Hollywood glamour has been part and parcel of the film industry for decades — with the 1930s and 1940s well-known as among the most glamorous time period in the movie-making business.
Ginger Rogers was an American actress and dancer who was best known for work with the legendary Fred Astaire during that time period and much of the 20th century.
On this day in history, July 16, 1911, American star Ginger Rogers was born in Independence, Missouri.
Born Virginia Katherine McMath, Rogers began her entertainment career when she was just a child in Texas, according to Britannica.
Rogers was a student at Central High School in Fort Worth, Texas, when she starred in a play that was written and produced by her mother, according to The Kennedy Center.
After working on her craft in school, Rogers became a last-minute dancer in Eddie Foy’s vaudeville troupe — which then led her to go on her own vaudeville tour in the late 1920s.
In 1929, Rogers made her Broadway debut in “Top Speed” — then performed in “Girl Crazy” a year later, according to Britannica.
After her stint on Broadway, Rogers headed west to Hollywood, California — where she set her sights on a career in the movie industry.
By 1933, Rogers had appeared in three successful films: “42nd Street,” “Gold Diggers of 1933” and “Sitting Pretty,” according to The Kennedy Center.
The film that truly launched her to stardom, however, was “Flying Down to Rio,” in which she starred with dancer Fred Astaire.
The two had a clear chemistry on screen during the dance scenes — and the world loved to see it.
The pair would go on to partner in nine other films over the years.
Rogers became best known for her dancing skills. She also appeared in over 70 films throughout her career.
She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in “Kitty Foyle,” the 1940 film subtitled “The Natural History of a Woman.”
That film was RKO’s top film for 1940 and reportedly earned a profit of $869,000 that year.
She even went back to performing on stage in “Hello Dolly!” according to Britannica.
Rogers ranks at No. 14 on the AFI’s “100 Years, 100 Stars” list of actress screen legends.
In 1992, she won a lifetime achievement award from The Kennedy Center.
Wrote one commenter on YouTube in response to the clip from that televised honor, “Ginger was a great star.”
Wrote another, “Though there were many excellent woman dancers in those times — Ginger Rogers was the best of her times.”
Although Rogers had a longstanding working relationship with Astaire, she struggled to keep her own personal life steady.
Rogers was married and divorced five times throughout her life.
She never had children. She died on April 25, 1995, at 83 years of age, passing away of apparent natural causes.