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Ginger Rogers

Real name: Virginia Katherine McMath
Birthdate: July 16, 1911
Status: N/A
Partner: N/A

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Biography

Ginger Rogers (July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) was an Academy Award-winning American film and stage actress and singer. In a film career spanning fifty years she made a total of seventy-three films, and is now principally celebrated for her role as Fred Astaire's romantic interest and dancing partner in a series of ten Hollywood musical films that revolutionized the genre.

Although the dance routines were choreographed by Astaire and his assistant Hermes Pan, both have acknowledged Rogers's input into the process, and have also testified to her consummate professionalism, even during periods of intense strain as she tried to juggle her many other contractual film commitments with the punishing rehearsal schedules of Astaire, who made at most two films in any one year. In 1986, shortly before his death, Astaire remarked: "All the girls I ever danced with thought they couldn't do it, but of course they could. So they always cried. All except Ginger. No no, Ginger never cried". John Mueller sums up Rogers's abilities as follows: "Rogers was outstanding among Astaire's partners not because she was superior to others as a dancer but because, as a skilled, intuitive actress, she was cagey enough to realize that acting did not stop when dancing began...the reason so many women have fantasized about dancing with Fred Astaire is that Ginger Rogers conveyed the impression that dancing with him is the most thrilling experience imaginable".

In later life, Rogers remained on good terms with Astaire: she presented him with a special Academy Award in 1950, and they teamed up in 1967 as co-presenters of individual Academy Awards. The Kennedy Center honored Ginger Rogers in December 1992, an event which when shown on television, was somewhat marred when Astaire's widow, Robyn Smith (who permitted clips of Astaire dancing with Rogers to be shown for free at the function, itself), was unable to agree terms with CBS for broadcast rights to the clips.

In 1940 Rogers purchased a 1000-acre (4 km²) ranch between Shady Cove, Oregon and Eagle Point, Oregon, along the Rogue River, just north of Medford. The ranch, named the 4-R's (for Rogers's Rogue River Ranch), is where she would live, along with her mother, when not doing her Hollywood business, for 50 years. The ranch was also a dairy, and supplied milk to Camp White for the war effort during World War II. Rogers loved to fish the Rogue every summer. She sold the ranch in 1990 and moved to Medford.

She lived for much of her life with her mother, Lela Rogers (1891–1977), who was a newspaper reporter, scriptwriter, and movie producer. Lela was also one of the first women to enlist in the Marine Corps, and was a founder of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.

A recent biography of actor James Stewart claims that Stewart lost his virginity to Ginger Rogers. (New York Times Book Review, Nov.2006)

Ginger Rogers was a cousin of actress/writer/socialite Phyllis Fraser (whose acting career was brief).

It has been said in books and other publications that Rogers was Rita Hayworth's cousin but they were not blood relatives. Their connection is as follows: Hayworth's mother's brother, Vinton Hayworth (Hayworth's uncle), was married to Rogers's mother's sister, Jean Owens (Rogers's aunt).



 


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