Fred Astaire represented the aristocracy, I represented the proletariat.
Dancing in Tijuana when I was 13 — that was my 'summer camp.' How else do you think I could keep up with Fred Astaire when I was 19?rita hayworth
As Gloria Steinem said about Ginger Rogers: She was doing everything Fred Astaire was doing, just doing it backwards in high heels. Well, Southern women are doing and enduring what other women have to do and endure, but (at least until recently) they had to do it in heels and hats and white gloves and makeup and a sweet smile, with maybe a glass of bourbon and a cigarette to get them through the magnolia part of being a steel magnolia.michael malone
If you give us the chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels** Keynote address, 1988 Democratic National ConventionAnn Richards
Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.ginger rogers
There comes a day when people begin to say, 'Why doesn't that old duffer retire?' I want to get out while they're still saying Astaire is a hell of a dancer.Fred Astaire in Time. "The New Pictures: 'Blue Skies'". October 14, 1946, p. 103. (M)
He is terribly rare. He is like Bach , who in his time had a great concentration of ability, essence, knowledge, a spread of music. Astaire has that same concentration of genius; there is so much of the dance in him that it has been distilled.George Balanchine in Nabokov, Ivan and Carmichael, Elizabeth. "Balanchine, An Interview". Horizon, January 1961, pp. 44-56. (M)
He is the most interesting, the most inventive, the most elegant dancer of our times... you see a little bit of Astaire in everybody's dancing--a pause here, a move there. It was all Astaire's originally.George Balanchine, quoted in Thomas, Bob. Astaire, the Man, The Dancer. Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, 1985. ISBN 0297784021 p.33.
When I was in the Soviet Union recently I was being interviewed by a newspaperman and he said, "Which dancers influenced you the most?" and I said, "Oh, well, Fred Astaire." He looked very surprised and shocked and I said, "What's the matter?" He said, "Well, Mr. Balanchine just said the same thing."Jerome Robbins in Heeley, David, producer and director. Fred Astaire: Puttin' on his Top Hat and Fred Astaire: Change Partners and Dance (two television programs written by John L. Miller), PBS, March 1980. (M)
There is no setup in Hollywood that compares with an Astaire picture.Irving Berlin to George Gershwin quoted in Jablonski, Edward, and Stewart, Lawrence D. The Gershwin Years. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961, p.250. (M)
As a dancer he stands alone, and no singer knows his way around a song like Fred Astaire.Irving Berlin, quoted in Puttin' on the Ritz, BBC Programme Acquisition, 1999.
When you talk about Fred Astaire, you talk about heaven. What more can I say?Johnny Green to Mike Steen in Steen, Mike. Hollywood Speaks! An Oral History, G.P. Putnam's, New York, 1974.
Fred Astaire once worked so hard/ he often lost his breath/ and now he taps all other chaps to deathfrom Lorenz Hart's lyric to "Do it the Hard Way" from Pal Joey
They climb the clouds/ To come through with airmail/ The dancing crowds/ Look up to some rare male/ Like that Astaire male.from Lorenz Hart's title number to On Your Toes.
Astaire can't do anything bad.Jerome Kern quoted in Bordman, Gerald. Jerome Kern: His Life and Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980. p. 142. (M)
Fred Astaire is the best singer of songs the movie world ever knew. His phrasing has individual sophistication that is utterly charming. Presumably the runner-up would be Bing Crosby, a wonderful fellow, though he doesn't have the unstressed elegance of Astaire.Oscar Levant in Levant, Oscar. The Memoirs of an Amnesiac. New York: Putnam, 1965. (M)
You're the nimble tread/Of the feet of Fred Astairefrom Cole Porter's lyric to "You're the Top"
Q: What great singers of the past do you wish had sung your music? A: Nobody really. Well, actually, Fred Astaire.Stephen Sondheim in an interview with David Patrick Stearns, Classical Music Critic, The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 19, 2009 
Of all the actors and actresses I've ever worked with, the hardest worker is Fred Astaire. He behaved like he was a young man whose whole destiny depended on being successful in his first film. He rehearses between takes, after takes - there's no limit to his professionalism.Rouben Mamoulian in Lecture and discussion at University of Southern California, December 7, 1975. Tape recording, Special Collections, University of Southern California. (M)
I don't think that I will plunge the nation into war by stating that Fred Astaire is the greatest tap-dancer in the world.Robert Benchley in "Hail to the King!!" The New Yorker, November 29, 1930, pp. 33-36. (M)
As a dancer, I out-Fred the nimblest Astaire.P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster in Joy in the Morning (1947)
"There's nothing to beat these old English country houses." said Charlie, becoming lyrical. "All those parks and gardens and terraces and stuff. Makes you think of bygone ages and knights in armour and all like that. I saw one of these joints in a movie in Cicero once with Fred Astaire in it, and I remember thinking those guys have it pretty soft."From P.G. Wodehouse's Do Butlers Burgle Banks? (1968)
Grayce Llewellyn thought that with appropriate dietary restrictions, she and J Sheringham Adair could have Ivor Llewellyn looking like Fred Astaire.From P.G. Wodehouse's Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin (1972)
I once said that fifty years from now, the only one of today's dancers who will be remembered is Fred Astaire.Gene Kelly quoted in Shipman, David. The Great Movie Stars, The Golden Years. Crown Publishers, New York. 1970. pp.25-29 as referenced in Billman, Larry: Fred Astaire - A Bio-bibliography, Greenwood Press, Connecticut, 1997. ISBN 0-313-29010-5 p.351
I guess the only jewels of my life were the pictures I made with Fred Astaire.Rita Hayworth in Hallowell, John. "Rita Hayworth: Don't Put the Blame on Me, Boys." New York Times October 25, 1970, sec. 2, pp. 15,38 (M)
(Cary Grant) is, along with Fred Astaire, the best-dressed actor in American moviesBenjamin Schwarz in "Becoming Cary Grant" The Atlantic, January/February 2007
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