Frederick Austerlitz | May 10, 1899 –
June 22, 1987
“We are, of course, very lucky. His gift, captured in the movies, is one we can all share forever. He was, he is, and he always will be, our never-ending legend.” - Mikhail Baryshnikov
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRED ASTAIRE!
Happy Birthday Frederick Austerlitz Fred Astaire
10 May 1899 - 22 June 1987
“When you talk about Fred Astaire, you talk about heaven. What more can I say?” - Johnny Green, Hollywood Speaks! An Oral History, 1974
“He was not just the best ballroom dancer, or tap dancer, he was simply the greatest, most imaginative, dancer of our time.” - Rudolph Nureyev, 1987
Fred Astaire was simply one of the most influential performers in film history. Not only did he revolutionise the way dance was performed and captured on film, he also had a profound influence on music and hollywood in general. In a time when the world needed something joyous, they got Fred Astaire; a talented, charismatic performer whose charming smile was exactly what movie-goers wanted. Notorious for being a perfectionist and crippled with self-consciousness he floated across the screen with effortless grace that continues to amaze today. Though he was never convinced of it, there can be no doubt that he achieved perfection.And at age seventy-eight, he broke his left wrist while riding his grandson’s skateboard.
You know, you so-and-so, you’ve a little of the hoodlum in you. - James Cagney on Fred Astaire in Top Hat, White Tie and Tails, from Top Hat (1935)
Oh, I think there’s kind of a wave of nostalgia going on right at the moment. You know, people recall an earlier time, which they see as a better time. And I think we just kind of evoke good thoughts when they look at us. That’s the feeling I get. (Dick Van Dyke, 2011)
8th July 1932: Jean Harlow applying make-up to her face in her dressing room. One of her famous superstitions was to not leave her dressing room without first looking at her ‘lucky mirror’, photographed by Clarence Sinclair Bull.