*Includes pictures of Astaire, Rogers, and other important people and scenes. *Includes their quotes about each other. *Includes a bibliography for further reading. Virtually all famous actors are regaled by the public, but even still, Fred Astaire occupies a privileged position in American pop culture. The specific films in which Astaire acted may not be especially famous in their own right - most people likely cannot recall the title of Top Hat (1935), his most decorated film - but Astaire's dancing prowess invariably creates a lasting impact on viewers. Instead of tying his fame to a single film, Astaire's genius lay in constructing his star persona around a specific set of iconographic imagery that has become embedded within American culture. Across his films, the recurring iconic images of the top hat, cane, and coat tails, as well as the image of Astaire dancing with Ginger Rogers, all constitute a timeless symbol for elegance that continues to captivate viewers who are unfamiliar with the plots of his films. There have been other film musical actors who were proficient dancers, Gene Kelly chief among them, but none were able to perform with the seamless elegance of Astaire, and none have been remembered nearly as well. Astaire's dancing numbers epitomized grace and gaiety, making it seem as though he was carefree, but this was hardly the case. While it is easy to imagine Astaire being raised in an aristocratic family, his working-class background was so blue collar that his family eventually relied on him and his sister as the primary breadwinners in the family. Rather than being born and raised with wealth in a large city, Astaire came from a working-class neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska, a setting so antithetical to the world of dance that it quickly became clear that the family would need to relocate. If anything, Astaire's unglamorous origins further demonstrate that the magisterial dancing and the effortlessly elegant image accompanying it were products of Astaire's tireless work ethic and insistence on perfection. Considering the immense success of their films together, it is entirely understandable that Astaire and Rogers are joined at the hip in the eyes of the public. However, an appreciation for the Fred and Ginger musicals is only enhanced by knowledge of the personal backgrounds of the two stars. After all, the fact remains that Astaire and Rogers came from vastly different cultural backgrounds, and at the time that they met, their careers had unfolded in dissimilar ways. Astaire was a national celebrity for his skills as a stage performer (mainly with his sister Adele), while Rogers was raised in a more archetypal Midwestern setting and her professional success was reached entirely through cinema. While Astaire made a name for himself through his dancing, Rogers was more recognized for her singing talents. Clearly, it is still possible to discern fundamental differences between their professional talents, contrasts that would become more distinguishable once they ceased making films together. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: The Story of Hollywood's Most Famous Dancers profiles the lives and careers of both stars, as well as a comprehensive analysis of their movies together. Along with a bibliography and pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Fred and Ginger like you never have before.
Dance in motion pictures, television, etc by Arlene Croce
The partnership between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, which was born and reached its peak in the Hollywood musical of the 1930s, is one of the most enduringly popular ever to have graced the cinema screen. This important new study explores the series of seven films - from "The Gay Divorcee " in 1934 to "Carefree" in 1938 - that represent the quintessential 'Fred and Ginger'. Astaire and Rogers are most renowned for their peerless dance duets, but these constitute only a small proportion of the time they appeared on screen together. Their skills as performers and their remarkable rapport are equally apparent in their acting and singing, and in Fred and Ginger Hannah Hyam analyses all three aspects of their partnership in depth, illuminating the qualities that give it such timeless appeal. Distinguishing the seven 'Fred and Ginger' films from the three others that Astaire and Rogers made together, the book defines their characteristic features and assesses their relative merits, before going on to examine in detail the romantic partnership between Fred and Ginger as pursued in dialogue, song and dance throughout the series. Generously illustrated with choice black and white stills, Fred and Ginger will be welcomed not only by Astaire-Rogers enthusiasts and students of the genre but by all lovers of film and of true artistry in music and dance.
One of the most dynamic figures of the entertainment industry, Fred Astaire's career spanned most of the twentieth century. For some, he brings to mind the world of Broadway. For others, he represents the golden age of the movie musical. But virtually all of his fans will long remember his effortlessly graceful dance routines. International dance giants have credited his work with inspiring their careers and with giving them a model of excellence. This reference book is a complete guide to Astaire's legendary career. The volume includes a short biography, followed by chapters devoted to his work in stage, film, radio, and television. each of these chapters contains entries for specific performances, with entries providing plot synopses, cast and credits, critical commentary, and excerpts from reviews. An annotated bibliography concludes the volume.
