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Showing posts with the label Big Pond

May 10: Happy Birthday, Fred Astaire

"Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little." So read the RKO screen test of none other than...Lassie! No, not really. We're talking about today's birthday boy, Fred Astaire , who soft-shoed into the world today, 1899. Astaire  went into the world of dance with his older sister on the Vaudeville circuit. By 1917 the duo was appearing in big-time musicals on both sides of the Big Pond. Fortunately for all of us, his sister married a British aristocrat and decided there'd be no more professional dancing for her. This left the little brother to re-invent his career. He landed work in a Cole Porter musical, Gay Divorce . From there--failed screen test aside--it was on to celluloid. As far as the world of radio, in 1936 he hosted the Packard Hour , whose colloquial name was "The Fred Astaire Show." He also graced Bing Crosby 's variety program late in his career. Let's salute Fred Astaire !