Monday, January 20, 2014

Nebraska's Own: Fred Astaire

You all know my love for Ginger Rogers, but I need to throw some extra love towards her most famous dancing partner, Fred Astaire.



Fred was born right here in my home state of Nebraska, Omaha to be exact, in 1899.  His father worked for Storz Brewery, an Omaha legend in beer (and which is currently being revitalized and made again!)  It was rumored that Fred, in the early 1920's, was a salesman for Storz in between tours of the vaudeville circuit with his sister Adele.



Nebraska Life magazine recently had an article listing the 17 most legendary Nebraskans, and our Fred was #17.  Interesting how they included Fred, but totally left out Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett, two other legendary Nebraskans!  Unfortunately, the article is not available online.  But another interesting tidbit it included was the address of Fred's birthplace!  2326 South 10th Street in Omaha.  So of course I went to Google maps and used streetview to look at it, and took a screen shot of it to share here. :)  I rather doubt the current inhabitents know or care that this was the birthplace of a famous Hollywood legend (I can imagine them saying, "Fred who?"), but it would be nice to have a plaque on the house indicating it, like the house in Missouri indicating Ginger's birthplace.  But we can't have everything, can we?  The next time I'm in Omaha, I'm definitely scoping this out.

Fred Astaire's birthplace, Omaha, NE


Now I admit that I've never read his autobiography, Steps In Time, so I don't know if any of his relatives and descendents still have any ties to Omaha.  But wouldn't it be cool if they did?  Well, cool to me, as a lifelong Nebraskan. :)



Enjoy some Fred and Ginger, in Cheek To Cheek from Top Hat:


and a more uptempo gem from Damsel In Distress:



2 comments:

  1. Well done Betsy! I'm all for a plague on Fred's birthplace. If you investigate the matter more in Obaha - hope you'll keep us posted!

    Ginger Peachy

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