Fred Astaire, a dancer and film star recognized for his successful musicals throughout the 1930s and 1940s, is widely considered one of the best American dancers of all time, even though he was self-conscious about his hands, which were large in comparison with his frame. He believed that his big hands were distracting and did not look graceful enough when he danced, particularly in more elegant forms like ballet. Astaire took careful measures to disguise his hands while dancing, such as placing his third and fourth fingers on top of one another and curling his hands to make them look smaller. Videos of Astaire’s dance routines can reveal the ways he minimized the appearance of his hands.
More about Fred Astaire:
- His birthname was Frederick Austerlitz. He was born on 10 May 1899 and died on 22 June 1987.
- Astaire’s legs reportedly were insured for $1 million US Dollars (USD).
- The only Academy Award nomination Astaire received was not for any of the musicals for which he was known, it was for a supporting role in the 1974 disaster movie The Towering Inferno.
- A wardrobe trademark of Astaire’s was his use of a necktie looped around his waist instead of a belt.