Ginger Rogers

(16th July 1911 – 25th April 1995)


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Born Virginia Katherine McMath in July 1911 Missouri, USA she adopted the name “Ginger” after one of her young  cousins, had a hard time pronouncing “Virginia”, shortening it to “Ginga” and the nickname stuck. She took on the name Rogers from her step father when her mother remarried. Ginger Rogers was an American actress, dancer, and singer who appeared in film, and on stage, radio, and television. Ginger had her first performance at the age of 14, her entertainment career was born one night when the traveling vaudeville act of Eddie Foy came to Fort Worth and needed a quick stand-in. She then entered and won a Charleston dance contest which allowed her to tour for six months.At 17, Rogers married Jack Culpepper, a singer/dancer/comedian/recording artist of the day who worked under the name Jack Pepper. They formed a short-lived vaudeville double act known as “Ginger and Pepper”, the marriage was over within months, and she went back to touring with her mother. Rogers’ first movie roles were in a trio of short films made in 1929: Night in the Dormitory, A Day of a Man of Affairs, and Campus Sweethearts. She got her Broadway debut in a musical called Top Speed, which opened on Christmas Day, 1929. Within two weeks of opening in Top Speed, Rogers was chosen to star on Broadway in Girl Crazy by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, the musical play widely considered to have made stars of her with Fred Astaire hired to help the dancers with their choreography. Her appearance in Girl Crazy made her an overnight star at the age of 19. In 1930, she was signed by Paramount Pictures to a seven-year contract.She made a total of 73 films, and was best known as Fred Astaire’s romantic interest and dancing partner in a series of ten Hollywood musical films. As the saying went about Ginger Rogers, she could do everything that her famous dance partner, Fred Astaire, could do, but she did it backwards and in high heels.
 


Rogers and Astaire- Swing Time