Welcome to the first post in our “Dancers Who Defined a Decade” series. It only seems appropriate to begin with our namesake, so we’re diving into one of our favorite decades: the 1930s. It’s no question which dancer defined this decade!
Born on May 10, 1899, in Omaha, Nebraska, Fred Astaire is regarded by many as the greatest popular music dancer of all time. Fred Astaire and his partner, Ginger Rogers defined the 1930s dance scene by appearing together in several movies, including Flying Down to Rio (1933), The Gay Divorcee (1934), Top Hat (1935) and Swing Time (1936). The duo easily danced their way into the hearts of Americans and became film’s most beloved dance team.
By 1957, Fred had appeared in 30 films in 25 years. As his interest in musical films began to wane, he declared his intentions to focus strictly on acting. True to his perfectionist nature, Fred won critical acclaim for his roles in On the Beach and The Towering Inferno. However, he never fully left the song and dance, creating Emmy award winning musical specials and acting in musical films into his late 60’s. His last film role was in 1981, at the spry age of 82. A few years later, Fred, finally retired leaving a legacy that spanned nearly 76 years.
Check out some of Fred and Ginger’s most famous dance numbers! Which one is your favorite?
“The Gay Divorcee” (1934)