Fred Astaire is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter and Choreographer American born on 10 may 1899 at Omaha (USA)
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Birth name Frederick AusterlitzNationality USABirth 10 may 1899
at Omaha (USA
)Death 22 june 1987
(at 88 years) at Los Angeles (USA
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) was an American dancer, choreographer, singer, musician and actor.
His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films and several award-winning television specials and issued numerous recordings. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of Old Hollywood by the American Film Institute. He is best known as the dancing partner and on-screen romantic interest of Ginger Rogers, with whom he co-starred in a series of ten Hollywood musicals which transformed the genre.
Gene Kelly, another major innovator in filmed dance, said that "the history of dance on film begins with Astaire." Beyond film and television, many noted dancers and choreographers, including Rudolf Nureyev, Sammy Davis, Jr., Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Madhuri Dixit, also acknowledged his importance and influence. Astaire ranks as the fifth greatest male star of Classic Hollywood cinema in AFI's 100 Years.
Politically, Astaire was a conservative and a lifelong Republican Party supporter, though he never made his political views publicly known. Along with Bing Crosby, George Murphy, Ginger Rogers, and others, he was a charter (founding) member of the Hollywood Republican Committee. He was churchgoing, supportive of American military action, and dismissive of the increasing open sexuality in movies of the 1970s.
Always immaculately turned out, he and Cary Grant were called "the best dressed actor[s] in American movies". Astaire remained a male fashion icon even into his later years, eschewing his trademark top hat, white tie, and tails (for which he never really cared) in favor of a breezy casual style of tailored sports jackets, colored shirts, cravats, and slacks—the latter usually held up by the idiosyncratic use of an old tie in place of a belt.
Astaire was married for the first time in 1933, to the 25-year-old Phyllis Potter (formerly Phyllis Livingston Baker; born 1908, died September 13, 1954), a Boston-born New York socialite and former wife of Eliphalet Nott Potter III (1906–1981), after pursuing her ardently for roughly two years, and despite the objections of his mother and sister. Phyllis's death from lung cancer, at the age of 46, ended 21 years of a blissful marriage and left Astaire devastated. Astaire attempted to drop out of the film Daddy Long Legs (1955), which he was in the process of filming, offering to pay the production costs to date, but was persuaded to stay.
In addition to Phyllis Potter's son, Eliphalet IV (known as Peter), the Astaires had two children. Fred, Jr. (born January 21, 1936), appeared with his father in the movie Midas Run but became a charter pilot and rancher instead of an actor. Their daughter Ava Astaire (born March 19, 1942; married Richard McKenzie) remains actively involved in promoting her late father's heritage.
His friend, David Niven, described him as "a pixie—timid, always warm-hearted, with a penchant for schoolboy jokes." Astaire was a lifelong golf and Thoroughbred horse racing enthusiast. In 1946 his horse Triplicate won the prestigious Hollywood Gold Cup and San Juan Capistrano Handicap. He remained physically active well into his eighties. At age seventy-eight, he broke his left wrist while riding his grandson's skateboard.
On June 24, 1980, he was married again, to Robyn Smith (born August 14, 1944), a jockey 45 years his junior, who rode for Alfred G. Vanderbilt II and was herself on the cover of Sports Illustrated on July 31, 1972.
Astaire died from pneumonia on June 22, 1987, at the age of 88. Shortly before his death, Astaire said: "I didn't want to leave this world without knowing who my descendant was, thank you Michael" - referring to Michael Jackson. He was interred in the Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California. One last request of his was to thank his fans for their years of support.
Astaire's life has never been portrayed on film. He always refused permission for such portrayals, saying, "However much they offer me—and offers come in all the time—I shall not sell." Astaire's will included a clause requesting that no such portrayal ever take place; he commented, "It is there because I have no particular desire to have my life misinterpreted, which it would be."