by Johnny Green
A famous orchestra leader turns author and sheds a new light on an old friend— Fred Astaire—gagster, ribber, screwball
TO a comparative few of us has been given the fun of knowing well the Astaire who makes the Astaire you know tick. Not a smart international citizen, a cosmopolite in top hat, white tie and tails, equally at home in London as in New York, in Hollywood as on the Continent, but a great big kid with a simple, boyish and totally delightful sense of humor —that’s the Fred I know!
ANYONE who knows him will tell you that Fred’s the “worryingest” man in town. Although he is the acknowledged best male dancer in or out of captivity, Astaire always wonders whether or not he’s good. Even after seeing his picture, he isn’t quite convinced, nor does the critic’s unstinted praise reassure him too much. Probably the reason he’s so good is because he is so conscientious.
by Jane Powell
October 23, 1950
Since I’ve had the experience of dancing with Fred Astaire in MGM’s ROYAL WEDDING, I know what it is like to work with a champion, an something about what it takes to make a champion.
This doesn’t make me a champion, nor necessarily, even an expert dancer. But since I worked with Fred I feel I know what a person must do if he hopes to become really good in any line of work.
Being cast with Fred is an experience that falls into three rather definite parts. First, there is anticipation; second, the rehearsals, and third, the actual shooting. Each of these experiences is very different from the others. (more…)
WANT to startle your home town with the biggest dance sensation in seasons? If you do, you have a chance with this preview of Ginger Rogers’ and Fred Astaire’s most exciting dance from “Top Hat”—they specially posed their “Piccolino” steps for you in a modified ballroom version that is easy to learn but exciting to dance. Here goes! (more…)