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 Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn

1942 NR

Bing Crosby croons to the tune of the Oscar-winning "White Christmas" in Irving Berlin's love triangle romantic comedy. Tired of the bright lights of showbiz, Jim Hardy (Crosby) retires to the countryside to become a farmer. He converts the farm into the Holiday Inn, open only on holidays, then competes against his pal (Fred Astaire) for a singer-dancer's (Marjorie Reynolds) affection.

  • Fred Astaire in Shall We Dance Shall We Dance
  • Fred Astaire in Funny Face Funny Face
  • Fred Astaire in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
  • Fred Astaire in Top Hat Top Hat
  • Fred Astaire in The Gay Divorcee The Gay Divorcee
  • Fred Astaire in Easter Parade Easter Parade
  • Fred Astaire in Ghost Story Ghost Story
  • Fred Astaire in Roberta Roberta
  • Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon The Band Wagon
  • Fred Astaire in It Takes a Thief It Takes a Thief
  • Fred Astaire in A Bing Crosby Christmas A Bing Crosby Christmas
  • Fred Astaire in Hollywood Singing and Dancing Hollywood Singing and Dancing
  • Fred Astaire in Swing Time Swing Time
  • Fred Astaire in Three Little Words Three Little Words
  • Fred Astaire in The Belle of New York The Belle of New York
  • Fred Astaire in Daddy Long Legs Daddy Long Legs
  • Fred Astaire in Silk Stockings Silk Stockings
  • Fred Astaire in The Towering Inferno The Towering Inferno
  • Fred Astaire in More Jazz and Big Band Classics More Jazz and Big Band Classics
  • Fred Astaire in Flying Down to Rio Flying Down to Rio
  • 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 Ziegfeld Follies Ziegfeld Follies
  • Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding Royal Wedding
  • Fred Astaire in Finian's Rainbow Finian's Rainbow
  • Fred Astaire in The Dick Cavett Show: Hollywood Greats The Dick Cavett Show: Hollywood Greats
  • Fred Astaire in That's Entertainment That's Entertainment
  • Fred Astaire in The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town