THE QUOTABLE FRED ASTAIRE
Size: 16.82 x 26 cm
2000 Biographical Quotations
by and about the world's greatest dancer:
Dance Legend, Dancing Icon
Ask George Balanchine. Ask Mikhail Baryshnikov. Ask James Cagney. Ask
Bob Fosse. Ask Rita Hayworth. Ask Michael Jackson. Ask Gene Kelly. Ask
Rudolf Nureyev. Ask Donald O'Connor. Ask any man or woman in the street.
Most, if not all, would agree that Fred Astaire (born 1899 in Omaha.
Nebraska) was the greatest dancer the world has ever seen.
"He is a male butterfly without the wings - the same kind of grace of a very young horse, so angular."
Name another dancer, from any era, whose dance career - on stage, film
and TV - could sustain such a book as this. The astonishing fact is not
that there are 2000 specially chosen quotations by and about Fred, but
that so many of these quotributes come from peers and those performers
that were inspired by him. That is the true test of the epithet
"Fred Astaire is the Carioca, the Continental, the very Piccolino of romance."
Frederick L. Collins in Liberty magazine (1936)
As well as tributes from the dance world as a whole, Fred has received
glowing references from U.S. presidents, Prime Ministers, Knights of the
Realm, Nobel prize winners, Pulitzer prize winners, Oscar winners, Tony
winners, Grammy winners ... even Heisman trophy winners. Such is the
breadth and depth of the highest regard that Fred Astaire is forever
"Fred was, in every sense of the word, a superstar. He was the ultimate dancer - the dancer who made it all look so easy."
Ronald Reagan (1987)
As the title suggests, the focus is on the dancing aspect of Fred
Astaire. The emphasis of the 2000 quotations is on Fred's dancing rather
than his singing or acting abilities or on his private life.
"You see, as far as the man's personality goes, there's no one who can touch Fred Astaire. He's unique."
The Quotable Fred Astaire / Dancing On Astaire follows
Fred's early stage career - as a teenager - with sister Adele; runs
through all his movie musicals with partners such as Ginger Rogers, Cyd
Charisse and Ann Miller; finishing with his award-winning performances
on TV (in his late 60s).
“Fred Astaire is unquestionably the best-known and
best-paid dancer in the world today. More people have seen and applauded
his exceptional, light-footed, light-hearted grace than ever heard the
Lincoln Barnett in Life magazine (1941)
"Youth is believing that someday you'll dance like Fred Astaire."
thirties musicals of Astaire worked as spontaneous eruptions of energy,
as Astaire's body almost seemed to liquefy as walk became dance and
speech became the lilting cadence of song."
Saige Walton in Contemporary Comic Book Superhero (2009)
"I don't remember anybody ever pointing me out as a dancing prodigy, but I played a not bad second base."
Back Cover Quotes
from The Quotable Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire (c 1936)
"Give Mr. Astaire a hunk of rhythm, a straw boater and a girl, and he's your man."
Bosley Crowther in The New York Times (1950)
"Astaire bursts into a dance which in its speed and unselfconsciousness seems equally to break the laws of nature."
Graham Greene in The Spectator (1936)
"He was the Duke of Windsor of music: glorious, subtle, aloof, elegant."
"Fred Astaire is the saint of 1930s sophistication, the butterfly in motion."
David Thomson, Biographical Dictionary of Film (2002)
"Gene Kelly was like a Jeep and Fred Astaire was a Rolls Royce."
THE PASSING SHOW OF 1918 
"Fred Astaire is an agile youth, and apparently boneless, like that nice brand of sardines."
Alan Dent in The New York Journal (1918)
SWING TIME (1936)
"The duet 'Pick Yourself Up' may be Astaire and Roger's finest moment. Proof positive that dancing can be better than sex."
Ty Burr in Entertainment Weekly (1993)
THE BAND WAGON (1953)
"It is with Cyd Charisse during the 'Dancing in the Dark' sequence that Astaire attained romantic apotheosis."
Richard Schickel in Time magazine (1987)
Fred Astaire Career: Chronology
1899 May 10: Frederick Austerlitz is born in Omaha, Nebraska.
1905 January: Johanna Geilus Austerlitz moves the children to New
York so that talented six-year-old Adele can get better dance training.
November: Professional debut of Fred and Adele Astaire in the "Wedding Cake" act in Keyport, New Jersey.
1906 The first vaudeville tour of Fred and Adele Astaire. They tour for three years.
1909 They leave vaudeville for two years, living in Highwood Park,
Weehawken, New Jersey, attending public school for the first (and only)
December: The Astaires appear at the Orpheum Theatre, Omaha - their hometown.
