|"Backwards, and in heels," Ginger Rogers matched Fred step for step. She's his most famous dance partner (and that includes his own sister!). The duo appeared in one of my favorite clips in this series, just because it features simplicity. Go here for that dance number.|
|The "Dance-Off" was a popular conceit, and perhaps it still is, considering all the competition on various dance shows these days. Fred and Ginger competed in one. I think they won it.|
|Rogers was a last minute replacement for Judy Garland in this film (one of the many times Judy was fired for her unreliability), and it was to become the final Astaire/Rogers film. Here is their clip.|
|French pixie Leslie Caron was paired with the MUCH older Astaire in Daddy Long Legs. For some reason, nobody thought it was creepy. Go here for that clip.|
|When Hayward teamed with Astaire in these pages, it was really only because she slightly resembled my mother. I wrote about that here, which includes the Fred/Rita dance clip.|
|Powell could match Astaire tap for tap, as seen in this pairing.|
|Betty Hutton was one of the great musical comedy stars of her time, though is largely forgotten today. I love her, and she stars in this clip, with a surprise appearance by Astaire. OK, I guess I ruined the surprise.|
|Astaire was not particularly versatile as an actor,|
but his light and breezy style was put to good
use in the 1960s spy series It Takes A Thief,
playing Robert Wagner's father.
The clip is from Damsel In Distress, which I must confess I have not seen. I suppose all Astaire musicals are now considered classics, but this one seems to float under the radar a bit. Fred's co-star was Joan Fontaine, and isn't it just like a producer to hire a star for a musical without first finding out if she can dance? Fontaine couldn't, and our Fred attempted to replace her with Ruby Keeler. Joan remained in the film, and director George Stevens did his best to hide her two left feet with camera trickery and, in one instance, a bunch of trees.
|A madcap romp through a funhouse, with costars Burns and|
Allen, provides some comic relief.