Fred Astaire: Biography, Things You Didn't Know, Trivia About The Best In Show Business

By | May 9, 2020

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Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth in a publicity portrait issued for the film, 'You Were Never Lovelier', 1942. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Fred Astaire was a dancer and actor who dazzled audiences with his moves, alongside Ginger Rogers and other partners. His showbiz story is legend: Astaire is regarded as the greatest male dancer in Hollywood history, and an artist of such skill and creativity that he changed the look and function of dance numbers in movies. Astaire's career in show business spanned his entire life, from his performances as a child entertainer in the early 20th century up until his death in 1987.

Fred And Adele Astaire Were A Famous Sibling Act

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A young Fred Astaire with his sister Adele. Source: (wikipedia).

Fred Astaire, or Frederick Austerlitz, the son of an Austrian immigrant, was born on May 10, 1899 in Omaha, Nebraska and his dancing career started shortly after. In 1903, his mother decided that he needed to learn to dance and took him with his sister to New York. By the age of four, he was dancing as a vaudeville act with his sister Adele. The duo debuted on Broadway with Over the Top in 1917. This was followed by For Goodness Sake in 1922. His next musical, Funny Face, would fulfill one of his childhood dreams. When he was a teenager, he met George Gershwin and they imagined that Gershwin would one day write a musical for Astaire. Funny Face was the musical Gershwin wrote for him in 1928.