Description
2000 Biographical Quotations by and about the world's greatest dancer FRED ASTAIRE
Ask George Balanchine. Ask Mikhail Baryshnikov. Ask James Cagney. Ask Bob Fosse. Ask Rita Hayworth. Ask Michael Jackson. Ask Gene Kelly. Ask Rudolf Nureyev. Ask Donald O'Connor. Ask any man or woman in the street. Most, if not all, would agree that Fred Astaire (born 1899 in Omaha. Nebraska) was the greatest dancer the world has ever seen. 

"He is a male butterfly without the wings - the same kind of grace of a very young horse, so angular. "
Mikhail Baryshnikov

Name another dancer, from any era, whose dance career - on stage, film and TV - could sustain such a book as this. The astonishing fact is not that there are 2000 specially chosen quotations by and about Fred, but that so many of these quotributes come from peers and those performers that were inspired by him. That is the true test of the epithet greatest.

"Fred Astaire is the Carioca, the Continental, the very Piccolino of romance."Frederick L. Collins
in Liberty magazine (1936)


As well as tributes from the dance world as a whole, Fred has received glowing references from U.S. presidents, Prime Ministers, Knights of the Realm, Nobel prize winners, Pulitzer prize winners, Oscar winners, Tony winners, Grammy winners ... even Heisman trophy winners. Such is the breadth and depth of the highest regard that Fred Astaire is forever held.

"Fred was, in every sense of the word, a superstar. He was the ultimate dancer - the dancer who made it all look so easy."
Ronald Reagan (1987)

As the Quotable Fred Astaire: Dancing On Astaire title suggests, the focus is on the dancing aspect of Fred Astaire. The emphasis of the 2000 quotations is on Fred's dancing rather than his singing or acting abilities or on his private life.

"You see, as far as the man's personality goes, there's no one who can touch Fred Astaire. He's unique."
Donald O'Connor


The Quotable Fred Astaire: Dancing On Astaire follows Fred's early stage career - as a teenager - with sister Adele; runs through all his movie musicals with partners such as Ginger Rogers, Cyd Charisse and Ann Miller; finishing with his award-winning performances on TV (in his late 60s).

"I don't remember anybody ever pointing me out as a dancing prodigy, but I played a not bad second base."

Fred Astaire (c 1936)

"Youth is believing that someday you'll dance like Fred Astaire."

Jacqueline Friedrich

"Give Mr. Astaire a hunk of rhythm, a straw boater and a girl, and he's your man."

Bosley Crowther
in The New York Times (1950)

"Astaire bursts into a dance which in its speed and unselfconsciousness seems equally to break the laws of nature."

Graham Greene
in The Spectator (1936)

"He was the Duke of Windsor of music: glorious, subtle, aloof, elegant."

Joel Grey

"Fred Astaire is the saint of 1930s sophistication, the butterfly in motion."

David Thomson
Biographical Dictionary of Film
(2002)

"The thirties musicals of Astaire worked as spontaneous eruptions of energy, as Astaire's body almost seemed to liquefy as walk became dance and speech became the lilting cadence of song."

Saige Walton
in Contemporary Comic Book Superhero (2009)

THE PASSING SHOW OF 1918 [1918]
"Fred Astaire is an agile youth, and apparently boneless, like that nice brand of sardines."

Alan Dent
in The New York Journal (1918)

SWING TIME (1936)
"The duet 'Pick Yourself Up' may be Astaire and Roger's finest moment. Proof positive that dancing can be better than sex."

Ty Burr
in Entertainment Weekly (1993)

THE BAND WAGON (1953)
"It is with Cyd Charisse during the 'Dancing in the Dark' sequence that Astaire attained romantic apotheosis."

Richard Schickel
in Time magazine (1987)

Dancing On Astaire - The Quotable Fred Astaire




Praise and Reviews
"An amazing collection of quotations on the one and only Fred Astaire. The title says it all 'Dancing on Astaire' as in the whole dance world, or so it seems, has their say on Mr Astaire. Not surprisingly given Fred's legend and standing - in Hollywood, Broadway and the West End - 99.9% of the biographical quotes about him are positive and deeply respectful of his talent, his demeanor and his unmatched class. The quality of the quotations collected here is highly impressive and the scope of the book is almost as jaw-dropping as one of Fred's dance routines - there is even a section on the infamous Dirt Devil adverts.
All in all a wonderful book full of great memories about a great dancer and a great man."
Barnes & Noble website


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Colin Jarman
Colin has published over 30 books in the US & UK, ranging from biography to humor, sports to science, Judge Dredd to James Bond to Doctor Who, Fred Astaire to Roy Race, Ryder More...
Other Book(s) By Colin Jarman