Not only was Ginger Rogers half of the most famous dance team in Hollywood history, she was a well-respected dramatic actress as well.
Ginger Rogers was an American actress best known as Fred Astaire's dance partner in 10 hit musicals of the 1930s. Despite being recognized primarily as part of this most famous of Hollywood dance teams, she acted in over 70 films in her lifetime. In addition to her many roles in musicals in film and on Broadway, she acted in several dramatic roles, winning the 1940 Academy Award for best actress for one such role in KITTY FOYLE.
The love of acting began for Ginger Rogers in high school where she performed in a play her mother, Lela Rogers, had written. She then went on to perform in Vaudeville after winning a Charleston contest. From there she moved to Broadway and then California to become the highest paid performer in Hollywood. During WWII she toured for the USO and participated in bond rallies. Throughout her career as an actress, she married and divorced five men. Late in life she told published her autobiography, GINGER: MY STORY.
1911 She was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri. (July 16)
1920 Her mother married John Logan Rogers, and she took his last name.
1924 She starred in a play that her mother wrote at Central High School in Fort Worth, Texas.
1929 TOP SPEED-Broadway Musical (December 25); She married Jack Culpepper. (March 29)
1930 GIRL CRAZY -Broadway Musical; She signed a contract with Paramount Pictures for seven years.
1931 She moved to Hollywood to begin her film career. She and Jack Culpepper divorced.
1933 42ND STREET , GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933, FLYING DOWN TO RIO -Films
1934 THE GAY DIVORCEE -Film; She married actor Lew Ayres.
1935 ROBERTA, TOP HAT -Films
1936 FOLLOW THE FLEET, SWING TIME -Films
1937 SHALL WE DANCE?, STAGE DOOR -Films
1938 CAREFREE, VIVACIOUS LADY -Films
1939 THE STORY OF VERNON AND IRENE CASTLE, BACHELOR MOTHER, FIFTH AVENUE GIRL -Films
1940 THE PRIMROSE PATH -Film; She won an Academy Award for best actress for her role in the dramatic film, KITTY FOYLE.
1941 TOM, DICK, AND HARRY -Film; She divorced Lew Ayres.
1942 THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR, ROXIE HART, ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON -Films
1943 TENDER COMRADE -Film; She married Jack Briggs. (January 16)
1944 I'LL BE SEEING YOU -Film
1945 She was the highest paid Hollywood star.
1946 WEEKEND AT THE WALDORF, HEARTBEAT, MAGNIFICENT DOLL -Films
1949 THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY -Film; She and Jack Briggs divorced.
1951 STORM WARNING, THE GROOM WORE SPURS -Films
1952 MONKEY BUSINESS, DREAMBOAT -Films
1953 She married Jacques Bergerac. (February 7)
1954 TWIST OF FATE -Film; She divorced Jacques Bergerac.
1955 TIGHT SPOT -Film
1957 She began a nightclub act with The Toppers and toured the country.
1961 She married William Marshall. (March)
1965 HARLOW -Film.; She retired from the film business.; HELLO DOLLY! -Broadway Musical
1969 She divorced William Marshall.; MAME- Broadway Musical
1977 Her mother, Lela Rogers, died.
1991 She wrote her autobiography, GINGER: MY STORY
1995 She died at the age of 83 in Rancho Mirage, California. (April 25)