Fred Astaire: A Bio-Bibliography

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One of the most dynamic figures of the entertainment industry, Fred Astaire's career spanned most of the twentieth century. For some, he brings to mind the world of Broadway. For others, he represents the golden age of the movie musical, particularly because of his eleven-film collaboration with Ginger Rogers. Virtually all of his fans will long remember his effortlessly graceful dance routines. International dance giants have credited his work with inspiring their careers and giving them a model of excellence. His innovations as a choreographer, dance director, and creator of musical sequences forever changed the presentation of dance on film. Though he was always in the public spotlight, he treasured his family and cherished his privacy. For a star of such stature, he was remarkably free from scandal. This reference book is a complete guide to his life and career.

The volume begins with a biography that traces his life from his birth in Omaha in 1899, to his professional debut in 1905, to his Broadway and Hollywood careers, to his death in 1987. A chronology then highlights the chief events of his life. The chapters that follow provide detailed information for his work on stage, film, radio, and television. Each chapter includes entries for individual performances, with entries providing cast and credit information, plot synopses, critical commentary, and excerpts from reviews. The volume also lists his recordings, unfulfilled projects, and other information. An extensive annotated bibliography concludes the work.

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Editorial Reviews

Chronicles Astaire's career in theater, film, music, and dance, with a biography, a year-by-year chronology, and detailed listings of his appearances on stage, films, radio, and television, offering information on casts, critical comments, plots, dates, and awards. Includes a videography of films and TV shows available on video tape and laser disc, a discography of most commercially released recordings on vinyl and compact disc, a listing of his work as a composer and lyricist, and lists of awards and collectibles. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

LARRY BILLMAN is the Consultant Creative Director for International Theme Parks.

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Table of Contents











Musical Compositions


Awards, Honors, and Tributes

Projects Announced for Astaire



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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2007

    Regarding Photos

    The format is easy to follow and the book contains some pieces of information that I haven¿t been able to find elsewhere. It appears that none of the people who gave reviews mentioned anything about the photos in this book. In all fairness to the buying public I think it should be mentioned that the photos are dark and some are so dark you can¿t make out facial features to know who is in the photo. If you are a strong Fred Astaire fan you will want this book but do not count on any of the photos when making your decision to purchase this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2002

    The Best of All of the Astaire Books

    This book was recommended to me by Fred Astaire's daughter, who described it as 'wonderful.' I found it to be all of that and more. The author knew Mr. Astaire personally and made extensive use of the Astaires' papers (both Fred's and his sister's) that are preserved at Boston University. The book covers the full gamut of Astaire's life and career, including vaudeville, stage, films, radio, recordings, song writing, and television. Insightful and meticulously researched, this is a 'must have' for any admirer of the man who has been described as 'the greatest musical performer in the history of motion pictures' and 'the premier American dancer of the Twentieth Century.'

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