Americas greatest song and dance man was born Frederick Austerlizt in Omaha, Nebraska on May 10, 1899. He and his sister Adele were featured in 10 major Broadway musicals form 1917-1931. Fred then stepped out on his own and proceeded to make movie history with over 30 movie musicals over the next four decades, including 10 with dance partner Ginger Rogers.
The most celebrated dancer in the history of film, with appearances in 31 movie musicals between 1933 and 1968 (and a special Academy Award in recognition of his accomplishments in them), Astaire also danced onstage and on television (garnering two Emmy Awards in the process), and he even treated listening audiences to his accomplished tap dancing on records and on his own radio series. He appeared in another eight non-musical feature films and on numerous television programs, resulting in an Academy Award nomination and a third Emmy Award as an actor.
His light tenor voice and smooth, conversational phrasing made him an ideal interpreter for the major songwriters of his era, and he introduced dozens of pop standards, many of them written expressly for him, by such composers as Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Burton Lane, Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Arthur Schwartz, Harry Warren, and Vincent Youmans.
As a recording artist, Astaire was responsible for nearly 40 top ten hits including the #1 recordings of Night and Day (1932), Cheek to Cheek (1935), Im Putting All My Eggs in One Basket (1936), The Way You Look Tonight (1936), A Fine Romance (1936), They Cant Take That Away From Me (1937), Nice Work if You Can Get It (1937) and Change Partners (1938).
Fred Astaire died in Los Angeles, CA on June 22, 1987.