Fred & Ginger: She did it backwards and in heels

'Top Hat' with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers was an instant hit with movie-goers

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in a screen grab from the 1935 film, "Top Hat"
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in a screen grab from the 1935 film, "Top Hat"

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On August 29, 1935 — 80 years ago — one of the classic song-and-dance films premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

“Top Hat” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers was an instant hit with movie-goers, a high society escape for most Americans struggling through The Depression. Their light-hearted romantic comedy with truly memorable dances captured the imagination of the public.

Fred Astaire was universally acclaimed as a world-class dancer. Through the years he had a string of on-screen dance partners, but the most notable was Ginger Rogers. She later won an Oscar in 1940 as Best Actress though she is best remembered as Fred’s dancing queen.

A famous quote attributed to Bob Thaves sums up her skills: “Don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards…and in high heels!”

So whether you’ve seen their films 100 times or never, whether you’re a dancing buff or don’t care, take a few minutes to watch Fred and Ginger in one of their many dances that has stood the test of time — in this case, 80 years.

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