Born today was Fred Astaire*
Who danced as if he danced on air.
And once to demonstrate his feeling
He even danced upon the ceiling.
*What others said about him:
1. Graham Greene: "Mr. Astaire is the nearest approach we are ever likely to have to a human Mickey Mouse; he might have been drawn by Mr. Walt Disney, with his quick physical wit, his incredible agility. He belongs to a fantasy world almost as free as Mickey's from the law of Gravity."
2. Cyd Charisse: "If I was black and blue, it was Gene[Kelly]. If I didn't have a scratch, it was Fred."
3. Sammy Davis Jr.: "Just to see him walk down the street...to me is worth the price of admission."
4. Rita Hayworth: "I guess the only jewels of my life were the pictures I made with Fred Astaire."
5. Frank Sinatra: "By far the greatest gentleman I ever known."
6. Stephen Sondheim: When asked what great singers he wished had sung his songs, he replied, "Nobody really. Well, actually, Fred Astaire."
7. Baryshnikov: "He's a genius. A classical dancer like I never saw in my life."
8. Gene Kelly: "When Ginger Rogers danced with Astaire, it was the only time in the movies when you looked at the man, not the woman."
9. Kirk Douglas: "Once after a dinner party, Greg Peck and I drove Fred Astaire home. Fred lived in a colonial house that had a long porch with many pillars. When we dropped him off, he danced along the whole front porch, then opened the door, tipped his hat to us, and disappeared. Wow! Greg and I couldn't speak for a few moments. It was a beautiful way to say thank you."
And one from Fred himself:
"There's even a graceful way of taking out the garbage."