Ginger Rogers, the versatile Academy Award-winning actress, comedian, singer and dancer, lightened the hearts of Depression-era America through her classically romantic ballroom encounters with Fred Astaire.
Although Rogers made 73 movies over four decades, with highly successful detours into television and nightclubs, she remained best known for the 10 films she glided through with Astaire, beginning with "Flying Down to Rio" in 1933. They taught America to dance the Continental, their foreheads touching in a display of stylish togetherness that was to become their signature.
By 1929, at the age of 18, Rogers was on Broadway in "Top Seed" and segued easily out to Paramount's Long Island studios for a small part in one of the new "talkie" movies called "Young Man of Manhattan."
The nonsmoking Rogers so enchanted audiences with her one running gag line — "Cigarette me, big boy" — that it became a part of the American idiom of the day.
After bit parts in other East Coast films and her success in George Gershwin's Broadway musical "Girl Crazy" in 1930-31, Rogers moved west to Hollywood for the heyday of movie musicals.
When television came along, Rogers flirted with the prospect of a dramatic series but stalled her debut until 1954, when she found a proper star vehicle — a 90-minute Noel Coward play called "Tonight at 8:30" directed by no less than Otto Preminger. Most of her television appearances were specials or guest spots on variety shows.
She also toured in the 1960s with "Annie Get Your Gun" and did the title roles of "Mame" and "Coco" in London.
She made her last movie, "Harlow," playing actress Jean Harlow's mother, in 1965, and in the 1970s toured with a nightclub act titled "Ginger Rogers & Co."
|1940||Best Actress||Kitty Foyle||Win|