We’ve written a fair amount about Fred Astaire — about his personal style, his professionalism, his grace, his artistry — and especially about the fact that he was considered one of Hollywood’s regular good guys.
He was a hardworking artist but one who firmly kept his head on straight and treated fellow professional with respect.
Astaire is a personification of all that was good in classic Hollywood, and we’re pretty sure you know a lot about him. Even so, we constructed today’s quiz in honor of our man, inspired by his 1959 autobiography, Fred Astaire: Steps in Time (Harper & Row).
Today, we publish our standard 10 question to see if we can stump you. As usual, we’ll publish our answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question — Astaire is most often linked with Ginger Rogers as his regular screen dancing partner. Exactly how many movies did they make together? a) 15; b) 22; c) 10; or d) 13.
2) Question: Who was the least talented dancer of Astaire’s onscreen partners? a) Eleanor Powell; b) Joan Crawford; c) Joan Fontaine; or d) Leslie Caron.
3) Question: Who was the most talented of Astaire’s dancing partners? a) Ginger Rogers; b) Rita Hayworth; c) Barrie Chase; d) Cyd Charisse or e) none of the above.
4) Question: Astaire was paranoid about his leading ladies because he used to fret about his height and worried his partners would appear onscreen taller that he was. a) True or b) false.
5) Question: Who was Astaire’s very first onscreen dancing partner? a) Marjorie Reynolds; b) Virginia Dale; c) Vera Ellen; or d) Joan Crawford.
6) Question: One of Astaire’s legendarily famous dancing feats is included in a scene set in a hotel room in 1951′s Royal Wedding. What exactly did he do in the scene to cause such a fuss? a) Punch out director Stanley Donen; b) have simulated sex with costar Jane Powell; c) deliver a solo dance on the walls and ceiling of a living room; d) adorn himself in a cowboy outfit and conduct target practice with live ammunition.
7) Question: Astaire had a special relationship with sometime costar Rita Hayworth. Why? a) He entertained erotic thoughts about her but never acted on them; b) she would worry about parts and dance steps as much he he did; c) he was friends with Rita’s father; or d) her shyness brought out the paternal in Astaire.
8) Question: What was Fred Astaire’s real name? a) Emmanuel Goldenberg; b) Charles Cavendish; c) Frederick Austerlitz Jr.; or d) Charles Buchinsky.
9) Question: Astaire’s Hollywood movie career began in 1933, after he sustained a profound professional loss. Can you identify the nature of the crisis and what exactly Astaire lost?
10) Question: Astaire’s first non-singing-and-dancing role was: a) In a touring stage version of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh; b) in Stanley Kramer’s On The Beach; c) in producer Irwin Allen’s The Towering Inferno; or d) on television’s Imp on a Cobweb Leash.