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Ginger Rogers

Ginger Rogers

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The Major And... Major Laughs with a Minor Twist!Academy Award winners Ginger Rogers and Ray... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Busby... Fans of modern movie musicals like "Chicago" (2002) and "Hairspray"... more info $59.98was $59.98 Buy Now

42nd Street... This timeless behind-the-scenes musical is a dazzling piece of entertainment.... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Black Widow... This 1954 mystery-noir follows the story of an aspiring writer who will do... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Swing Time... "Swing Time" (1936), starring the unforgettable Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire,... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Top Hat DVD ... Let Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance away with your heart in what might be... more info $9.99was $19.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died: April 25, 1995
Born: July 16, 1911 Cause of Death: natural causes
Birth Place: Independence, Missouri, USA Profession: Cast ...
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MILESTONES

:
Subject of a custody battle between parents when they separated; at one point the infant Rogers was kidnapped by her father
1917:
Offered a part in a Fox film while mother was working as a scriptwriter; mother refused to let her work after the first day
:
Moved with family to Forth Worth, Texas while in high school; took part in school dramatics and took dancing lessons
1925:
Briefly worked as substitute dancer for Eddie Foy in vaudeville
1926:
Began working regularly on the vaudeville circuit: billed as "Ginger and Her Redheads", toured Oklahoma and Texas with two other dancers, after winning a statewide Charleston contest in Texas; the two "redheads" who performed with her had finished second and third in the contest and were engaged by Rogers' mother; later did a solo act
:
Vaudeville act expanded to include other dances such as the Spanish-flavored Valencia; also did comedy patter routines involving baby talk and comic wordplay
1928:
Worked as band singer with Paul Ash's orchestra in New York (date approximate)
1929:
Success on Broadway in supporting role in musical "Top Speed" (singing "Hot and Bothered") led to screen test at Parmount's Astoria, Long Island Studio; signed by Paramount
1929:
Appeared in a number of short subjects including "A Night in a Dormitory" (1929) and "Office Blues" (1930)
1930:
Made feature film debut at Paramount's studios in Astoria, Queens, as a Jazz Age flapper in "Young Man of Manhattan", in which she uttered a line which enjoyed a nationwide popularity, "Cigarette me, big boy!"
1930:
Played female lead in her first feature musical film, "Queen High"
1930:
Returned to Broadway as female lead (at age 19) of George and Ira Gershwin's successful "Girl Crazy", earning $1,000 per week; introduced the song standards "Embraceable You" and "But Not for Me"; first met Fred Astaire (whom she dated briefly), who helped stage one of her dance numbers
1931:
Moved out to Hollywood; first West Coast-produced feature, "The Tip Off"; made several films for RKO-Pathe
1932:
Composed song, "The Gal Who Used to Be You" which she sang in a short film, "Hollywood on Parade #1"
1932:
Named one of the WAMPAS "Baby Stars" of 1932
1932:
First top-billed role in "The Thirteenth Guest"
:
Left Paramount; made a number of films for Warner Brothers
1933:
Famous career moment: performing cheerful Depression-era anthem, "We're in the Money", in pig Latin in "Golddiggers of 1933"
1933:
Signed with RKO
1933:
Played early showcase part in RKO's "Professional Sweetheart"; one of her earliest films which was built up as a "vehicle" for her talents
1933:
First film with Fred Astaire, "Flying Down to Rio", in which they played supporting roles
1934:
First co-starring vehicle with Astaire, "The Gay Divorcee"
:
Enjoyed earliest solo starring successes in such films as "Romance in Manhattan" and "In Person"
:
Rogers and Astaire appeared together on motion picture exhibitors annual poll of top ten box office stars three years in a row, placing 4th, 3rd and 7th
1936:
Radio debut in "The Curtain Rises" with Warren William on "Lux Radio Theater"
1937:
Enjoyed notable success without Astaire in "Stage Door"
1938:
First of four appearances on the cover of "Life" magazine
1939:
Last RKO musical with Fred Astaire, "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle"
1939:
Invited to place her hand and footprints and her signature in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater
:
Was in unique position of being RKO's only top boxoffice star under long-term contract; first major solo hit after the series co-starring Astaire, "Bachelor Mother", RKO's biggest hit of 1939
1941:
Opted not to renew her exclusive contract with RKO and began free-lancing; signed nonexclusive pact with the studio
1944:
Starred in first film in color, Paramount's "Lady in the Dark"; film also featured the famous mink and sequins gown which cost over $30,000 at the time and was later donated to and kept on display at the Smithsonian Institute; Rogers' entire wardrobe for the film cost $150,000-200,000
1945:
Highest-paid woman in the US, earning over $250,000; was also America's 8th highest paid person overall that year
1946:
Starred in rare historical drama, "Magnificent Doll", in which she played First Lady Dolley Madison
1946:
