Fred Astaire

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fred Astaire
Astaire, Fred - Never Get Rich.jpg
In You'll Never Get Rich (1941)
Frederick Austerlitz

(1899-05-10)May 10, 1899
DiedJune 22, 1987(1987-06-22) (aged 88)
  • Dancer
  • singer
  • actor
  • presenter
  • choreographer
  • percussionist
Years active1904–1981
Phyllis Livingston Potter
(m. 1933; died 1954)

Robyn Smith
(m. 1980)
RelativesAdele Astaire (sister)
Fred and Adele Astaire in 1921

Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz (10 May 1899 – 22 June 1987), was an American dancer, singer and actor. He was the most famous stage, movie and television dancer of his day.

Life[change | change source]

Astaire started dancing on the stage with his sister Adèle, and when she married he started a movie partnership with Ginger Rogers. After that, he danced with a succession of talented American dancers on movie and on television. He appeared in 32 movies. His movie partners included Eleanor Powell, Ann Miller, Vera-Ellen, Cyd Charisse: all high-class dancers, and on TV with Barrie Chase. Their An evening with Fred Astaire won nine Emmy Awards in 1958.

Many male dancers of the 20th century were influenced by him, and said so. He owed a lot to the choreography of Hermes Pan, but even more to his own perfectionism and relentless practice.

Astaire was also an excellent actor, and a successful, though personally modest, singer. He introduced some of the most celebrated songs from the Great American Songbook. He married Phyllis Potter in 1933; they had two children. After her death, he remarried in 1980 to Robyn Smith, a female jockey 45 years his junior.

Sources[change | change source]

  • Astaire, Fred. Steps in Time, 1959, OCLC 422937
  • Billman, Larry. Fred Astaire — a bio-bibliography, Greenwood Press 1997, ISBN 0-313-29010-5
  • Freeland, Michael. Fred Astaire: an illustrated biography, Grosset & Dunlap, 1976. ISBN 0-448-14080-2
  • Thomas, Bob. Astaire, the man, the dancer. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1985. ISBN 0-297-78402-1

Other websites[change | change source]