1909 May 5: Astaire's first wife, Phyllis Livingston Baker, is born in Boston.
1910 Moving to New York, Fred and Adele enroll in Ned Wayburn's
school. He creates "The Baseball Act" for them and they return to
December 10: Astaire's future choreographic collaborator, Hermes Pan (Panagiotopulos) is born in Memphis, Tennessee.
1911 December: First New York vaudevile booking for Fred and Adele.
1912 Two years on small time vaudeville circuits for the brother-and-sister team.
1914 New act created for Fred and Adele by Aurelia Coccia begins touring.
Summer The family vacations at the Delaware Water Gap Hotel, Pennsylvania.
1917 November 28: Fred and Adele's first musical, Over the Top, opens in New York at the 44th Street Roof Theater.
1918 June 1: Rehearsals for The Passing Show of 1918 begin in New York.
July 25: The Passing Show of 1918 opens in New York at the Winter Garden Theatre.
1919 October 17: Apple Blossoms opens in New York at the Globe Theatre.
1921 October 4: The Love Letter opens in New York at the Globe Theatre.
1922 February 20: For Goodness Sake opens in New York at the Lyric Theatre.
November 28: The Bunch and Judy opens in New York at the Globe Theatre.
1923 March 23: Fred and Adele sail to London on the Aquitania to begin rehearsals on Stop Flirting.
May 30: Stop Flirting! opens in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
1924 February: Father Frederic dies in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, at the age of fifty- five.
December 1: Lady, Be Good!, an innovative musical with a musical score
by George and Ira Gershwin and starring Fred and Adele, opens in New
York at the Liberty Theatre.
1925 April 7: Fred and Adele begin their Trocodero Nightclub appearance.
Lady, Be Good! tours the United States.
1926 January 16: Fred and Adele sail to London on the Majestic to
begin rehearsals for the British production of Lady, Be Good!
April 14: Lady, Be Good! opens in London at the Empire Theatre.
August 9: King George and Queen Mary attend Lady, Be Good!
1927 January 22: Lady, Be Good! closes in London and tours Scotland and Wales.
June: The Astaires return to the United States.
November 22: Funny Face opens in New York at the Alvin Theatre.
1928 Fred and Adele make a screen test for Paramount in New York.
July 8: While on vacation, Adele is injured in a speedboat explosion.
November 8: Funny Face opens in London at
the Prince's Theatre.
December: Prince's Theatre closes because of gas explosions on the street.
1929 Funny Face continues in London and goes on tour throughout Great Britain.
1930 April 5: Fred and Adele return to the United States on the Mauretania.
November 18: The Astaires open in Smiles with Marilyn Miller at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York.
1931 January 31: Smiles closes. Fred and Adele vacation in Europe.
June 3: Fred and Adele's last show, The Band Wagon, opens in New York at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
1932 March 5: Adele completes her final performance in The Band Wagon on tour in Chicago and retires.
May 9: Adele weds Charles Cavendish, the second son of the Duke of Devonshire, in Chatsworth, England.
September 1: Fred departs London for New York after visiting newlyweds Charles and Adele.
November 29: Fred begins his solo career and opens in Gay Divorce at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway.
1933 January: Fred makes a screen test for producer David O. Selznick and RKO Radio Pictures.
May 27: Fred signs a contract to make Flying Down to Rio for RKO.
July 12: Fred marries Phyllis Livingston Potter in the library of the Brooklyn Supreme Court Building.
July 14: The newlyweds fly to California for his screen work.
November 2: Gay Divorce opens in London at the Palace Theatre.
November 23: Fred's first film, Dancing Lady, is released.
December 11: Fred appears in King George's Pension Fund for Actors and Actresses Benefit in London.
December 29: Flying Down to Rio opens in movie theaters and the team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is launched.
1934 October 26: Astaire signs a new seven-year contract with RKO.
October 3: The Gay Divorcee goes into release.
October 30: Astaire's dancing feet are insured for one million dollars by RKO.
1935 February 12: Roberta is released.
August 12: Fred makes his radio series debut on "Your Hit Parade."
August 29: Top Hat opens.
1936 January 21: Fred Astaire, Jr. is born at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.
February: Astaire's composition "I'm Building Up to an Awful Letdown" reaches the number 4 spot on the Hit Parade.
February 20: Follow the Fleet is released.
September 8: Astaire's weekly radio show, "The Packard Hour," begins on NBC, but he
misses the premiere.
