Ginger Rogers (born Virginia Katherine McMath; July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) was an American actress, dancer, and singer. She won an Academy Award for her starring role in Kitty Foyle (1940), but is best remembered for performing during the 1930s in RKO's musical films (partnered with Fred Astaire). Her career continued on stage, radio, and television throughout much of the 20th century.
Born in Independence, Missouri, and raised in Kansas City, Rogers and her family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, when she was nine years old. After winning a 1925 Charleston dance contest that launched a successful vaudeville career, she gained recognition as a Broadway actress for her debut stage role in Girl Crazy. This led to a contract with Paramount Pictures, which ended after five films. Rogers had her first successful film role as a supporting actress in 42nd Street (1933). Rogers made nine films in the 1930s with Astaire, which were some of her biggest successes such as Swing Time (1936) and Top Hat (1935). After two commercial failures with Astaire, Rogers began to branch out into dramatic and comedy films. Her acting was well received by critics and audiences as she became one of the biggest box-office draws and highest paid actresses of the 1940s. Her performance in Kitty Foyle (1940) won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Rogers popularity had peaked by the end of the decade. She reunited with Astaire in 1949 in the commercially successful The Barkleys of Broadway. After an unsuccessful period in the 1950s, Rogers returned to Broadway in 1965, playing the lead role in Hello, Dolly! More lead roles on Broadway followed, along with her stage directorial debut in 1985 on an off-Broadway production of Babes in Arms. Rogers also made television acting appearances until 1987. In 1992, Rogers was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors. She died of a heart attack in 1995, at the age of 83.
Rogers is associated with the phrase "backwards and in high heels", which is attributed to Bob Thaves' Frank and Ernest 1982 cartoon with the caption "Sure he [Astaire] was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did...backwards and in high heels". This phrase is sometimes incorrectly attributed to Ann Richards, who used it in her keynote address to the 1988 Democratic National Convention.
A Republican and a devout Christian Scientist, Rogers married five times with all of them ending in divorce, and having no children. During her long career, Rogers made 73 films, and her musical films with Fred Astaire are credited with revolutionizing the genre. Rogers was a major movie star during the Golden Age of Hollywood, and is often considered an American icon. She ranks number 14 on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars list of female stars of classic American cinema. Rogers' autobiography Ginger: My Story was published in 1991.
Birth and Death Data: Born July 16th, 1911 (Independence), Died April 25th, 1995 (Rancho Mirage)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1935 - 1944
Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, speaker
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||PBS-026169||10-in.||10/6/1938||I used to be color blind||Hal Borne Orchestra ; Ginger Rogers||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||vocalist|
|Victor||PBS-026170||10-in.||10/6/1938||The yam||Hal Borne Orchestra ; Ginger Rogers||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 182||10-in.||06/14/1935||The piccolino||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 183||10-in.||06/14/1935||Isn't this a lovely day?||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 184||10-in.||06/14/1935||Cheek to cheek||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 185||10-in.||06/14/1935||No strings||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 228||10-in.||8/25/1935||No strings||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 229||10-in.||8/25/1935||Isn't this a lovely day?||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 230||10-in.||8/25/1935||The piccolino||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 231||10-in.||8/25/1935||Cheek to cheek||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 274||10-in.||11/22/1935||Got a new lease on love||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 275||10-in.||11/22/1935||Don't mention love to me||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 281||10-in.||11/27/1935||Out of sight, out of mind||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 282||10-in.||11/27/1935||Eeny, meeny, miney mo-1||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 335||10-in.||4/3/1936||I'm putting all my eggs in one basket||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||DLA 336||10-in.||4/3/1936||Let yourself go||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||L 3373||12-in.||3/30/1944||Alice in Wonderland: Part 1||Ginger Rogers||speaker|
|Decca||L 3374||10-in.||3/30/1944||Alice in Wonderland: Part 2||Ginger Rogers||speaker|
|Decca||L 3375||10-in.||3/30/1944||Alice in Wonderland: Part 3||Ginger Rogers||speaker|
|Decca||L 3376||12-in.||3/31/1944||Alice in Wonderland: Part 4||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||L 3377||12-in.||3/31/1944||Alice in Wonderland: Part 5||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
|Decca||L 3378||10-in.||3/31/1944||Alice in Wonderland: Part 6||Ginger Rogers||vocalist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rogers, Ginger," accessed October 26, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102085.
Rogers, Ginger. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102085.
"Rogers, Ginger." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 26 October 2020.
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