It’s the birthday of Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz in 1899. He broke into showbiz at a very young age, performing a vaudeville act with his sister Adele. The siblings made their Broadway debut in 1917, and continued performing together until Adele’s marriage to a British aristocrat in 1932. Left on his own, Fred went to Hollywood to see if he could make it in the movies. Over the next five decades he had many successes — as well as a few failures — in movies and television. When he died in 1987, the headline in the New York Times read “Fred Astaire, the Ultimate Dancer, Dies.”
As my old man used to say, they sure don’t make ’em like they used to.