September 15: Fred makes the radio show and is heard weekly on Tuesday evenings at 8:30.
September 27: Swing Time opens.
1937 February 9: Astaire signs a contract for renewal of his radio show.
April 30: Shall We Dance goes into release.
November 27: A Damsel in Distress, Astaire's first movie without Ginger Rogers since their successful teaming, is released.
1938 August 30: Fred's on-screen reunion with Ginger, Carefree, is released.
December 9: Astaire is among a group of film celebrities who sign a
"Declaration of Independence" for President Roosevelt and Congress to
sever economic relations with Germany.
1939 February 26: Astaire is the guest columnist for Ed Sullivan's syndicated Hollywood column.
March 30: The last in the RKO Astaire-Rogers film series, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, is released.
Astaire's RKO contract ends.
1940 February 9: Broadway Melody of 1940 is released.
1941 January 3: Second Chorus opens on movie theater screens.
September 25: You'll Never Get Rich is released.
1942 March 28: Daughter Phyllis Ava is born at the Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles.
June 12: Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, with Astaire co-starring with Bing Crosby, is released.
September: Astaire participates in a two-week war bond tour of Ohio.
October 19: You Were Never Lovelier is released.
1943 July 13: The Sky's the Limit opens.
December: Fred joins the Hollywood Bond Cavalcade Tour.
1944 March 23 or 24: Adele's first husband, Lord Charles Cavendish, dies at the age of thirty-nine in Ireland.
Fred purchases the prize-winning horse Triplicate.
August 30: Astaire begins a six-week USO tour of France, England and Belgium.
September 24: He performs at the Olympia Theatre in Paris for an audience of 2,000 Allied troops.
October 13: Fred returns from Europe.
1945 October 27: Astaire announces his retirement and films "Puttin' on the Ritz," his last dance, for Blue Skies.
November 15: Yolanda and the Thief is released.
1946 Triplicate, Fred's thoroughbred horse, wins the Hollywood Gold Cup.
April 8: Ziegfeld Follies is released.
December 27: Blue Skies is released.
1947 March 7: The first Fred Astaire Dance Studio opens in New York.
April 28: Adele marries second husband, Kingman Douglass, in a civil ceremony in Warrentown, Virginia.
October: Gene Kelly injures his ankle during rehearsals of Easter Parade
and Astaire replaces him in the film, ending his retirement from the
1948 May 26: Easter Parade opens.
1949 March 15: The Barkleys of Broadway, the film which reunited Astaire with Ginger Rogers after ten years, is released.
1950 March 23: Astaire receives a special Oscar from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
July 6: Three Little Words is released.
August 11: Let's Dance is released.
1951 February 5: Royal Wedding is released.
1952 February 12: The Belle of New York is released.
1953 July 3: The Band Wagon is released.
1954 February 14: Toast of the Town - Astaire's first live-TV appearance.
September 13: 10:00 a.m., wife Phyllis dies from lung cancer at the age
of forty-six at the Astaire Summit Drive home in Beverly Hills.
1955 April 3: Astaire appears the same Sunday evening on both Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town and What's My Line.
July 8: Astaire departs for Europe with daughter, Ava, and mother, Ann.
May 4: Daddy Long Legs is released.
1957 March 1: Astaire appears on a local Los Angeles television show, Peter Potter's Juke Box Jury.
March 28: Funny Face is released.
April 3: Astaire does a promotion for Funny Face on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town.
May 13: Silk Stockings is released.
June 7: Fred appears on Person to Person.
December 1: Astaire makes his TV dramatic debut on General Electric Theater in "Imp on a Cobweb Leash."
1958 March 26: Astaire participates in the 30th Academy Awards Show.
May 5: The Oscar Levant Show on local Los Angeles TV.
October 17: Astaire's first TV special, An Evening with Fred Astaire airs.
1959 January 11: "Man on a Bicycle" - G.E. Theater.
Fall: Astaire's autobiography Steps in Time is published.
November 4: Another Evening with Fred Astaire.
December 2: On the Beach, Astaire's dramatic film debut, is released.
1960 April 4: Astaire appears on the 32nd Annual Academy Awards TV Show.
June 20: Fred co-hosts the 12th Annual Emmy Awards.
September 28: Astaire's third special, Astaire Time, airs.
1961 May 8: The Pleasure of His Company opens.
December 29: Astaire receives his Look Magazine award on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show.
1962 February 13: Astaire makes his Alcoa Premiere debut in "Mr. Easy."
April 9: 34th Academy Awards Show.
