Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's Fred Astaire's birthday

In case you've never seen this, parts 2 & 3 are available on youtube ("Astaire" "Levant") And don't tell Robin. It's Astaire's first time on TV. The main reason for the appearance was that wanted to see how "telegenic" he was. Apparently he wasn't too disappointed. Not long after that, he did the first of three award-winning "Evenings With" specials. 
According to Hollywood folklore, a screen test report on Astaire for RKO Pictures, now lost along with the test, is reported to have read: "Can't sing. Can't act. Balding. Can dance a little."                                                          
Which leads us other possibly apocryphal true stories. Telegram spotted on a H'wood studio desk by Cary Grant: "How old Cary Grant?" Grant wires back, "Old Cary Grant just fine. How you?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Astaire! Indeed, the greatest song & dance man, as Oscar declares!

Thank you Bill!

I wonder if we will ever see high quality videos of Astaire's 3 TV specials? They were once broadcast on the Disney channel, before they were suppressed.

I was surprised to hear Oscar joking about how Irving Berlin had attained his 70th birthday. That doesn't seem so old anymore, does it Bill? Especially now that Bob Dylan has reached that.

Astaire. Astaire. Astaire.