Fred Astaire, The Legend



Fred Astaire was probably the greatest, most versatile dancer of all time. According to another major innovator in filmed dance, Gene Kelly , “The history of dance on film begins with Astaire.”

You’ll find a short biography and other related information on Fred Astaire, along with a collection of short dance clips that show the Master in Action for your enjoyment, when you click on the links below.


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Biography

Born in 1899, Fred Astaire began show business at the age of 5, performing on Broadway and in vaudeville with his sister, Adele.

Then he headed to Hollywood where he began a successful partnership with Ginger Rogers for nine movies. He began his career in vaudeville with his sister Adele in 1905. Between 1912 and 1933 they starred in twelve musicals together.

By 1933, Fred journeyed to Hollywood, where between then and 1976 he made thirty-three musical films with such esteemed co-stars as Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Ann Miller, Debbie Reynolds and Cyd Charisse, to name just a few. Fred Astaire also co-starred with the biggest male names of the times including Bing Crosby, Red Skelton and the great Gene Kelly.


Fred Astaire died in 1987 from pneumonia. With his passing, we lost a true dancing legend. His effortless lightness and grace may never be seen again. As Mikhail Baryshnikov observed at the time of his death, “No dancer can watch Fred Astaire and not know that we all should have been in another business.”

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Video Clips


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Dance Partners


Although famous for his magical partnership with Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire also danced with the leading ladies of his time, including Cyd Charisse, Lucille Bremer, Joan Leslie, Leslie Caron, Vera Ellen, Barrie Chase, Judy Garland, Eleanor Powell and Rita Hayworth.

“For ballroom dancing, remember that your partners have their own distinctive styles also. Cultivate flexibility. Be able to adapt your style to that of your partner. In doing so, you are not surrendering your individuality, but blending it with that of your partner.”
- Fred Astaire from The Fred Astaire Top Hat Dance Album, 1936

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Films

Fred Astaire was not only a great dancer – changing the face of the American movie musical with his style and grace – but he was also an actor in many different dramatic and comedic roles in both movies and TV specials. He won multiple Emmys for his work in television. The Towering Inferno (1974) earned him an Oscar nomination. He received an honorary Academy Award in 1950 for his “unique artistry and his contributions to the technique of musical pictures.”
Fred Astaire starred in 31 musical films, including:

1981 Ghost Story
1979 The Man in the Santa Claus Suit
1977 Un Taxi Mauve
1976 The Amazing Dobermans
1976 That’s Entertainment, Part II
1974 The Towering Inferno
1974 That’s Entertainment
1969 Midas Run
1968 Finian’s Rainbow
1964 Paris When It Sizzles
1962 The Notorious Landlady
1961 The Pleasure of His Company
1959 On the Beach
1957 Funny Face
1957 Silk Stockings
1955 Daddy Long Legs
1953 The Band Wagon
1952 The Belle of New York
1951 Royal Wedding
1950 Let’s Dance
1950 Three Little Words
1949 The Barkleys of Broadway
1948 The Easter Parade
1946 Ziegfeld Follies
1946 Blue Skies
1945 Yolanda and the Thief
1943 The Sky’s the Limit
1942 Holiday Inn
1942 You Were Never Lovelier
1941 You’ll Never Get Rich
1940 Second Chorus
1940 Broadway Melody Of 1940
1939 The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
1938 Carefree
1937 A Damsel In Distress
1937 Shall We Dance?
1936 Swing Time
1936 Follow the Fleet
1935 Top Hat 1935 Roberta
1934 The Gay Divorcee
1933 Flying Down to Rio
1933 Dancing Lady
1915 Fanchon the Cricket

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Songs

In addition to his incredible dancing prowess, Fred Astaire also was a fantastic singer and introduced the world to such famous songs as “The Way You Look Tonight”, “They Can’t Take That Away from Me”, “Steppin’ Out with My Baby”, “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails”, “All of You” and “That’s Entertainment” to name just a few.

