[“Dancer Fred Astaire clad in top hat, tails & spats vaulting off his cane as he does a climatic jump in ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ number for the movie Blue Skies.” Photograph by Bob Landry. November 29, 1945. From the Life Photo Archive. Click for a larger view.]
Fred might have wished for a private image different from his public one but he couldn’t quite pull it off. The adjectives applied to him were true. He was a good fellow — never a guy. F. A. bowed out at the right time. But I shall miss him terribly. Me and the world.Fred Astaire died on June 22, 1987, twenty-five years ago today.
Richard McKenzie, son-in-law to Astaire, quoted in Kathleen Riley, The Astaires: Fred & Adele (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
Fred Astaire on What’s My Line?
John Ashbery and Fred Astaire on The Mike Douglas Show