Fred Astaire


Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) was an American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer, and television presenter. He is widely considered the most influential dancer in the history of film. His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years. He starred in more than 10 Broadway and West End musicals, made 31 musical films, four television specials, and issued numerous recordings.

As a dancer, his most outstanding traits were his uncanny sense of rhythm, his perfectionism, and his innovation. His most memorable dancing partnership was with Ginger Rogers, with whom he co-starred in a series of ten Hollywood musicals. Other notable co-stars included Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Joan Leslie, Judy Garland, Leslie Caron, and Audrey Hepburn. The American Film Institute named Astaire the fifth greatest male star of Classic Hollywood cinema in 100 Years… 100 Stars.

Gene Kelly, another renowned star of filmed dance, said that “the history of dance on film begins with Astaire.” Later, he asserted that Astaire was “the only one of today’s dancers who will be remembered.” Beyond film and television, many dancers and choreographers, including Rudolf Nureyev, Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Madhuri Dixit, and Bob Fosse, who called Astaire his “idol”, also acknowledged his influence.

Non musical roles include Stanley Kramer‘s On the Beach (1959), with Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, and Anthony Perkins; The Pleasure of His Company (1961), with Debbie Reynolds; The Notorious Landlady (1962), with Kim Novak and Jack Lemmon; Midas Run (1969), with Richard Crenna and Anne Heywood; The Towering Inferno (1974), with Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, O.J. Simpson, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner, Susan Flannery, Gregory Sierra, Dabney; The Amazing Dobermans (1976), with James Franciscus and Barbara Eden; The Purple Taxi (1977), with Charlotte Rampling, Peter Ustinov, and Edward Albert; A Family Upside Down (1978), with Helen Hayes,, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Pat Crowley, and Patty Duke; and Ghost Story (1981), with Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., John Houseman, Craig Wasson, and Alice Krige.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Dancing Lady (1933) – directed by Robert Z. Leonard
  • Flying Down to Rio (1933) – directed by Thornton Freeland, George Nicholls Jr. (associate), & Ray Lissner (assistant)
  • The Gay Divorcee (1934) – directed by Mark Sandrich
  • Roberta (1935) – directed by William A. Seiter
  • Top Hat (1935) – directed by Mark Sandrich
  • Follow the Fleet (1936) – directed by Mark Sandrich
  • Swing Time (1936) – directed by George Stevens
  • Shall We Dance (1937) – directed by
  • Mark Sandrich
  • A Damsel in Distress (1937) – directed by George Stevens
  • Carefree (1938) – directed by Mark Sandrich
  • The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) – directed by H.C. Potter
  • Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) – directed by Norman Taurog
  • Second Chorus (1940) – directed by H.C. Potter
  • You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) – directed by Sidney Lanfield
  • Holiday Inn (1942) – directed by Mark Sandrich
  • You Were Never Lovelier (1942) – directed by William A. Seiter
  • The Sky’s the Limit (1943) – directed by Edward H. Griffith
  • Ziegfeld Follies (1945) – directed by Lemuel Ayers, Roy Del Ruth, Robert Lewis, Vincente Minnelli, Merrill Pye, George Sidney, & Charles Walters
  • Yolanda and the Thief (1945) – directed by Vincente Minnelli
  • Blue Skies (1946) – directed by Stuart Heisler
  • Easter Parade (1948)** – directed by Charles Walters
  • The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) – directed by Charles Walters
  • Three Little Words (1950) – directed by Richard Thorpe
  • Let’s Dance (1950) – directed by
  • Norman Z. McLeod
  • Royal Wedding (1951) – directed by Stanley Donen
  • The Belle of New York (1952) – directed by Charles Walters
  • The Band Wagon (1953) – directed by Vincente Minnelli
  • Daddy Long Legs (1955) – directed by Jean Negulesco
  • Funny Face (1957) – directed by Stanley Donen
  • Silk Stockings (1957) – directed by Rouben Mamoulian
  • On the Beach (1958) – directed by Stanley Kramer
  • The Pleasure of His Company (1961) – directed by George Seaton
  • The Notorious Landlady (1962) – directed by Richard Quine
  • Finian’s Rainbow (1968) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Midas Run (1969) – directed by Alf Kjellin
  • That’s Entertainment! (1974) – directed by Jack Haley Jr. – compilation film
  • The Towering Inferno (1974) – directed by John Guillermin
  • That’s Entertainment, Part II (1976) – directed by Gene Kelly – compilation film – narrator
  • The Amazing Dobermans (1976) – directed Byron Ross Chudnow
  • The Purple Taxi (1977) – directed by Yves Boisset
  • A Family Upside Down (1978) – directed by David Lowell Rich – TV movie
  • Ghost Story (1981) – directed by John Irvin
  • That’s Entertainment! III (1994) – directed by Bud Friedgen & Michael J. Sheridan – compilation film