Here are some of Fred Astaire’s songs:

“A Couple of Swells,” 1948, Composed by Irving Berlin for Easter Parade
“A Fine Romance,” 1936, Composed by Jerome Kern for Swing Time
“A Foggy Day,” 1937, Composed by George Gershwin for A Damsel in Distress
“A Lot in Common With You,” 1942, Composed by Harold Arlen for The Sky’s The Limit
“A Needle in a Haystack,” 1934, Composed by Con Conrad for The Gay Divorcee
“All To Myself,” 1922, Composed by George Gershwin for For Goodness Sake
“After You, Who?,” 1932, Composed by Cole Porter for Gay Divorce
“Anyway, We’ve Had Fun,” 1930, Composed by Vincent Youmans for Smiles
“Baby Doll,” 1952, Composed by Harry Warren for The Belle of New York
“Be Good To Me,” 1930, Composed by Vincent Youmans for Smiles
“Bojangles of Harlem,” 1936, Composed by Jerome Kern for Swing Time
“Bring on the Girls,” 1917, Composed by Romberg, Jean Schwartz for Passing Show of 1918
“Calypso Hooray,” 1957, Composed by Fred Astaire for 1957 Recording
“Can’t Stop Talking,” 1950, Composed by Frank Loesser for Let’s Dance
“Change Partners,” 1938, Composed by Irving Berlin for Carefree
“Cheek to Cheek,” 1935, Composed by Irving Berlin for Top Hat
“City of the Angels,” 1975, Composed by Fred Astaire and Tommy Wolf for 1975 Recording
“Dearly Beloved,” 1942, Composed by Jerome Kern for You Were Never Lovelier
“Dig It,” 1940, Composed by Bernie Henighen for Second Chorus
“Dream Dancing,” 1941, Composed by Cole Porter for You Were Never Lovelier
“Dreaming,” 1921, Composed by Adele Astaire for The Love Letter (stage musical)
“Drum Crazy,” 1948, Composed by Irving Berlin for Easter Parade
“Ev’ry Night at Seven,” 1951, Composed by Burton Lane for Royal Wedding
“Every Day in Every Way,” 1922, Composed by Jerome Kern for The Bunch and Judy (stage musical)
“Fascinating Rhythm,” 1924, Composed by George Gershwin for Lady Be Good (stage musical)
“Fated to be Mated,” 1957, Composed by Cole Porter for Silk Stockings
“Flying Down to Rio,” 1933, Composed by Vincent Youmans for Flying Down To Rio
“French Pastry,” 1922, Composed by George Gershwin for For Goodness Sake (stage musical)
“Funny Face,” 1927, Composed by George Gershwin for Funny Face (stage musical)
“Hang on to Me,” 1924, Composed by George Gershwin for Lady Be Good (stage musical)
“Happy Easter,” 1948, Composed by Irving Berlin for Easter Parade
“Hello, Baby,” 1956, composed by Fred Astaire for 1956 Recording
“Here’s to the Girls,” 1946, Composed by Roger Edens for Ziegfield Follies
“High Hat,” 1927, Composed by George Gershwin for Funny Face (stage musical)
“History of the Beat,” 1955, Composed by Johnny Mercer for Daddy Long Legs
“Hoe Down the Bayou/Poor Mr. Chisholm,” 1940, Composed by Bernie Henighen for Second Chorus
“Hoops, 1931,” Composed by Arthur Schwartz for The Band Wagon
“How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life,” 1951, Composed by Burton Lane for Royal Wedding
“How Do You Do, Katinka,” 1922, Composed by Jerome Kern for The Bunch and Judy (stage musical)
“I Can’t Be Bothered Now,” 1937, Composed by George Gershwin for A Damsel in Distress
“I Can’t Tell a Lie,” 1941, Composed by Irving Berlin for Holiday Inn
“I Left My Hait in Haiti,” 1951, Composed by Burton Lane for Royal Wedding
“I Love Everybody But You,” 1975, Composed by Fred Astaire for 1975 Recording
“I Love Louisa,” 1931, Composed by Arthur Schwartz for The Band Wagon (stage musical)
“I Used to be Color Blind,” 1938, Composed by Irving Berlin for Carefree
“I Wanna Be a Dancin’ Man,” 1952, Composed by Harry Warren for The Belle of New York
“I’d Rather Charleston,” 1924, Composed by George Gershwin for Lady Be Good (stage musical)
“I’d Rather Lead a Band,” 1936, Composed by Irving Berlin for Follow the Fleet
