DATE OF BIRTH:
July 16, 1911 (Independence, MO)
DATE OF DEATH:
April 25, 1995 (Rancho Mirage, CA; congestive heart failure)
Born on July 16th, 1911 in Independence Missouri, Ginger enterred the Vaudeville circuit at the age of 14 after winning a Charleston concest in Texas. Only 4 years later in 1929, Ginger got her first chance at legitimate theatre in a supportive role in Top Speed on Broadway. In 1930, Ginger landed the lead role in the original Broadway production of Girl Crazy as Molly Gray. During that time, Ginger also spend her days at Paramount Studio appearing in her first four movies.
After the closing of Girl Crazy, Ginger and her mother Lela headed for Hollywood. Once again, making her way from supportive to lead roles. By 1933, Ginger was paired with Fred Astaire and history was made. In less than 2 years, Ginger had became a worldwise household name in the movie industry. From 1931 to 1957, Ginger would star in 71 movies and will won an oscar in 1940 for her performance in Kitty Foyle.
In 1951, Ginger returns briefly to Broadway in Louis Verneuil's Love and Let Love. Unfortunately, the show lasted only 51 performances.
Between 1959 to 1964, Ginger appeared in 8 other plays:
In 1965, after returning to Holywood after a 10 year absence to shoot her last two feature films of her movie career (73 movies in total), Ginger accepted David Merrick's invitation of replace Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly! on Braodway. After 2 years on Broadway, Ginger took the show on a national tour for an additional year – closing in Boston in 1968 after 1116 performances as Dolly Gallagher Levi.
In 1969, Ginger flew to London and starred in the London company of Mame on Drury Lane for a year.
In 1971, Ginger was back in the United States and touring in Coco around the New England states. In 1974, Ginger went to Phoenix and starred in No, No, Nanette followed by 40 Carats in Chicago.
In 1975, Ginger put together the Rogers Rogue River Revue and The Ginger Rogers Show was born. From 1975 to 1980, Ginger performed The Ginger Rogers Show (a time capsule revue of her musical career on stage and films) touring all over the United States and major international cities from the Radio Music Hall in New York to the Olympia in Paris.
Ginger returned to the theatrical stage in 1980, to co-star with Sid Cesar in Anything Goes as Reno Sweeny, touring over the United States. In 1983, Ginger starred in Miss Moffat in Indiappolis for 2 week run.
The next year, Ginger starred in Charley's Aunt in Edmonton, Canada, which would turn out to be her final stage appearance.
Ginger who had been actived on television in many Variety Shows and TV Specials since the beginning of television in the 1950's, continued to guest stars on a variety of television shows though out the 1980's.
In 1991, she published her autobiography "Ginger, My Story".
Miss Rogers was honored my The Kennedy Center in 1992.
Miss Rogers passed away on April 25, 1995 at the age of 84 from heart failure.
Best remembered for her 73 films, being the ultimate dancing Queen, being an lifelong republican, and her Christian science beliefs.
She was a champion tennis player and pro skit shooter.
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