First film made through nonexclusive RKO deal in three years, "Heartbeat", was also her last for the studio for a decade
:
Mother Lela Rogers testified as a "friendly witness" before the infamous HUAC "witch hunt" anti-leftist trials which resulted in the Hollywood blacklists of the late 1940s and early 50s
1948:
Displeased with the scripts RKO sent her, Rogers and studio ended her nonexclusive contract by mutual consent
1949:
Reunited with Fred Astaire when called on to replace an ailing Judy Garland in "The Barkleys of Broadway"
1950:
Presented Fred Astaire with a special Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony for 1949 films
1951:
Returned to Broadway to star in a dual role Louis Verneuil's unsuccessful comedy, "Live and Let Love"; for one part she was billed as "Ginger Rogers" and for the other she was credited under her birth name "Virginia McMath"; show closed after 51 performances, though Rogers received good reviews
1951:
Made last of four appearances on the cover of "Life" magazine, in connection with her return to Broadway after 20 years
:
Travelled abroad extensively for the first time
1954:
Made TV debut in "Tonight at 8:30", a version of three short plays by Noel Coward
1954:
Starred in first film not made in the United States, the British-produced "Beautiful Stranger" (U.S. Release title, "Twist of Fate")
1957:
Starred in last feature film for seven years, "Oh Men! Oh Women!"
1958:
Starred in TV variety special, "The Ginger Rogers Show"
1959:
Made Las Vegas performing debut at the Riviera Hotel
1959:
Starred in a live British TV adaptation of the musical, "Carissima"; oddly enough, the role as staged gave her the opportunities to neither sing nor dance
1959:
Starred in tour of a bound-for-Broadway musical comedy, "The Pink Jungle", opposite Agnes Moorehead; play performed in several cities, but show had various problems with script, cast and production and the show never made it to Broadway
:
Appeared in touring stage shows, regional and summer stock performances of such musicals as "Annie, Get Your Gun", "Tovarich" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown"
1963:
Made a pilot for a TV comedy series, "The Ginger Rogers Show", in which she played twin sisters Elisabeth and Margaret Harcourt; option on possible series not picked up
1964:
Played the Queen on a TV version of Rodgers's and Hammerstein's musical version of "Cinderella", with Leslie Ann Warren in the title role
1964:
Rogers and husband G. William Marshall set up production deal to make their own films, shooting in Jamaica; encountered production, budgeting and bureaucratic problems on the one film they made, "The Confession", starring Rogers; resulting film turned out poorly and was only distributed in 1971 in select areas under titles include "Quick, Let's Get Married" and "Seven Different Ways"
1965:
Final dramatic film role, played Jean Harlow's mother in the biopic, "Harlow"
:
Replaced Carol Channing (who opened the musical) in "Hello, Dolly!" on Broadway; was critically acclaimed in the role and enjoyed great boxoffice success; performed in the show for a year and a half until February 1967, then toured nationally with the show for another year and a half; performed the role 1,116 times
1967:
Reunited with Fred Astaire on Academy Awards broadcast, when they presented the writing awards; did a 30-second impromptu dance bit together while en route to the podium which received a huge audience response and caused considerable media hubbub
:
Made London stage debut; was the highest-paid performer ever to appear on London stage up until that time (earning 5000 pounds--at the time the rough equivalent of $12,000--per week for a 56-week run), in the musical "Mame"
1971:
Toured US in the musical, "Coco"; attracted media attention when she refused to utter one four-letter word in the script
1972:
Signed a seven-year deal to act as traveling fashion consultant for J.C. Penney Stores
1975:
Starred onstage in the spring in Chicago in romantic comedy, "Forty Carats", then toured with show during the summer
:
Appeared in successful international touring nightclub and stage retrospective of her career, "The Ginger Rogers Show" (taped for Italian TV; also did a song and dance number to "The Carioca" on American TV program, "The People's Command Performance"); later did versions of her nightclub act internationally into the 1980s
1978:
Recorded an album of songs in England for EMI called "Miss Ginger Rogers"
1980:
Performed a capsule version of her touring show at Radio City Music Hall
1980:
Starred in a summer production of "Anything Goes" opposite Sid Caesar
:
Guest starred occasionally on TV on shows such as "The Love Boat" (in an episode reuniting her with former co-star Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.)
1983:
Career feted on the syndicated documentary TV special, "Legends of the Screen"
1987:
Made directorial debut staging a revival of the musical comedy play, "Babes in Arms"
1987:
Appeared in the "Hail and Farewell" episode of the ABC series "Hotel"
1988:
Unsuccessfully sued the Italian producers of Fellini's film "Ginger and Fred" for invasion of privacy
1991:
Made television appearance as guest interviewee along with June Allyson, Jane Powell, and Esther Williams on "Burt Reynolds Conversations With..."
1995:
Last public appearances included those at a photo session for a <i>Vanity Fair</i> magazine issue dedicated to Hollywood and at a Screen Actors Guild tribute (Rogers was one of the original 100 members of the actors union when it was founded in the early 1930s)

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