When Fred Astaire Went to Hollywood for a Screen Test

From The Writer’s Almanac:

It’s the birthday of dancer/actor Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska in 1899. Astaire and his sister, Adele, began dancing when she was six and he was four, making their professional debut in a brother-sister vaudeville act.

The pair went on to star in a string of hit musicals on the Broadway and London stage, appearing in 11 shows before Adele married Lord Charles Cavendish in 1932, leaving Fred on his own.

He went to Hollywood for a screen test, where a Paramount executive wrote about Astaire’s performance: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Balding. Can dance a little.”

Speak Your Mind