June 26: The Notorious Landlady is released.
July 10: "Moment of Decision" - Alcoa Premiere.
October 11: "Guest in the House" - Alcoa Premiere.
November 1: "Mister Lucifer" - Alcoa Premiere.
December 27: "Blues for a Hanging" - Alcoa Premiere.
1964 October 2: "Think Pretty" - Bob Hope Presents Chrysler Theatre.
1965 April 5: 37th Academy Awards Show.
October 2: Astaire's first appearance on The Hollywood Palace.
November 22: Astaire begins a four-part appearance on Dr. Kildare in "Fathers and Daughters."
November 23: "The Tent Dwellers" - Dr. Kildare.
November 29: "Going Home" - Dr. Kildare.
November 30: "A Gift of Love" - Dr. Kildare.
1966 January 22: Astaire's second appearance on The Hollywood Palace.
March 12: The Hollywood Palace.
April 30: The Hollywood Palace.
1967 April 10: 39th Academy Awards Show.
1968 February 7: The Fred Astaire Show, Astaire's final musical TV special.
August 27: Finian's Rainbow, Astaire's final film musical, is released.
1969 May 7: Midas Run is released.
October 16: Astaire begins a quartet of appearances on It Takes a Thief in "The Great Casino Caper."
November 6: "Three Virgins of Rome" - It Takes a Thief.
December 4: "The Second Time Around" - It Takes a Thief.
1970 March 9: "An Evening with Alistair Mundy" - It Takes a Thief.
April 7: 42nd Academy Awards Show.
November 10: Astaire agrees to be the sole guest on The Dick Cavett Show
to promote the showing of The Over-The-Hill Gang Rides Again.
November 17: The Over-The-Hill Gang Rides Again, Astaire's first made-for-TV movie, is aired.
December 13: Astaire supplies his voice talents to an animated special, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.
1971 October 13: Astaire's second appearance on The Dick Cavett Show.
1972 January 17: Fred is seen in "Jack Lemmon in 'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous, 'S Gershwin" on The Bell System Family Theatre.
September 9: Astaire hosts the patriotic TV musical variety special Make Mine Red, White and Blue.
1973 January 1: Fred meets jockey (and second-wife-to-be) Robyn Smith at Santa Anita Racetrack.
April 30: Astaire is honored by the Film Society at Lincoln Center.
Film Release: Astaire makes a cameo appearance in Imagine.
1974 March 31 and April 1: Astaire appears in the two-part TV documentary The Movies.
May 17: That's Entertainment! opens and Fred and Adele dance together once again at the Hollywood Premiere.
May 29 - The premiere of That's Entertainment! is featured on ABC's Wide World of Entertainment.
October 24: Astaire hosts Fred Astaire Salutes the Fox Musicals on syndication.
December 14: The Towering Inferno is released.
1975 February 3: Astaire is inducted into the "Entertainment Hall of Fame" at Harley House, New York.
March 17: Astaire is one of the guests on The Merv Griffin Show on syndicated TV.
April 8: Nominated for a "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar, Astaire is seen on the 47th Academy Awards Show.
July: Astaire goes to Great Britain for recordings in London.
July 30: Mother Ann Astaire dies of a stroke at the age of ninety-six at Fred's home in Beverly Hills.
October: Astaire appears on The Michael Parkinson Show on the BBC-TV in London.
November 24: Astaire participates in a tribute to Tony Bennett on Dinah! (TV syndication).
November 25: Film clips of Fred are shown on The Academy Presents Oscar's Greatest Music.
December 2: Astaire joins the Crosby family on The Bing Crosby Christmas Show, Merry Christmas, Fred, From the Crosbys.
1976 March 9: Fred escorts former First Lady Betty Ford to the American Film Institute Tribute to William Wyler.
May 3 - 7: To promote the release of That's Entertainment, Part II,
Astaire co-hosts The Mike Douglas Show (TV syndication) with Gene Kelly.
May 4: Astaire and Kelly appear on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson to promote That's Entertainment, Part II.
May 9: On the eve of Fred's 77th birthday, the world premiere of That's
Entertainment, Part II is held at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York.
August 16: After completing filming of The Amazing Dobermans, Fred has
an accident on his skateboard in the driveway of his home and breaks his
November 23: The Amazing Dobermans is released.
1977 April 6: Once again, Astaire serves as the inspiration and voice
for an animated character on The Easter Bunny Is Coming to Town.
May 24: The Purple Taxi is released in the United States.
