Happy Birthday to Fred Astaire! 10 fun facts about the legend


Astaire is buried at Oakwood Memorial Park, Chatsworth, California, USA, the same cemetery where long-time dancing partner, Ginger Rogers, is located.

The evaluation of Astaire’s first screen test: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Balding. Can dance a little.”

Astaire disguised his very large hands by curling his middle two fingers while dancing.

The only time he and Gene Kelly ever danced together on screen (other than the linking-segments in the 1976 compilation movie, “That’s Entertainment, Part II”) was in one routine, titled “The Babbitt and the Bromide” in the 1946 movie “Ziegfeld Follies”.

Appears on the sleeve of The Beatles’ “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.

Made a cameo appearance in John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Imagine” film, escorting Yoko through a doorway; after one successful take, he asked to try again, believing he could do a better job.

While all music and songs were known to be dubbed (recorded before filming), his tap dancing was dubbed also. He “over-dubbed” his taps – recording them live as he danced to the previously recorded taps.

Tony Martin the husband of MGM star/dancer Cyd Charisse said he could tell who she had been dancing with that day on an MGM set. If she came home covered with bruises on her, it was the very physically-demanding Gene Kelly, if not it was the smooth and agile Fred Astaire.

When Ginger Rogers received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1992, Robyn Smith, widow of Fred Astaire, withheld all rights to clips of Rogers’ scenes with Astaire, demanding payment. The Kennedy Center refused and Rogers received her honor without the retrospective show.

Was the very first name entered on IMDB (nm0000001).