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Miss Ginger Rogers

We're In the Money!

Name:
Virginia Katherine McMath
Birthdate:
16 July
External Services:
  • ms_gingerrogers@livejournal.com
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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 (1929). 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 1940's and early 1950's 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.


Some Facts You May Not Have know About Me

Was given the name "Ginger" by her little cousin who couldn't pronounce "Virginia" correctly.

She didn't drink: she had her very own ice cream soda fountain
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Directed her first stage musical,'Babes in arms', at age 74

Was fashion consultant for the J.C. Penney chain from 1972-75.

A keen artist, Ginger did many paintings, sculptures and sketches in her free time but could never bring herself to sell any of them.

Was Hollywood's highest paid star of 1942.

Always the outdoor sporty type, she was a near-champion tennis player, a topline shot and loved going fishing.
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Was named #14 Actress on The AFI 50 Greatest Screen Legends

She and Fred Astaire made 10 films together.
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Quotes

"My mother told me I was dancing before I was born. She could feel my toes tapping wildly inside her for months."

"The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first"

"I don't know which I like best. I love the applause on the stage. But pictures are so fascinating - you reach many millions through them. And you make more money too." - in early 30s.

"When you're happy, you don't count the years."

"The most important thing in anyone's life is to be giving something. The quality I can give is fun, joy and happiness. This is my gift."

"I'm most grateful to have had that joyous time in motion pictures. It really was a Golden Age of Hollywood. Pictures were talking, they were singing, they were coloring. It was beginning to blossom out: bud and blossom were both present."

"In everything that I do I learn and try to put it to use. I have learned to go through life not into it. It's like a boat. You mustn't let the water in or you're sunk. Of course, I've made mistakes and I have had failures, but I do not dwell on them because people don't care about garbage. When I make a mistake it's like a bad leaf on a lettuce - I throw it out into the waste basket."

"I don't care what the critics say. My fabulous mom will give me a good review if nobody else does."

"You bring out a lot of your own thoughts and attitudes when acting. I think a great deal of it has to do with the inner you. You know, there's nothing damnable about being a strong woman. The world needs strong women. There are a lot of strong women you do not see who are guiding, helping, mothering strong men. They want to remain unseen. It's kind of nice to be able to play a strong woman who is seen."

"It was tough being a woman in the theatrical business in those days."

Photos
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DISCLAIMER: I am not Ginger Rogers, nor do I have connections to Ginger Rogers. This journal was created simply for the RPG community, classic_rpg



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