1978 February 4: Astaire is given a tribute by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the Century Plaza Hotel.
April 3: 50th Academy Awards Show.
April 9: Astaire gives an Emmy-Award-winning performance on A Family Upside Down, a made-for-TV movie.
December 3: Astaire is one of the first Kennedy Center honorees in Washington, D.C.
December 5: The Kennedy Center Honors ceremony is televised.
1979 January 28: To please his grandchildren, Astaire appears as "The Man with Nine Lives" on Battlestar Galactica.
December 23: The Man in the Santa Claus Suit, a made-for-TV movie, is aired.
1980 March 6: Fred appears on 20/20, being interviewed about his upcoming marriage to Robyn Smith.
March 9: A PBS documentary, Fred Astaire: Puttin' on His Top Hat airs.
March 10: Fred Astaire: Change Partners and Dance, a second PBS-TV documentary is premiered.
June 24 (or 27): Astaire weds Robyn Smith at his Beverly Hills home.
1981 January 6: Adele suffers a stroke in her Phoenix, Arizona home. She is admitted to a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona.
January 25: Adele dies at the age of eighty-three in Arizona.
April 11: The American Film Institute presents Astaire with a lifetime
achievement award in a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
April 18: "A Salute to Fred Astaire" on the American Film Institute Tribute.
December 15: Ghost Story, containing Astaire's last dramatic performance, opens.
1985 January 6: That's Dancing! is released, containing clips of Astaire.
1987 June 12: Fred is admitted to the Century City Hospital, Los Angeles, California.
June 22: 4:25 a.m. Fred Astaire dies of pneumonia.
June 25: He is buried at Oakwood Memorial Park, 22601 Lassen Avenue, Chatsworth, California.
June 26: Astaire and Ginger Rogers are the subjects of Episode Two of
The RKO Story - Tales from Hollywood, which airs on British TV. It is
later retitled: Hollywood - The Golden Years and shown on American TV
1988 May 12: Fred Astaire - An American Classic, a posthumous TV documentary, airs on CBS-TV.
1990 Footage of Astaire is included in American Masters - You're the Top - The Cole Porter Story.
1991 March 9: Astaire's musicianship is featured on the PBS-TV documentary, The Fred Astaire Songbook.
1993 August 11: Footage of Astaire is included in a TV documentary, Audrey Hepburn Remembered.
1994 May 6: The compilation film That's Entertainment! III, featuring a sequence saluting Astaire's artistry, is released.
[Fred Astaire Life and Career - Source Unknown]
The Quotable Fred Astaire quotes book
PAYPAL (in local currency)
USA / Worldwide
AMAZON (in local currency)
The Quotable Fred Astaire can be ordered from Amazon via these links (price subject to Amazonian fluctuations and additional postage charges):
Please check the Amazon sites
for the latest price as it is subject to fluctuation and possible
discount. Both UK and USA Editions are also available through other
online and traditional booksellers but - as with Amazon - their pricing, discounts, postage and delivery times are out of Blue Eyed Books direct control.
All books purchased through Paypal are dispatched direct from the UK publisher within 5-7 days - with no extra postage charges. Books ordered via Amazon are subject to their delivery times (sometimes up to 3 weeks) and may incur extra postage charges. Please check individual options for the best / cheapest / quickest delivery method to suit you.
THE QUOTABLE FRED ASTAIRE - Dancing on Astaire
from Barnes and Noble
"An amazing collection of
quotations on the one and only Fred Astaire. The title says it all
'Dancing on Astaire' as in the whole dance world, or so it seems, has
their say on Mr Astaire. Not surprisingly given Fred's legend and
standing - in Hollywood, Broadway and the West End - 99.9% of the
biographical quotes about him are positive and deeply respectful of his
talent, his demeanor and his unmatched class. The
quality of the quotations collected here is highly impressive and the
scope of the book is almost as jaw-dropping as one of Fred's dance
routines - there is even a section on the infamous Dirt Devil adverts.
All in all a wonderful book full of great memories about a great dancer and a great man."
"A fitting tribute to a dance legend.
On Astaire is not your average biographical tribute to a celebrity. The
author has cleverly compiled and combined a vast array of quotes and
comments about Fred Astaire and turned them into a fitting tribute from
those who knew him or those who worshipped the floor he danced on. I
bought this one and the similar bio-quotable book (from Blue Eyed Books)
about James Bond (License To Quote). As a lover of quotations
both these books surpassed any expectations I had of them and will
surely provide many hours of fun reading through them over and over."