"Sure [Fred Astaire
] was great, but don't forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards... and in high heels!"
— Bob Thaves
"Ginger had never danced with a partner before [Flying Down to Rio
]. She faked it an awful lot. She couldn't tap and she couldn't do this and that ... but Ginger had style and talent and improved as she went along. She got so that after a while everyone else who danced with me looked wrong."
(July 16, 1911 — April 25, 1995) was an actress, singer and dancer who appeared in a lot of films (a total of seventy-three), television and stage shows over her career but is mostly remembered for her musical films
- particularly her ten films with Fred Astaire
, where she starred with him as his love interest.
After winning a dance competition, she made her way through stage musicals and landed herself numerous film roles in 1929 and eventually partnered up with Fred Astaire in 1933, creating some of the most beautiful dance routines ever filmed and, with him, revolutionised the genre. Went through Tom Hanks Syndrome
in The Forties
as she left musicals and Astaire behind and became a leading lady, although her dance movies and musicals are better remembered in latter days.
She was ranked the fourteenth greatest actress of all time by the American Film Institute.
Some of her Filmography:
- Dyeing for Your Art: Dying her blond hair brown for Kitty Foyle.
- Pretty in Mink: She wore a number of furs in her movies, even dancing in a few (such as the mink skirt in Lady in the Dark).
- Stage Names: She was born Virginia Katherine McMath.
- Subverted, in that she got both names for other reasons. She got the nickname "Ginger" when she was 5 years old and staying with an aunt, uncle, and even younger cousin. The cousin called her Ginger because the cousin couldn't yet pronounce her Vs. Ginger's parents were divorced before she was born and her mother later remarried to a man named Rogers, hence "Ginger Rogers" was the name she had for most of her childhood. She didn't even think of it as a stage name, planning on getting a different one when her career began to take off on Broadway. Her show's producer and director talked her out of it, because they loved her name, especially because she looked and sounded just like a "Ginger Rogers".
- Those Two Actors: With Fred Astaire. A few times with Cary Grant.