Armed with an eighth-grade education, an inexhaustible imagination, and an innate talent for dancing, Hermes Pan (1909-1990) was a boy from Tennessee who became the most prolific, popular, and memorable choreographer of the glory days of the Hollywood musical. While he may be most well-known for the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals which he choreographed at RKO film studios, he also created dances at Twentieth Century-Fox, M-G-M, Paramount, and later for television, winning both the Oscar and the Emmy for best choreography. In Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire, Pan emerges as a man in full, an artist inseparable from his works. He was a choreographer deeply interested in his dancers' personalities, and his dances became his way of embracing and understanding the outside world. Though his time in a Trappist monastery proved to him that he was more suited to choreography than to life as a monk, Pan remained a deeply devout Roman Catholic throughout his creative life, a person firmly convinced of the powers of prayer. While he was rarely to be seen without several beautiful women at his side, it was no secret that Pan was homosexual and even had a life partner. As Pan worked at the nexus of the cinema industry's creative circles during the golden age of the film musical, this book traces not only Pan's personal life but also the history of the Hollywood musical itself. It is a study of Pan, who emerges here as a benevolent perfectionist, and equally of the stars, composers, and directors with whom he worked, from Astaire and Rogers to Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Bob Fosse, George Gershwin, Samuel Goldwyn, and countless other luminaries of American popular entertainment. Author John Franceschina bases his telling of Pan's life on extensive first-hand research into Pan's unpublished correspondence and his own interviews. Pan enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers of any Hollywood dance director, and because his work also spanned across Broadway and television, this book will appeal to readers interested in musical theater history, dance history, and film.
Ginger Rogers had a versatile and successful career as a dancer, singer, comedienne, and Academy Award winning dramatic actress. Here is a detailed guide to her many accomplishments in the entertainment world. Though she is remembered chiefly as the dance partner of Fred Astaire, her work spanned a number of media and she was one of the most famous actresses in the United States. Faris provides detailed information on all of her performances.
Joseph Epstein’s Fred Astaire investigates the great dancer’s magical talent, taking up the story of his life, his personality, his work habits, his modest pretensions, and above all his accomplishments. Written with the wit and grace the subject deserves, Fred Astaire provides a remarkable portrait of this extraordinary artist and how he came to embody for Americans a fantasy of easy elegance and, paradoxically, of democratic aristocracy.Tracing Astaire’s life from his birth in Omaha to his death in his late eighties in Hollywood, the book discusses his early days with his talented and outspoken sister Adele, his gifts as a singer (Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Jerome Kern all delighted in composing for Astaire), and his many movie dance partners, among them Cyd Charisse, Rita Hayworth, Eleanor Powell, and Betty Hutton. A key chapter of the book is devoted to Astaire’s somewhat unwilling partnership with Ginger Rogers, the woman with whom he danced most dazzlingly. What emerges from these pages is a fascinating view of an American era, seen through the accomplishments of Fred Astaire, an unassuming but uncompromising performer who transformed entertainment into art and gave America a new yet enduring standard for style.
Illustrated with evocative stills, this is the first book to pay tribute to the genuine cinematic contribution of these two magnificent performers, and how their dance routines defined and advanced the movies they appeared in. 156 photos.
LIFE Magazine is the treasured photographic magazine that chronicled the 20th Century. It now lives on at LIFE.com, the largest, most amazing collection of professional photography on the internet. Users can browse, search and view photos of today’s people and events. They have free access to share, print and post images for personal use.
Traces siblings Fred and Adele Astaire's rise to fame, from humble Midwestern origins and early days as child performers on small-time vaudeville stages, to their 1917 debut on Broadway,to star billings on both sides of the Atlantic.
She was born Virginia Katherine McMath, but the world would come to know her—and love her—as Ginger Rogers: Broadway star, Academy Award-winning actress, and the ultimate on-screen dancing partner of the inimitable Fred Astaire. In Ginger: My Story, the legendary entertainer shares the triumphs of a remarkable career that began when she won a Texas dancing contest at age fourteen; the joys and heartbreaks of her five marriages; her relationships with some of Hollywood's major leading men, including Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and damaged daredevil billionaire Howard Hughes; and the strength of her religious convictions that got her through thick and thin. Lavishly illustrated with rare photographs from the author's personal collection, Ginger is an enthralling, behind-the-scenes tour of Hollywood life during the Golden Age of movies by one of its most enduring stars.
Ginger Rogers beauty, grace and talent delighted us on the silver screen, and this paper doll book by Marilyn Henry is sure to please with costumes from Gingers films including "Top Hat," "Swing Time," "Carefree," "Fifth Ave Girl," "Kitty Foyle," "Flying Down To Rio," and "Follow The Fleet." There are two pretty dolls and over 40 costumes and accessories to cut out and enjoy. Also included is a brief biography of Gingers life and career by fashion expert, David Wolfe. This special paper doll book is a treasure for fans of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, classic movies and paper dolls.
One of the foremost entertainers of the twentieth century—singer, actor, choreographer, and, of course, the most dazzling "hoofer" in the history of motion pictures—Fred Astaire was the epitome of charm, grace, and suave sophistication, with a style all his own and a complete disregard for the laws of gravity. Steps in Time is Astaire's story in his own words, a memoir as beguiling, exuberant, and enthralling as the great artist himself, the man ballet legends George Balanchine and Rudolf Nureyev cited as, hands down, the century's greatest dancer. From his debut in vaudeville at age six through his remarkable career as the star of many of the most popular Hollywood musicals ever captured on celluloid, Steps in Time celebrates the golden age of entertainment and its royalty, as seen through the eyes of the era's affable and adored prince. Illustrated with more than forty rare photographs from the author's personal collection, here is Astaire in all his debonair glory—his life, his times, his movies, and, above all, his magical screen appearances and enduring friendship with the most beloved of all his dancing partners, Ginger Rogers.