Fred Astaire Born in 1899, in Omaha, Nebraska, Fred Astaire is one of the most famous failures to grace the entertainment business. In 1905, the family moved to New York City to allow Fred and his sister, Adele, to pursue a career in entertainment, and they focused their energies solely on the musical and dancing education of their children.
The two performed together in acts for some time, even touring the New York City Broadway circuit, and on to London as well. This helped to drastically improve their talent, but Fred shined during this time, with a set of charisma and charm that shone through even at the dimmest of times.
However, in 1932, the sister-and-brother act split, when Adele wed her husband. Fred continued his career despite that. And, according to legend, he was famously rejected during a Hollywood screen test when it was said that he “Can’t act. Slighty bald. Dances a little,” which came as a major disappointment at the time.
Yet, that didn’t stop him. Fred Astaire’s career in the entertainment industry lasted a mind-boggling 76 years, he appeared in 31 musicals, television shows and recordings. Gene Kelly once stated that “the history of dance on film begins with Astaire.” This was clearly a nod to the musical and dance genius that Astaire was.