Fred Astaire| Fifth greatest male star of all time

 Gene Kelly,a major innovator in filmed dance, said,'The history of dance on film begins with Astaire".Beyond film and television,many classical dancers and choreographers,Rudolf Nureyev,Sammy Davis,Jr.,Michael Jackson,Gregory Hines,Milkhail Baryshnikov,George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins among them,also acknowledged Astaire's importance and influence.

           Fred Astaire born Fredeck Austerlitz,on May 10,1899 was an American film and Broadway stage dancer,choreographer,singer,musician and actor.His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 6 years,during which he made 31 musical films.He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.He was particularly associated with Ginger Rogers,with whom he made ten films.

           Astaire was born in Omaha,Nebraska,the son of Johanna "Ann" (nee Geilus) and Frederic "Fritz"Austerlitz (born September 8,1868,as Friedrich Emanuel Austerlitz).Astaire's mother was born in the United States to Lutheran German immigrants from East prussia and alsace,while astaire's father was born in Linz,Austria,to Jewish parents who had converted to Catholicism.

After arriving  in New York City at age 24 on Octomber 26,1892,and being inspected at Ellis Island, Astaire's father,hoping to find work in his brewing trade,moved to Omaha,Nebraska,and landed a job with the Storz Brewing Company.Astaire's mother dreamed of escaping Omaha by virtue of her children's talents,after Astaire's sister,Adele Astaire,early on revealed herself to be an instinctive dancer and singer.She planned a "brother-and-s Aister act," Which was common in vaudeville at the time.Although Astaire refused dance lessons at frist,he easily mimicked his older sister's step and took up piano,accordion and clarinet.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

           They slipt in 1932 when Adele married her first husband,Lord Charles Arthur Francis Cavendish,a son of the Duke of Devonshire.Fred Astaire went on to achieve success on his own on Broadway and in London with Gay Divorce,while considering offers from Hollywood.The end of the partnership was traumatic for Astaire,but stimulated him to expand his range.Free of the borther-sister constraints of the pairing and with a new parther (Claire Luce),he created a romantic partnered dance to Cole Porter's "Nigth and Day", which had been written for Gay Divorce.The success of the stage play was credited to this number,and when recreated in the film version of the play The Gay Divorcee (1934),it ushered in a new era in filmed dance.

           Although he possessed a light voice,he was admired for his lyricism,diction and phrasing-the grace and elegance so prized in his dancimg seemed to be reflected in his singing,a capacity for synthesis which led Burton Lane to describe him as "The world's greatest musical performer."


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