Rogers, Ginger [McMath, Virginia Katherine ]
- Todd Decker
[McMath, Virginia Katherine ]
(b Independence, MO, July 16, 1911; d Rancho Mirage, CA, April 25, 1995). American actress, singer, and dancer. Launched on a brief vaudeville career by winning a Charleston contest, Rogers made her Broadway debut in Top Speed (1929). After starring in the Gershwin musical Girl Crazy (1930), Rogers went to Hollywood, where she played wisecracking supporting roles at Warner Bros. and eventually found a spot as a leading player at RKO. Teamed with fred Astaire from 1933 to 1939, Rogers became a major star. Her versatility, good humor, and dry wit—all expressed while dancing—added much to the pair’s routines, considered the height of danced romance in studio-era Hollywood. Rogers rarely soloed on film and participated relatively little in the creation of the routines. The sound of her taps was dubbed by Astaire’s assistant Hermes Pan. Her singing voice was unpretentious and direct, reflecting her brief tenure as a band singer with Paul Ash in the late 1920s. Rogers came into her own as an actress in the 1940s, winning an Oscar in ...