“I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise,” 1922, Composed by George Gershwin for Stop Flirting (stage musical)
“I’ll Capture Your Heart Singing,” 1941, Composed by Irving Berlin for Holiday Inn
“I’ll Say I Love You,” 1921, Composed by Victor Jacobi for The Love Letter (stage musical)
“I’m Building Up to an Awful Let-Down,” 1936, Composed by Fred Astaire for 1936 Recording
“I’m Glad I Waited,” 1930, Composed by Vincent Youmans for Smiles (stage musical)
“I’m Putting all My Eggs in One Basket,” 1936, Composed by Irving Berlin for Follow the Fleet
“I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck,” 1937, Composed by George Gershwin for Shall We Dance
“I’ve Got My Eyes on You,” 1940, Composed by Cole Porter for Broadway Melody of 1940
“I’ve Got You on My Mind,” 1932, Composed by Cole Porter for Gay Divorce (stage musical)
“If I Were You, Love,” 1930, Composed by Vincent Youmans for Smiles (stage musical)
“If Swing Goes, I Go Too,” 1944, Composed by Fred Astaire for Ziegfeld Follies
“Isn’t This a Lovely Day,” 1935, Composed by Irving Berlin by Top Hat
“It Only Happens When I Dance with You,” 1948, Composed by Irving Berlin for Easter Parade
“Jack and the Beanstalk,” 1950, Composed by Frank Loesser for Let’s Dance
“Just Like Taking Candy from a Baby,” 1940, Composed by Fred Astaire for 1940 Recording
“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” 1937, Composed by George Gershwin for Shall We Dance
“Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” 1936, Composed by Irving Berlin for Follow the Fleet
“Let’s Kiss and Make Up,” 1927, Composed by George Gershwin for Funny Face (stage musical)
“Life is Beautiful,” 1975, Composed by Fred Astaire and Tommy Wolf for 1975 Recording
“Love of My Life,” 1940, Composed by Artie Shaw for Second Chorus
“Manhattan Downbeat,” 1949, Composed by Harry Warren for The Barkleys of Broadway
“Me and the Ghost Upstairs,” 1940, Composed by Bernie Henighen for Second Chorus
“My One and Only,” 1927, Composed by George Gershwin for Funny Face (stage musical)
“My One and Only,” 1949, Composed by Harry Warren for The Barkleys of Broadway
“Never Gonna Dance,” 1936, Composed by Jerome Kern for Swing Time
“New Sun in the Sky,” 1931, Composed by Arthur Schwartz for The Band Wagon (stage musical)
“Nice Work If You Can Get It,” Composed by George Gershwin for A Damsel in Distress
“Night and Day,” 1932, Composed by Cole Porter for Gay Divorce (stage musical)
“No Strings (I’m Fancy Free),” 1935, Composed by Irving Berlin for Top Hat
“Not My Girl,” 1929, Composed by Fred Astaire and Van Phillips for 1929 Recording
“Oh Gee, Oh Gosh,” 1922, Composed by William Daly for For Goodness Sake (stage musical)
“Oh My Achin’ Back,” 1945, Composed by Fred Astaire for 1945 Recording
“Oh Them Dudes,” 1950, composed by Frank Loesser for Let’s Dance
“On the Bean,” 1942, Composed by Jerome Kern for 1942 Recording
“One For My Baby,” 1943, Composed by Harold Arlen for The Sky’s the Limit
“Oops,” 1952, Composed by Harry Warren for The Belle of New York
“Pale Venetian Moon,” 1922, Composed by Jerome Kern for The Bunch and Judy (stage musical)
“Peach Girl,” 1922, Composed by Jerome Kern for The Bunch and Judy (stage musical)
“Pick Yourself Up,” 1936, Composed by Jerome Kern for Swing Time
“Please Don’t Monkey with Broadway,” 1940, Composed by Cole Porter for Broadway Melody of 1940
“Quick Service,” 1917, Composed by Sigmund Romberg and Jean Schwartz for The Passing Show of 1918
“Say, Young Man of Manhattan,” 1930, Composed by Vincent Youmans for Smiles (stage musical)
“Seeing’s Believings,” 1952, Composed by Harry Warren for The Belle of New York
“Shall We Dance,” 1937, Composed by George Gershwin for Shall We Dance
