Fred Astaire is undoubtedly one of the greatest monuments in the history of dance.
Gene Kelly, another winner, said of him, "The history of dance in films begins with Astaire".
He was born as Frederick Austerlitz (Omaha (Nebraska), May 10, 1899 - Los Angeles, June 22, 1987), and made ​​his name as an actor, Broadway ballroom dancer and singer. He is often mentioned in one breath with Ginger Rogers, with whom he made ​​ten films.

FredAstaireHe performed with his twenty months older sister Adèle already as The Astaires in vaudeville theaters when they were about 5 years old. The name comes from an uncle who had L’ Astaire as a surname. In the twenties, they performed frequently in Broadway theaters till Adele married her first husband in 1932.

He himself claimed that he after a Paramount Pictures screen test was rejected with the note: "Cannot sing cannot act. Is a bit bare. Can dance a little bit...."

On July 12, 1933 he married Phyllis Livingston Potter. Son Fred Jr. was born in 1936 and daughter Ava in 1942.

In his second film, he worked for the first time with Ginger Rogers.
"Flying Down to Rio" in 1933 marked his breakthrough film. With "Roberta" (1935) established Astaire and Rogers their name as dance king and queen of the RKO film studio.
Dance became from than an important element of the Hollywood film musical. Katharine Hepburn said of them: "He gives her class and she gives him sex appeal.”

Other films with Rogers ‘The Gay Divorcee’ (1934), ‘Top Hat’ (1935) and ‘Carefree’ (1938). He also worked with other big stars like Bing Crosby in the film ‘Holiday Inn’ (1942) and ‘Blue Skies’ (1946).

In 1946, Fred decided to withdraw from the world of film. He put a successful chain of dance schools under his own name, The Fred Astaire Dance Studios.

In 1948 he took the role of the injured Gene Kelly in Easter Parade, with Judy Garland and Peter Lawford. He later starred in ‘The Band Wagon’ (1953) with Cyd Charisse.

He appeared in (45!) films like ‘On the Beach’ (1959), ‘Finian 's Rainbow’ (1968), and ‘The Towering Inferno’ (1974) where he received his only Oscar nomination for Best supporting Actor. His last film was ‘Ghost Story’ (1981).

Fred Astaire died at age 88 in 1987 from the effects of pneumonia and is buried in the Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California.