Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, one of Hollywood’s most famous dancing duos, appeared on the cover of Life magazine 75 years ago today, on Aug. 22, 1938, a welcome distraction from the Depression. They first appeared together in the film “Flying Down to Rio” in 1933. The dancing chemistry of the duo was contagious, and fans flocked to see their dazzling routines in nine other movie musicals. Their tapping and twirling proved timeless and their films continue to inspire wonder.
The cover of Life magazine features a film still of American actor/dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire from the film “Carefree,” along with the caption, “Astaire & Rogers Do the Yam,” Aug. 22, 1938. (Rex Hardy Jr./Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dancing in a scene from the film “Swing Time,” 1936. (RKO Radio Pictures/Getty Images)
Fred Astaire dons the familiar top hat, ascot tie and tails for his farewell rehearsal dance in Paramount’s “Blue Skies,” after which he has announced he intended to retire. He was practicing on the studio rooftop. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Ginger Rogers in a glamorous evening gown as Dale Tremont from the RKO film, “Top Hat,” in 1935, directed by Mark Sandrich, with choreography by Fred Astaire. (John Miehle/John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)
Ginger Rogers with Fred Astaire, the Hollywood singer, dancer and actor, in the film “Top Hat” in 1935. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A movie still of Fred Astaire an Ginger Rogers from the late 1930s in Los Angeles. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Dancer, actor and singer Fred Astaire performs for the camera during a photo session circa 1940 in Los Angeles. (Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
Ginger Rogers plays legendary ballroom dancer Irene Castle in “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle” in 1939. (John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)
Undated photo of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. (GAB Archive/Redferns/Getty Images)
Ginger Rogers as Scharwenka, a.k.a. Lizzie Gatz, and Fred Astaire as Huckleberry Haines dancing together in the RKO film “Roberta” in 1935.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing in a scene from the film “Follow the Fleet,” 1936. (RKO Radio Pictures/Getty Images)