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This Day in History--June 22

He danced into hearts across America.

On this day in 1987, Fred Astaire, the Greatest Male Star of All Time, died at the age of 88. His career spanned more than 70 years, and he made 31 musical films, including "Top Hat" and 'The Gay Divorcee."

He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Austrian immigrants, but moved to New York City with his family after his father lost his job. Managed by their mother, Fred and his older sister, Adele, became stars of the vaudeville circuit. After a few years, they began to include tap dancing in their routines, inspired by Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and John "Bubbles" Sublett.

The brother-sister act landed in Hollywood, where they split in 1932 when Adele married. Fred Astaire went on to dance his way into film history, most often with Ginger Rogers. He's credited with changing the way that dance and movies intersected and with changing how movies are filmed.

Oh, his legs were insured for $1million.

Kim Roberto June 22, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I watch his movies whenever they are on TV and marvel at his genius in dancing. I always wished I could be Ginger Rogers and be his partner in dance! (HA! No way)
Sharon Swanepoel June 22, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I so with you here Kim. I love, love, love those old dance movies - even Shirley Temple. Ahh, the good old days.

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