Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire (May 10, 1899 - June 22, 1987) was an American dancer, choreographer, singer, and actor of Jewish descent who left an indelible mark on American cinema and theater.


Fred Astaire was born as Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska, in the United States. His father was the son of Jewish parents from Austria who converted to Catholicism, and his mother was the daughter of German immigrants.

He had a special connection to the actress Ginger Rogers, with whom he starred in ten musical films. His unique talent as a dancer led many critics to describe him as the best dancer Hollywood ever had.

The name "Astaire" was adopted by him and his sister Adele when they were about five years old. Its origin likely stems from their family name "L'Astaire." Many sources claim that members of the Astaire family appeared in a film called "Fanchon, the Cricket" starring Mary Pickford in 1915, but this is a myth (though some still believe they made an appearance during the filming).

In the 1920s, Fred and Adele performed on Broadway and in London. During this time, Astaire met the influential Broadway producer and impresario John H. Whitley, who decided to nurture the young dancer's career.

Whitley arranged for Astaire to sign contracts in both Broadway and London. In 1933, Whitley secured a contract for Astaire with RKO Studios, where he created most of his films, often paired with Ginger Rogers.

Fred Astaire passed away in 1987 at the age of 88 due to pneumonia. He was buried in California. His final wish was to express his gratitude to all his fans for their unwavering support over the years.

    *  Films featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

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