“Shoes with Wings on,” 1949, Composed by Harry Warren for The Barkleys of Broadway
“Slap That Bass,” 1937, Composed by George Gershwin for Shall We Dance
“So Near and Yet So Far,” 1941, Composed by Cole Porter for You’ll Never Get Rich
“Something’s Gotta Give,” 1955, Composed by Johnny Mercer for Daddy Long Legs
“Squab Farm,” 1917, Composed by Sigmund Romberg and Jean Schwartz for The Passing Show of 1918 (stage musical)
“Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” 1948, Composed by Irving Berlin for Easter Parade
“Sweet Music,” 1931, Composed by Arthur Schwartz for The Band Wagon (stage musical)
“Sweet Sorrow,” 1956, Composed by Fred Astaire for 1956 Recording
“Swiss Miss,” 1924, Composed by George Gershwin for Lady Be Good (stage musical)
“That Face,” 1957, Composed by Lew Spence for Another Evening with Fred Astaire (1959)
“That’s Entertainment,” 1953, Composed by Arthur Schwartz for The Band Wagon
“The Afterbeat,” 1959, Composed by Fred Astaire for Another Evening with Fred Astaire
“The Babbit and the Bromide,” 1927, Composed by George Gershwin for Funny Face (stage musical)
“The Half of it, Dearie Blues,” 1924, Composed by George Gershwin for Lady Be Good (stage musical)
“The Jolly Tar and the Milkmaid,” 1937, Composed by George Gershwin for A Damsel in Distress
“The Justine Johnson Rag,” 1917, Composed by Sigmund Romberg, Herman Timberg and Frank Carter for Over the Top (stage musical)
“The Ritz, Roll, and Rock,” 1957, composed by Cole Porter for Silk Stockings
“The Shorty George,” 1942, Composed by Jerome Kern for You Were Never Lovelier
“The Sluefoot,” 1955, Composed by Johnny Mercer for Daddy Long Legs
“The Way You Look Tonight,” 1936, Composed by Jerome Kern for Swing Time
“The Whichness of the Whatness,” 1922, Composed by William Daly for For Goodness Sake (stage musical)
“There’s No Time Like the Present,” 1956, Composed by Fred Astaire for 1956 Recording
“They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” 1937, Composed by George Gershwin for Shall We Dance
“Things Are Looking Up,” 1937, Composed by George Gershwin for A Damsel in Distress
“This Heart of Mine,” 1946, Composed by Harry Warren for Ziegfeld Follies
“Times Square,” 1922, Composed by Jerome Kern for The Bunch and Judy (stage musical)
“Top Hat, White Tie and Tails,” Composed by Irving Berlin for Top Hat
“Tunnel of Love,” 1950, Composed by Frank Loesser for Let’s Dance
“Twit, Twit, Twit,” 1918, Composed by Sigmund Romberg and Jean Schwartz for The Passing Show of 1918 (stage musical)
“Upside Down,” 1921, Composed by Victor Jacobi for The Love Letter (stage musical)
“We Saw the Sea,” 1936, Composed by Irving Berlin for Follow the Fleet
“When You’re in Rome,” 1922, Composed by George Gershwin for For Goodness Sake (stage musical)
“Where is the Language to Tell?” 1917, Composed by Sigmund Romberg and Herman Timberg for Over the Top (stage musical)
“White Heat,” 1931, Composed by Arthur Schwartz for The Band Wagon (stage musical)
“Who Wants to Kiss the Bridegroom?” 1952, composed by Harry Warren for The Belle of New York
“Yolanda,” 1946, composed by Harry Warren for Yolanda and the Thief
“You Were Never Lovelier,” 1942, Composed by Jerome Kern for You Were Never Lovelier
“You Worry Me,” 1962, Composed by Fred Astaire for 1962 Recording
“You’d Be Hard to Replace,” 1949, Composed by Harry Warren for The Barkleys of Broadway
“You’re all the World to Me,” 1951, Composed by Burton Lane for Royal Wedding
“You’re Easy to Dance with,” 1941, Composed by Irving Berlin for Holiday Inn
“You’re in Love,” 1932, Composed by Cole Porter for Gay Divorce (stage musical)

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