy-winning TV specials over the span of a decade, partnering him with dancer Barrie Chase; won Emmy

1957

Made his last regular song-and-dance films, "Funny Face" and "Silk Stockings"

1953

Appeared in one of his best films, the semi-autobiographical "The Band Wagon", loosely based on the stage musical

1949

Reteamed with Ginger Rogers after an ailing Judy Garland withdrew from "The Barkleys of Broadway"

1948

Returned to films to replace an injured Gene Kelly opposite Judy Garland in "Easter Parade"

1947

Opened chain of Fred Astaire Dance Studios (date approximate)

1946

Announced retirement after box-office failure of "Yolanda and the Thief" (1945) and subsidiary role in "Blue Skies" (1946)

1943

Signed by MGM; worked on first film there, the all-star revue, "Ziegfeld Follies", which featured "The Babbitt and the Bromide", a comic dance number which paired him with Gene Kelly; Astaire had introduced the number on Broadway with his sister Adele in

1940

First film at MGM, "Broadway Melody of 1940", opposite Eleanor Powell

1939

Left RKO after last 1930s film with Rogers, "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle"

1938

After box office failure of first starring film without Rogers, "A Damsel in Distress", voted "box office poison" by motion picture exhibitors along with Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, Edward Arnold and others

1935

Team of Astaire and Rogers listed in annual motion picture exhibitors poll of top ten box office stars three years in a row; placed fourth, third and seventh

1934

First starring role, opposite Rogers, in "The Gay Divorcee"; introduced the Oscar-winning song "The Continental"

1933

First sizable film role and first on screen partnering with Ginger Rogers in RKO's "Flying Down to Rio"; introduced the "Carioca" dance

1933

Film debut, a small guest star part as Joan Crawford's partner in climactic production numbers of "Dancing Lady"

1932

Last Broadway and London stage show before venturing to Hollywood, "Gay Divorce" (later adapted to film as "The Gay Divorcee"), with Claire Luce as his leading lady and dance partner

1931

Last stage show in which he co-starred with his sister Adele, "The Band Wagon"

1930

Assisted in choreographing numbers for the Gershwin show "Girl Crazy", starring Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers

1927

Acted opposite sister Adele in "Funny Face"; score by George and Ira Gershwin

1924

First formal collaboration with George and Ira Gershwin, "Lady, Be Good"; reprised roles in London

1923

London stage debut, "Stop Flirting", the retitled version of "For Goodness' Sake"

1922

Appeared in the Broadway musical "For Goodness' Sake" with a score that included songs by George Gershwin

1917

Broadway debut with Adele in "Over the Top"

1905

Began performing in vaudeville, paired with sister Adele; first act had them portray a miniature bride and groom

Made two popular films opposite Rita Hayworth at Columbia, "You'll Never Get Rich" and "You Were Never Lovelier"

Hosted and occasionally acted in "Alcoa Premiere", an anthology series aired on ABC; appeared as the Devil in six different personas in one entry entitled "Mr. Lucifer"

Had recurring role as the debonaire retired burglar Alister Mundy, father of Robert Wagner's Alexander Mundy in the ABC series "It Takes a Thief"

Bonus Trivia

.

Nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor in "The Towering Inferno" (1974).

.

Katharine Hepburn's sardonic explanation of the magic of the Astaire-Rogers partnership: "She gives him sex and he gives her class."

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