Meaning of ASTAIRE, FRED in English


born May 10, 1899, Omaha, Neb., U.S. died June 22, 1987, Los Angeles, Calif. original name Frederick Austerlitz American dancer of stage and motion pictures, best-known for the highly successful musical comedy films in which his partner was Ginger Rogers. He was regarded by many as the greatest popular-music dancer of all time. Astaire studied dancing from the age of four. In 1906 he formed an act with his sister Adele that became a popular vaudeville attraction. On Broadway from 1917, Fred and Adele Astaire achieved international fame with stage hits that included For Goodness Sake (1922), Funny Face (1927), and The Band Wagon (1931). Adele retired in 1932, leaving Fred without a partner. He decided to try motion pictures. Astaire's initial film role was a small part in Dancing Lady (1933), and in the same year he made his first appearance with Ginger Rogers in Flying Down to Rio. It was followed by the series of films that included The Gay Divorcee (1934), Roberta (1935), Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936), and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939). The sophisticated, intimate style of the dancing, its grace and technical excellence, and the integration of plot and music in the Rogers-Astaire films revolutionized the motion-picture musical comedy. Astaire retired temporarily in 1946 but returned to the screen for Easter Parade (1948) and other hits, such as The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), Daddy Long Legs (1955), Funny Face (1957), and Silk Stockings (1957). His dancing partners on the screen included Eleanor Powell, Rita Hayworth, Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse, and Audrey Hepburn. In 1949 Astaire was honoured with a special Academy Award for his contributions to the musical film. The television show An Evening with Fred Astaire (1958) earned him nine Emmy Awards. Astaire officially stopped dancing in 1971 but continued to make appearances in films and on television in the 1970s and early '80s. Astaire's dancing was characterized by clarity, fine coordination, and a seemingly effortless lightness and elegance.

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