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I was asked to act when I couldn't act. I was asked to sing 'Funny Face' when I couldn't sing, and dance with Fred Astaire when I couldn't dance - and do all kinds of things I wasn't prepared for. Then I tried like mad to cope with it.
Being young isn't about age, it's about being a free spirit. You can meet someone of 20 who's boring and old, or you can meet someone of 70 who's youthful and exciting. I met Fred Astaire when he was 72 and I was 21, and I fell in love with him. He certainly was a free spirit.
When I am cast in a movie where I feel that the woman's part is more interesting, I usually start thinking about Spencer Tracy and Fred Astaire. They seem to be the most clear actors when working with women.
I loved old black and white movies, especially the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals. I loved everything about them - the songs, the music, the romance and the spectacle. They were real class and I knew that I wanted to be in that world.
The thing is that my idols have always been the types of guys who could do anything: Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Sinatra, Dean Martin; and when you look up to people like that, you don't accept that you need to be compartmentalised.
My uncle, who was a little more flamboyant, always said the guy who dressed the best was Fred Astaire.
No dancer can watch Fred Astaire and not know that we all should have been in another business.
I always loved all kinds of music. I would watch musicals a lot as a kid, on TV, watch the Fred Astaire movies. I'd watch 'The Wizard of Oz.' I was a big Jerry Lewis fan, and they'd have these big bands and someone singing - some siren, or some guy singing some gorgeous song. I was always enamored of that style of music.
I have a photograph at home of Fred Astaire from the knees down with his feet crossed. It's kind of inspiring because it reminds me his feet were bleeding at the end of rehearsals. Yet when you watch him, all you see is freedom. It's a reminder of what the job is about in general, not just being in musicals.
I remember vividly seeing 'Tarzan' and Fred Astaire, the Chaplin films, Fred Astaire musicals, MGM, because of my mother. She was just interested in everything and she took me to opera and ballet, and then ballet got me hooked.
I've always had an innate ability to dance, but I'm not as spiffy as those cinema legends like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.
I think there's no question that Michael Jackson was the foremost entertainer of his generation; perhaps of all time, arguably, taking the skills of a Sammy Davis, Jr., bringing together the street dance of African American urban culture, joining them to the politics of dance, of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly on that sphere alone.
Michael Eric Dyson
Over the years, myths were built up about my relationship with Fred Astaire. The general public thought he was a Svengali, who snapped his fingers for his little Trilby to obey; in their eyes, my career was his creation.
I wish I was born in that era: dancing with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, going to work at the studio dressed in beautiful pants, head scarves, and sunglasses.
When I was a kid, I loved Nicholas brothers films. It was like skateboarding. Even Gene Kelly: I always preferred him to Fred Astaire, just because he was more athletic, like skateboarding.
When Ginger Rogers danced with Astaire, it was the only time in the movies when you looked at the man, not the woman.
What I got, unconsciously, from admiring Fred Astaire was that he didn't want what he was doing to look difficult. What was difficult, in my opinion, was making it look so genuine, so effortless. I equally have tried to remain unseen on the screen.
I can sing as well as Fred Astaire can act.
I studied dancing for 13 years. And loved to dance. Always wanted to dance with Fred Astaire.
I wanted to be Stan Laurel, then I wanted to be Fred Astaire and then Captain Kangaroo. I actually started out as a radio announcer when I was 17 and never left the business, so that's literally 70 years.
Dick Van Dyke
I asked Fred Astaire once when he was about my age if he still danced, and he said 'Yes, but it hurts now.' That's exactly it. I can still dance, too, but it hurts now!
Dick Van Dyke
Fred Astaire was a more formal, trained dancer who loved waltzing and only danced with the girls.
From Fred Astaire I learned discipline and hard work.
I've worked with Jack Warner and Jimmy Stewart - and Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Johnny Depp twice. I've had dinners with Fred Astaire and Cary Grant.
Astaire never thought of what he was doing as balletic, but Kelly was always trying to dance with women on points. And his choreography is so showy and flashy. He always looks self-satisfied to me.
I love the old Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly movies; they're so beautiful to look at. It's such a shame we don't make them anymore. Although, I don't know how you could make tap dancing current and topical.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Friendship is the shadow of the evening, which increases with the setting sun of life.
Jean de La Fontaine
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