Photo of Fred Astaire Fred Astaire

Born Frederick Austerlitz Jr. in Omaha, Neb., May 10, 1899, Fred Astaire launched his career at age 7, performing in vaudeville with his sister, Adele. The pair top-lined numerous Broadway hits in the 1920s before Adele retired in 1932.

Tinseltown beckoned to Fred, whose first significant film role -- in Flying Down to Rio (1933) -- teamed him with Ginger Rogers in a pairing that would become box-office gold as their stylish dance routines transformed movie musicals. Top Hat (1935) and Swing Time (1936) are commonly considered the duo's best work together.

Fred continued making great musicals, including Holiday Inn (1942) and Funny Face (1957), but as the genre waned, he shifted to drama, beginning with On the Beach (1959). He snagged an Oscar nod for The Towering Inferno (1974) and remained active in showbiz almost until his death from pneumonia June 22, 1987.

Fred Astaire in Shall We Dance

Shall We Dance

1937 NR

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers kick up their heels on an ocean liner in this musical. Ballet star Pete Peters (Astaire) is in love with celebrity Linda Keene (Rogers), and his infatuation leads him to set sail across the Atlantic. Unfortunately, he hardly knows her, but a little white lie results in everyone thinking the two stars are married. George and Ira Gershwin provide the musical score that includes "They Can't Take That Away from Me."

  • Fred Astaire in Funny Face Funny Face
  • Fred Astaire in Swing Time Swing Time
  • Fred Astaire in Top Hat Top Hat
  • Fred Astaire in Holiday Inn Holiday Inn
  • Fred Astaire in Easter Parade Easter Parade
  • Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon The Band Wagon
  • Fred Astaire in The Towering Inferno The Towering Inferno
  • Fred Astaire in The Gay Divorcee The Gay Divorcee
  • Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding Royal Wedding
  • Fred Astaire in Silk Stockings Silk Stockings
  • Fred Astaire in Ghost Story Ghost Story
  • Fred Astaire in Ziegfeld Follies Ziegfeld Follies
  • Fred Astaire in Dancing Lady Dancing Lady
  • Fred Astaire in Birth of the Blues / Blue Skies Birth of the Blues / Blue Skies
  • Fred Astaire in Roberta Roberta
  • Fred Astaire in The Belle of New York The Belle of New York
  • Fred Astaire in Three Little Words Three Little Words
  • Fred Astaire in It Takes a Thief It Takes a Thief
  • Fred Astaire in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
  • Fred Astaire in That's Entertainment That's Entertainment
  • Fred Astaire in A Bing Crosby Christmas A Bing Crosby Christmas
  • Fred Astaire in The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town
  • Fred Astaire in More Jazz and Big Band Classics More Jazz and Big Band Classics