In 1949 his film work was recognized with a special Academy Award. The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences recognized Astaire with a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. His autobiography is titled Steps in Time (1959).
Rogers, Ginger (1911-1995), American motion-picture actor, singer, and dancer, best remembered for her graceful ballroom dancing as the partner of Fred Astaire in classic musical comedies of the 1930s. Born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri, she began dancing professionally at the age of 14 and toured the vaudeville circuit until 1929, when she was cast as the second lead in the popular Broadway musical Top Speed. She began her film career while still starring on the New York City stage and in 1931 went to Hollywood, where she shot a series of minor comedies and dramas for the Pathé, Paramount, and Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO) studios.
Rogers was first matched with Astaire in the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio. Although they danced together in only one scene, their elegance, agility, and obvious chemistry stole the show. Subsequently, RKO paired them in vehicles of their own, including the legendary musicals Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936), and Follow The Fleet (1936). Their ten feature films together perfectly exemplified the refined and light-hearted charm of Hollywood’s so-called Golden Age (from about 1920 to about 1950).
Astaire was considered the better dancer of the duo, but Rogers had far greater acting range, as she proved with an Academy Award-winning performance in Kitty Foyle (1940). She was equally effective in the bubbly romantic farce The Major and the Minor (1942). Rogers appeared regularly on screen throughout the 1940s and 1950s and returned briefly to the Broadway stage in 1965, replacing Carol Channing in Hello Dolly! In later years she made occasional television appearances and served as a fashion consultant for the J.C. Penney stores. Her autobiography, Ginger: My Story, was published in 1991.
immediately smitten, and some dancing between them results. Later, after more dancing, Tremont mistakenly intercepts a letter that seems to imply Travers is married. Tremont leaves Travers, he pursues her, and eventually all is resolved after a final dance number. This box-office hit was RKO studio’s highest grossing film of the decade and features the songs “Cheek to Cheek,” “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails,” and “The Piccolino”.
Swing Time, motion picture about an easy-going gambler whose disapproving future father-in-law tells him he must work to earn $25,000 before he can marry his daughter. Released in 1936, this Academy award-winning box-office hit stars Fred Astaire as John “Lucky” Garnett and Ginger Rogers as Penelope “Penny” Carrol. Garnett sets out to earn his keep and meets dance teacher Carrol. They are an overnight sensation as a dance team, and when they fall in love, Garnett finds himself trying to keep from earning the sum to avoid his earlier commitment. This film features the songs “Pick Yourself Up” and “The Way You Look Tonight.”
The Gay Divorcee, motion-picture musical about a woman who falls in love while trying to get a divorce, based on a Broadway musical by Dwight Taylor and Cole Porter. Released in 1934, this was one of the first musicals featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing together. Con Conrad and Herb Magidson earned an Academy Award for writing the song “The Continental” for this movie. Mimi Glossop (played by Rogers) wants a divorce, and her lawyer helps her
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were the most successful song-and-dance team in the history of motion pictures. They helped to popularize ballroom and tap dancing through a series of films made in the 1930s in Hollywood. In this photograph they are performing a number from the film Swing Time, made in 1936.
Top Hat, motion picture about a famous dancer on a European tour and his attempts to develop a relationship with a volatile woman, based on the 1934 musical The Gay Divorcee by Dwight Taylor and Cole Porter, from a play by Alexander Farago and Aladar Laszlo. Released in 1935, this award-winning film stars Fred Astaire as dancer Jerry Travers and Ginger Rogers as socialite Dale Tremont.