Ginger Rogers

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Ginger Rogers (July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) was an American actress, dancer, and singer who appeared in film, and on stage, radio, and television throughout much of the 20th century.

During her long career, she made a total of 73 films, and is noted for her role as Fred Astaire's romantic interest and dancing partner, in a series of ten Hollywood musical films that revolutionized the genre. She also achieved great success in a variety of film roles, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Kitty Foyle (1940). She ranks #14 on the AFI's 100 Years…100 Stars list of actress screen legends.


Early life

Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri, the daughter of William Eddins McMath, an electrical engineer, and his wife Lela Emogene Owens (1891–1977).[1] Ginger's parents separated soon after her birth, and she and her mother went to live with her grandparents, Walter and Saphrona (née Ball) Owens, in nearby Kansas City. Rogers' parents fought over her custody, with her father even kidnapping her twice. After the parents divorced, Rogers stayed with her grandparents while her mother wrote scripts for two years in Hollywood.

Rogers was to remain close to her grandfather (much later, when she was a star in 1939, she bought him a home at 5115 Greenbush Avenue in Sherman Oaks, California so that he could be close to her while she was filming at the studios).

One of Rogers's young cousins, Helen, had a hard time pronouncing her first name, shortening it to "Ginga"; the nickname stuck.

When Rogers was nine years old, her mother married John Logan Rogers. Ginger took the name of Rogers, though she was never legally adopted. They lived in Fort Worth, Texas. Her mother became a theater critic for a local newspaper, the Fort Worth Record. Ginger attended but did not graduate from Fort Worth's Central High School.

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