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Astaire Fred Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Astaire Fred Quizzes, Trivia

Fred Astaire Trivia

Fred Astaire Trivia Quizzes

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2 Fred Astaire quizzes and 25 Fred Astaire trivia questions.
  Astaire: The Light Fantastic    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
One of the most talented and versatile performers in the history of dance, Astaire has influenced generations of musical theater performers and choreographers. This challenging quiz explores Fred Astaire's distinguished and celebrated career.
Difficult, 15 Qns, Yowsers74, Sep 03 08
968 plays
  The Fancy Footwork of Fred Astaire    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Fred Astaire is my favourite dancer of all time. If you're a fan, you should do fine.
Difficult, 10 Qns, banana92, Sep 10 06
1739 plays

Fred Astaire Trivia Questions

1. Fred Astaire began his career with his sister Adele in vaudeville and then Broadway. Which Broadway musical comedy featured George and Ira Gershwin's first complete score for Fred and Adele?

From Quiz
Astaire: The Light Fantastic

Answer: Lady Be Good!

Fred Astaire first met George Gershwin, who was working as a song plugger in Jerome H. Remick's, in 1916 and struck up a close friendship which was to have profound consequences for the subsequent careers of both artists.

2. What was the first style of dance Fred Astaire learnt?

From Quiz The Fancy Footwork of Fred Astaire

Answer: Ballet

Fred was taken along to his sister's ballet classes and although he wasn't particularly interested at first, his perfectionist streak meant that he ended up even more accomplished than her.

3. During the 1920s, Astaire continued to refine his dancing and would often study and watch other performers. Which African-American dancer did Astaire study with?

From Quiz Astaire: The Light Fantastic

Answer: John W. Bubbles

In 1920 Fred Astaire began studying with John W. Bubbles. He considered Bubbles the finest tap dancer of his generation. Bubbles brought in percussive heel stomps and played with the traditional eight-bar phrase, slowing it down to allow for more rhythmic freedom. He thus merged the art of tap dancing with the new improvisatory style of jazz, reinventing the tap art form.

4. Who was Fred Astaire's first screen dancing partner?

From Quiz The Fancy Footwork of Fred Astaire

Answer: Joan Crawford

The Joan Crawford vehicle 'Dancing Lady", made in 1933, was Fred's screen debut.

5. After his sister Adele retired in 1932, he performed in one more Broadway and London musical: "Gay Divorce". Who wrote the score?

From Quiz Astaire: The Light Fantastic

Answer: Cole Porter

"Gay Divorce" was purchased by producer, Pandro Berman, of RKO Radio Pictures as a vehicle for Astaire and Rogers. Due to the Hays code, RKO renamed the movie version, "The Gay Divorcee" based on the logic that a Divorcee could be happy, but a divorce is not. Only one song of the full Cole Porter Broadway score, "Night and Day," was used in the movie adaptation.

6. In the video for Lionel Ritchie's song "Dancing on the Ceiling", he uses a technique that Fred Astaire employed in which movie?

From Quiz The Fancy Footwork of Fred Astaire

Answer: Royal Wedding

The technique made it look as though Fred was dancing around a room, not horizontally but vertically, so it appeared he was dancing up the walls and then upside down, on the ceiling. In fact (of course!), Fred remained on the 'floor', while the room turned - with the camera fixed to the turning set to create the effect. If you watch the number ("You're all the world to me") carefully, you will see Fred balancing between each wall at the point when he has to move to the next surface.

7. Astaire and Rodgers performed in ten musicals together: nine at RKO between 1933-1939 and one produced by MGM in 1949. Which musical do we see Astaire actually kiss Rogers passionately at the culmination of a slow motion dance?

From Quiz Astaire: The Light Fantastic

Answer: Carefree

The dance was a dream sequence set to the tune "I Used to Be Colorblind." Whether or not Astaire would kiss Rogers became a "running gag" in their films. Some tabloids reported at the time that Astaire's wife Phyllis would not permit Astaire to kiss Rogers. This was untrue. Astaire never felt comfortably playing what he referred to as "sloppy love scenes." He felt that his romantic pas de dieus were the love scenes.

8. Astaire was one of the most versatile performers in Hollywood and played more than one musical instrument. Which instruments did he play?

