Frederick Austerlitz, 10 May 1899, Omaha, Nebraska, USA, d. 22 June 1987, Los Angeles, California, USA. One of the greatest - with Gene Kelly - and best-loved dancers in the history of film. The son of an Austrian immigrant, by the age of seven Astaire was dancing in vaudeville with his sister, Adele Astaire (b. Adele Marie Austerlitz, 10 September 1897, Omaha, Nebraska, USA, d. 25 January 1981, Tucson, Arizona, USA). The duo made their Broadway debut in 1917 and the following year were a huge success in The Passing Show Of 1918. During the 20s they continued to dance to great acclaim in New York and London, their shows including Lady, Be Good! (1924) and Funny Face (1927). They danced on into the 30s in The Band Wagon (1931), but their partnership came to an end in 1932 when Adele married Charles Cavendish, the younger son of the Duke of Devonshire, and retired from showbusiness.
The Astaires had dabbled with motion pictures, perhaps as...
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