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The Astaires by Kathleen Riley.. That such a goofy looking guy could have gone so far is one of the true miracles of mid-century cinema. And let's just admit it wasn't the preposterous plots, nor the recurring valet. It was the dance. And who knew that Adele was his better half? Great bio here.

Joel Gardner, LitSnap Editor

"Astaire’s career in Hollywood had a less than promising start, with a screen test that elicited the now famous summation (which Riley regards as apocryphal) from one of those ever reliable executives: “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Also dances.” But David O. Selznick was so charmed by Astaire, despite “his enormous ears and bad chin line,” that he signed him anyway. The rest really is history. Ah, but to live in a world, as in Astaire’s films, where just around every corner lies a gleaming Art Deco ballroom and invisible orchestra — just in case one feels like dancing."

The New York Times

"Riley writes with zest and authoritative expertise, displaying a grace and elegance equal to her subjects."

Publishers Weekly

Author bio: Born in Australia and educated at Sydney and Oxford Universities, Kathleen Riley is a classical scholar and modern theater historian. She is the author of Nigel Hawthorne on Stage and The Reception and Performance of Euripides' Herakles: Reasoning Madness. At Oxford in 2008 she convened the first international conference on the art and legacy of Fred Astaire. More information can be found here:

Book Details: Nonfiction Thriller; (241 pp. Kindle/Print editions)

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