Independence, Missouri USA
Place of Death
Rancho Mirage, California
Cause of Death
Congestive Heart Failure
Claim to Fame
Rogers and Astaire, Kitty Foyle, WAMPAS Baby Star of 1932
Vocal Pop, Standards, Traditional Pop
Carefree, Elegant, Sophisticated, Stylish, Theatrical, Refined/Mannered, Joyous, Romantic, Relaxed
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Profile Bio Text
Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911. Her family moved to Texas when she was a toddler because her father had found employment there. It wasn`t long before Ginger`s parents separated and she and her mother moved into a hotel. Her father, twice, kidnapped her, but both times she was returned to her mother. He received very little in visitation rights and Ginger only saw him sporadically thereafter. He died when she was 11 years old. She, then, moved with her mother to her grandparents in Kansas City, Missouri where Mrs. McMath managed to get Ginger in some advertising films. Now she was developing a taste for the cinema. Ginger`s mother left her child in the care of her parents while she went in search of a job as a scriptwriter in Hollywood and later to New York City. Mrs. McMath found herself with an income good enough to where she could send for Ginger. Later, the two packed up and moved to Fort Worth, Texas where Ginger attended high school and appeared in the school productions, while her mother remarried. The theater became Ginger`s passion. At the age of 14, she was also appearing in vaudeville acts which she did until she was 17. Now she had discovered true acting. She went to New York where she appeared in the Broadway production of "Top Speed." She did a superb job which began to encourage her to seek work in feature films. A screen test turned out well and she was off to the movies. Her first film was in 1929 in A Night in a Dormitory (1930). It was a bit part, but it was a start. Later that year, Ginger appeared, briefly in two more films, A Day of a Man of Affairs (1929) and Campus Sweethearts (1930). The following year she began to get better parts in films such as Office Blues (1930) and The Tip-Off (1931). But the movie that enamored her to the public was Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933). She did not have top billing but her beauty and voice was enough to have the public want more. One song she popularized in the film was the now famous, "We`re in the Money". In 1934, she starred with Dick Powell in Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934). It was a well received film about the popularity of radio. Ginger`s real stardom occurred when she was teamed with Fred Astaire where they were one of the best cinematic couples ever to hit the silver screen. This is where she achieved real stardom. They were first paired in 1933`s Flying Down to Rio (1933) and later in 1935`s Roberta (1935) and Top Hat (1935). Ginger also appeared in some very good comedies such as Bachelor Mother (1939) and 5th Ave Girl (1939) both in 1939. Also that year she appeared with Astaire in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939). The film made money but was not anywhere successful as they had hoped. After that studio executives at RKO wanted Ginger to strike out on her own. She made several dramatic pictures but it was 1940`s Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman (1940) that allowed her to shine. Playing a young lady from the wrong side of the tracks, she played the lead role well, so well in fact, that she won an Academy Award for her portrayal. Ginger followed that project with the delightful comedy, Tom Dick and Harry (1941) the following year. It`s a story where she has to choose which of three men she wants to marry. Through the rest of the 1940s and early 1950s she continued to make movies but not near the caliber before World War II. After Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1957) in 1957, Ginger didn`t appear on the silver screen for seven years. By 1965, she had appeared for the last time in Harlow (1965/II). Afterward, she appeared on Broadway and other stage plays traveling in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. After 1984, she retired and wrote an autobiography in 1991 entitled, "Ginger, My Story" which is a very good book. On April 25, 1995, Ginger died of natural causes in Rancho Mirage, California. She was 83.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Virginia Katherine McMath
Actress, dancer, singer
Lucille Ball, Ann Miller, Frances Dee, Peter Vanderhoef, Jessie Matthews, Mark Sandrich, Bette Davis, Phyllis Fraser, Bennett Cerf, Henry Willson
Ice Cream Soda
Ginger: My Story  (HarperCollins)
The Films of Ginger Rogers  (Homer Dickens), Astaire and Rogers  (Edward Gallafent), Ginger Rogers  (Patrick McGilligan), Ginger, Loretta, and Irene Who?  (George Eells), Ginger: Salute to a Star  (Dick Richards), Ginger Rogers: A Bio-Bibliography  (Jocelyn Faris), Ginger Rogers (A Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies)  (Patrick McGilligan), Shall We Dance? The Life of Ginger Rogers  (Sheridan Morley), The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book (Arlene Croce), No Pickle, No Performance: An Irreverent Excursion from Tallulah to Travolta  (Harold J. Kennedy)
William Eddins McMath
Vinton Hayworth (uncle)
Henry Fonda, Billy Wilder, Phyllis Kennedy
Virginia Katherine Rogers (née McMath; July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) was an American actress, dancer, and singer. She is widely known for performing in films and RKO's musical films, partnered with Fred Astaire. She appeared on stage, as well as on radio and television, throughout much of the 20th century.
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Has Detailed Data (76)
Music Profile Complete
Central High School, in Fort Worth, Texas
Couple Profile Source
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