★ American dancer, singer and actor, Fred Astaire, was born on this day in 1899. In a career spanning 76 years, he starred in over 30 movies and gained a reputation for his impeccable sense of rhythm and relentless perfectionism. Often remembered as one half of ‘Fred and Ginger’, alongside dancing partner Ginger Rogers, his sophisticated, gentlemanly demeanor saw him become one of the iconic stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Garnering high praise from audiences and critics alike, even fellow dancing star Gene Kelly acknowledged his unparalleled contribution to the world of dance, asserting that he was “the only one of today’s dancers who will be remembered” and stating “the history of dance on film begins with Astaire”. I certainly won’t argue with that.
Demonstrating his remarkable athleticism, Astaire is seen here in a studio publicity photo for the film Daddy Long Legs (1955).