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Proclaims Fred Astaire's Day In New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today proclaimed Wednesday, May 26 as Fred Astaire Day in New York City at a reception at Gracie Mansion commemorating the 100th anniversary of Fred Astaire's birth. The centennial of the legendary dancer, actor and singer, who was born on May 10, 1999 in Omaha, Nebraska, will be celebrated on May 27th at the Museum of Modern Art with a tribute featuring clips of his personal appearances and films.
Also in attendance were: Mrs. Robyn Smith, Fred Astaire's widow; and Patricia Reed Scott, Commissioner of New York City's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting.
"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I am delighted to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Fred Astaire's birth," the Mayor said. "Fred Astaire's grace and style earned him the love and admiration of audiences throughout America and around the world. His charm, grace and work ethic were evident in all his on-stage and on-screen performances.
"Even in the midst of two painful chapters of our history -- the Depression and World War II -- Fred Astaire never failed to bring joy and hope to millions of Americans through his indisputable talent," the Mayor concluded.
Fred Astaire's six-decade performing career started when he was 10 years old and his mother paired him as a dancer with his sister Adele. After his first big break in the Broadway show Over the Top in 1917, he was on his way to becoming one of the most popular performers in American history. He shared the stage and the screen with stars that included Bing Crosby, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Eleanor Powell, Judy Garland, Cyd Charrise, Audrey Hepburn, and one of his most memorable dancing partners, Ginger Rogers.
An Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner, Fred Astaire died on June 22, 1987. He was 88 years old.