From Quiz Astaire: The Light Fantastic

Answer: drums, accordion, and piano

Astaire's dances are masterful exercises in imaginative musicality and rhythmic complexity. This was probably due in fact that he was primarily a self-taught musician. He learned to play the accordion for the musical revue, "The Band Wagon," on Broadway. And learned to play the piano in his teens while in vaudeville. It is unclear when Astaire took up the drums, but it is well documented by his various drum dance solos that he could play with the best of them. In fact, he stored one of his personal drum sets in his bathroom. In "Second Chorus," Astaire's trumpet playing was dubbed and in "Yolanda the Thief," Astaire is "playing" the harp incorrectly.

9. Who was Fred Astaire's choreographer for most of his career?

From Quiz The Fancy Footwork of Fred Astaire

Answer: Hermes Pan & Pan & Hermes

Pan stood in for Ginger Rogers when he and Fred worked through routines before rehearsing with Ginger herself.

10. Fred Astaire harbored a secret pipe dream to be a successful song-writer. In 1935, one of his 26 published songs reached #4 in the US pop charts. Which song was it?

From Quiz Astaire: The Light Fantastic

Answer: I'm Building Up To An Awful Let-Down

Astaire mostly wrote only the music to his songs, but occasionally he would write or collaborate on the lyrics to his tunes. Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics to "I'm Building Up To An Awful Let-Down". The lyrics to "Tappin' the Time" were by British lyricist Gladys Shelly. For "If Swing goes, I go to!" Astaire wrote both and performed it in the MGM movie, "Ziegfeld Follies". However, this number was cut from the movie before it was released. "No Strings" was written by Irving Berlin.

11. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were the top two tap dancing movie stars of the golden age of Hollywood, but they only appeared together in one movie - not counting "That's Entertainment" (1974). What was it?

From Quiz The Fancy Footwork of Fred Astaire

Answer: Ziegfeld Follies

Fred and Gene performed one number in this MGM showcase from 1946, "The Babbit and the Bromide", a kind of nonsense song about these two guys who keep bumping into each other over the years, including once they arrive in heaven.

12. In 1951, Astaire received an award for his performance as song writer/magician Burt Kalmar in "Three Little Words". What was the award?

From Quiz Astaire: The Light Fantastic

Answer: Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical

This was Astaire's first Golden Globe Award. He received his Oscar the previous year. In 1960, the Hollywood Foreign Press awarded him the Cecil B. DeMille award. Astaire received his first Emmy, among several, in 1958 for his first television spectacular, "An Evening with Fred Astaire."

13. How many musicals did Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers make together?

From Quiz The Fancy Footwork of Fred Astaire

Answer: 10

Fred and Ginger made 9 movies with RKO in the 1930s, but were reunited 10 years later, in 1949, for MGM's 'The Barkleys of Broadway'.

14. Alongside the non-dancing Joan Fontaine, what famous comedy duo were Fred Astaire's co-stars in the 1937 movie 'A Damsel in Distress'?

From Quiz The Fancy Footwork of Fred Astaire

Answer: George Burns and Gracie Allen

Based on a short story by P G Wodehouse, 'A Damsel in Distress' is often overlooked as it is weakened by Fred's not having a real dancing partner - Joan Fontaine is pretty, and a decent actress, but is just danced 'around' by Fred in one number. Nevertheless, with a great score by the Gershwins, and great comic relief from Burns and Allen, it is really worth a look - Burns and Allen are pretty nifty dancers too!

15. Fred Astaire, when he had his arms outstretched when he was dancing, would bend his two middle fingers towards his palm. Why did he do this?

From Quiz The Fancy Footwork of Fred Astaire

Answer: He thought his hands were too big so tried to disguise it in this way.

16. In 1959, Astaire published his autobiography. It was written long hand (no type writer) and without a ghostwriter. What is the name of the book?

From Quiz Astaire: The Light Fantastic

Answer: Steps in Time

All the titles were possible titles as he indicated in the first chapter of his 328 page book. However, as he concludes the book, he writes that the title was suggested by English actor/author/song writer, Noel Coward. Apparently, Coward was on tour with one of his shows and came by to visit Astaire at his home and quickly came up with the title.

17. When Astaire decided to star and produce his first television special, "An Evening with Fred Astaire," it won an unprecedented nine Emmy Awards. Who was the corporate sponsor?

From Quiz Astaire: The Light Fantastic

Answer: Chrysler

Astaire produced his TV specials under the banner, Ava Productions, named after his daughter. At the end of the show, Astaire provides a plug to Chrysler. It is unknown whether Astaire owned a Chrysler. However, it is well known that Astaire owned a Rolls Royce, which is in the collection of the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

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