Ginger Rogers in Roberta (1935).
Ginger Rogers on Wikipedia
Ginger Rogers on the Internet Movie Database
Ginger Rogers
Forecourt Ceremony held on Tuesday, September 5, 1939
Born: Virginia Katherine McMath, July 16, 1911, in Independence, Missouri
Age at the time of the ceremony: 28
Died: April 25, 1995, in Rancho Mirage, California, age 83
Ginger Rogers was a very great film star of the 1930s and 1940s. By turns spunky, elegant, and dramatic, Rogers had an appealing presence, a wonderful singing voice, and a sure theatrical sense. She made films with just about every leading man in Hollywood.

At the age of four, her feuding parents caused young Virginia to be raised by her grandparents in Kansas City. Her mother Lela, meanwhile, went to Hollywood, becoming a scriptwriter for Fox Film. When Lela remarried in 1920 to John Logan Rogers, she and Virginia relocated to Fort Worth Texas, where a cousin, dubbed her "Ginga." And so, she became known as Ginga Rogers.

Mother Lela became a theatre critic in Fort Worth, and became increasingly involved with putting on shows. Daughter Ginga would participate in these shows, becoming a last-minute substitute for a no-show when Eddie Foy's show came to town. In 1925, Ginger won a Charleston dance contest — the prize: 18 months on the vaudeville circuit, dancing the Charleston.

At the age of 17, Ginger married a fellow vaudevillian named Jack Culpepper. They toured as "Ginger and Pepper." Divorcing Culpepper, Ginger and Lela moved to New York, where Ginger worked her way up the ladder, making her Broadway debut —fifth billed — in Top Speed in 1929.

George and Ira Gershwin chose Ginger to star along with Ethel Merman in their Broadway smash Girl Crazy in 1930. Signing a deal with Paramount, Rogers made films in Astoria, but eventually wriggled out of her contract so she and mother Lela could make the move to Hollywood. Ginger came into the orbit of Joe E. Brown, star of the film version of Top Speed (released in August 1930), and made several films with him at Warner Bros.

A supporting role in 42nd Street (released in March 1933), led to an ever larger role in Gold Diggers of 1933 (which had its World Premiere at the Chinese in June 1933), where she stole the show by singing "We're in the Money" in Pig-Latin.

When R-K-O was looking for a partner for Broadway star Fred Astaire's debut picture Flying Down to Rio (released in December 1933), they chose Ginger Rogers, a combination which took the movie-going world by storm. The duo made nine films together: Flying Down to Rio (released in December 1933), The Gay Divorcee (released in October 1934), Roberta (released in March 1935), Top Hat (released in September 1935), Follow the Fleet (released in February 1936), Swing Time (released in August 1936), Shall We Dance (released in May 1937), Carefree (released in September 1938), The Story of Vewrnon and Irene Castle (released in March 1939) and later, The Barkleys of Broadway (released in May 1949).

Rogers took roles in non-musicals as well: Stage Door (released in October 1937), Vivacious Lady (released in May 1938), Fifth Avenue Girl (released in September 1939), and Bachelor Mother (released in August 1939). She won the Oscar for Best Actress for Kitty Foyle (released in December 1940). She followed this up with Primrose Path (released in March 1940), Tom, Dick and Harry (released in June 1941), The Major and the Minor (released in September 1942), Roxie Hart (released in February 1942), Tender Comrade (released in June 1943), Lady in the Dark (released in February 1944), and Week-End at the Waldorf (released in October 1945).

After World War II, roles became harder to get, but she carried on regardless: Storm Warning (released in February 1950), Monkey Business (released in August 1952), We're Not Married (which played the Chinese in July 1952), and Tight Spot (released in March 1955).

Rogers returned to the stage in 1965, taking over the title role in Hello Dolly! from Carol Channing, but she scored an even greater success with the musical Mame, starring in the original London West End production in 1969. Rogers appeared in guest roles in a few television programs: The Love Boat and so on.

Ginger Rogers died of a heart attack in Rancho Mirage California in 1995, at the age of 83.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Ginger Rogers Forecourt block. Executed by JJean Klossner, Tuesday, September 5, 1938. 43 x 33 inches overall.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Ginger Rogers Forecourt ceremony, Tuesday, September 5, 1939. Ginger Rogers looks up after signing her name in the cement.
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